Free College Basketball Picks: Maryland at North Carolina Odds
by Dave Schwab - 2/3/2014
The Maryland Terrapins head to the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill this Tuesday to tangle with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Tip off for this ACC tilt is set for 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on ESPN3.
Maryland finds itself 5-4 straight up in conference play after posting back-to-back victories over Miami and Virginia Tech. It hammered the Hokies by 20 points this past Saturday as a 5.5-point road favorite. The Terrapins covered for just the third time in their last eight contests as part of an overall record of 9-9 against the spread. The total has stayed “under” in three of their last five games.
The Tar Heels beat cross-town rivals North Carolina State 84-70 as 9.5-point home favorites this past Saturday to even their mark at 4-4 SU in the ACC. They are 14-7 SU overall with a 10-11 record ATS. Their current winning streak now stands at three both SU and ATS. The total has gone “over” in their last five contests.
Maryland vs. North Carolina Betting Storylines
When Maryland exceeds its 72.8-point scoring average it usually wins, although it did put up 79 points in a tough four-point loss to Pittsburgh on Jan. 25 as a three-point home favorite. When the Terrapins fall below that average, they usually lose, which has been the case in their other three conference losses. They are shooting 44 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from 3-point range, but the real issue has been at the foul line with a conversion rate of just 65.7 percent.
Dez Wells leads the team in scoring with 15 points a game, and he is shooting 48.7 percent from the floor. Maryland has four additional players scoring in double-figures, including Evan Smotrycz (11.6 points), who also leads the team in rebounds with 6.5. Seth Allen is the team’s best pure shooter from outside the perimeter; hitting 38.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
It has been a rocky road at times for the North Carolina this season, despite posting some impressive victories along the way. This game becomes a crucial test to see if it has turned the corner towards getting back into the thick of the ACC regular season title race. With both Duke and Pitt on the slate in the next two weeks, the Tar Heels can’t afford to take another step backwards this Tuesday night.
A big key to running their winning streak to four games will be the play of Marcus Paige and James Michael McAdoo. Paige leads the team in points (16.7) and assists (4.4), and McAdoo is North Carolina’s leading rebounder (6.7) while scoring 15 points a game. The Tar Heels are averaging 76 points a game and shooting 45.5 percent from the field. They are ranked ninth in the country in rebounds with an average of 41.3, and defensively they are holding teams to 68 points a game.
Maryland vs. North Carolina NCAA Betting Odds and Game Trends
BetOnline has opened the Tar Heels as 8.5-point home favorites over Maryland in this ACC matchup.
The Terrapins are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games and 1-5 ATS in their last six games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has gone over in 18 of their last 24 games against a team with a winning record SU.
The Tar Heels have failed to cover in seven of their last 10 games in the ACC. However, they are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 home games against a team with a SU losing record on the road. The total has gone over in four of their last five games following an ATS win.
Head-to-head in this conference matchup, the home team is 7-2 both SU and ATS in the last nine meetings, and the total has gone over in eight of the last 10 games. Maryland has failed to cover in four of its last five visits to Chapel Hill.
Free College Basketball Pick: Maryland vs. North Carolina Betting Predictions
This is the time of the year when the better programs in the country start making their march towards tournament time. While North Carolina’s current form still leaves much to be desired to be considered one of the top teams in the conference, it is still good enough to win and cover the 8.5-point spread at home against Maryland.
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