Free College Basketball Picks: Texas at North Carolina Odds
by George Monroy - 12/17/2013
The No. 14 North Carolina Tar Heels might be getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment—they get no respect. The team has already beaten three Top-12 teams, including the Louisville Cardinals, Michigan State Spartans and the Kentucky Wildcats. And to top it all off, North Carolina still has to face the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night. If the Tar Heels can come away with another huge victory, it’s almost certain that they will crack the Top 10 in next week’s rankings.
Texas is probably another squad that feels it should be receiving much more Top 25 consideration. The Longhorns started the season 9-1, with a close loss to BYU as the only blemish on their record. However, the team will get a chance to earn its way into the Top 25 when it faces No. 14 North Carolina and No. 5 Michigan State in back-to-back games this week. If Texas can pull off two straight upsets, then the team just might rocket itself up the rankings and land near the Top 10.
Texas at North Carolina Betting Story Lines
Texas has played great to start the season and has a 32-point win under its belt, but the team will finally test it self in a big way this week with matchups against two of nation’s top teams. The Longhorns are coming off a blowout victory over the Texas State Bobcats on Saturday. Cameron Ridley, Texas’ second-year center, had a career night, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds with three steals and two blocks. The team also received 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds from guard Isaiah Taylor.
The Longhorns have five double-digit scorers on the team and averages 79 points per game, which is ranked 66th in the nation. The team also rebounds well with an average of 43.7 per game, which is the 11th best in the nation. Texas is being led by forward Jonathan Holmes, who is averaging 12.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. One of the team’s biggest weaknesses is its poor three-point shooting, where the squad shoots only 34 percent from beyond the arc.
North Carolina has already beaten three teams ranked in the Top 11, but it suffered two disappointing losses to the Belmont Bruins and UAB Blazers. The biggest take away from the nonconference portion of the season is that the Tar Heels can be inconsistent at times, but they have the talent to match up with any squad in the nation. The team is being led by the 19.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists of second-year guard Marcus Paige.
The Tar Heels also struggle from beyond the arc and shoot only 29 percent from three-point land. The team prefers to play inside the paint and uses its size and strength to its advantage. The group grabs 40 rebounds per game, which is ranked 35th in the nation, and averages 15.2 assists per game. North Carolina is coming off a huge five-point win over the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, where Paige and forward James Michael McAdoo combined for 43 points on the night.
Texas at North Carolina NCAA Odds and Key Trends
North Carolina opened as an 11.5-point favorite over the underdog Longhorns at BetOnline. Texas is currently 1-6-1 ATS over its last eight games following a win and 1-4-1 ATS over its last six road games versus teams with a home winning percentage of .600 or greater. North Carolina is 4-0 over its last four Wednesday games and 5-1 against nonconference opponents. The team is also 4-1 against teams with winning SU record but has lost four of its last five against the Big 12. Head-to-head, Texas is 4-1 ATS over the last five matchups, while the home team is also 4-1 ATS over the last five games.
Free College Basketball Picks: Texas at North Carolina Predictions
The Tar Heels are coming off a huge emotional win over Kentucky and might be looking past Wednesday night’s matchup against Texas. Both teams score in the high-70-point range and play solid defense based around the philosophy of grabbing rebounds and attacking the paint. North Carolina has an excellent perimeter game, but it shoots poorly from the three-point line. This is a matchup between two squads viewing themselves in two very different lights. The Tar Heels may be feeling great about their past accomplishments and have nothing to prove at the movement. The Longhorns, on the other hand, have a chance at beating two top-ranked teams and proving just how good their squad really is. Expect a close matchup between two evenly-matched teams, and take Texas plus the points. The Longhorns might even pull off an upset here and win the game outright.
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