A premier top-ten matchup is certain to be the talk of the college basketball world as the ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels tip-off with the fifth-rated UConn Huskies at the world-famous Madison Square Garden. Join us for our NCAAB odds series where our North Carolina-UConn prediction and pick will be made.
A premier top-ten matchup is certain to be the talk of the college basketball world as the ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels tip-off with the fifth-rated UConn Huskies for the Jimmy-V Classic at the world-famous Madison Square Garden. Join us for our NCAAB odds series where our North Carolina-UConn prediction and pick will be made.
Entering play with a 7-1 record and three consecutive victories, the Tar Heels own the second-best record in the ACC Conference and are considered by many to be a legitimate threat to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament later in the season. Does North Carolina have what it takes to add an impressive win to their resume?
As for UConn, the defending national champs have every aspiration to become the first team to repeat since the 2007 Florida Gators. Despite their most recent loss to a highly-ranked Kansas squad last Friday, the Huskies are more than equipped to make another run at it.
Here are the college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: North Carolina-UConn Odds
North Carolina: +5.5 (-110)
UConn: -5.5 (-110)
Over: 150.5 (-110)
Under: 150.5 (-110)
How to Watch North Carolina vs. UConn
Time: 9:00 ET/7:00 PT
Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)
Why North Carolina Will Cover The Spread
Without a doubt, North Carolina has been tested early in the season and will certainly have their hands full with UConn in this neutral-site matchup. However, the team’s confidence is at an all-time high which will be more than needed with tonight serving as the first of three straight games against ranked opponents.
To begin this difficult stretch on the right foot, North Carolina will want to make sure that they shore up their defensive effort versus UConn are no strangers in shooting lights out on the hardwood. At the moment, the Tar Heels currently surrender a lofty 72 points per game, but the good news is that they did seemingly take a step in the right direction by holding the Florida State Seminoles to only 40% shooting from the floor in the 78-70 triumphant effort. Since they’re already dropping a hefty 86 points per game on offense, an increased focus defensively will ultimately catapult this squad to new heights.
All in all, the biggest aspect of this game that the Tar Heels need to worry about will be knocking down some jumpers from beyond the arc. When taking a closer look at the numbers, UNC is hitting 36% of their three-point attempts which only ranks as the 98th-best mark in the nation. If shots aren’t falling from trey land early and often, then finding senior forward Armando Bacot down-low may be the Tar Heels’ next best bet to gain an advantage.
Why UConn Will Cover The Spread
Not only will UConn’s rabid fan base consider making the short trek to New York City to help their team gain an upper-hand crowd wise for this epic battle, but it should be expected that the Huskies will be more than hungry to right their wrongs after falling short a the hands of Kansas. Like UNC, UConn has played quite the challenging scheduled slate up to this point, but the challenging opponents that the Huskies have faced should only strengthen the team’s chances at a deep run come March Madness time.
The biggest name to keep your eyes peeled for will be on sophomore big man Donovan Clingan who is quickly taking the country by storm as one of the more promising centers in college basketball. Through the team’s first eight games, Clingan is averaging 14.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
With the paint-game in good shape with Clingan, the most welcoming news that the Huskies could have received will come in the form of the return of freshman phenom Stephon Castle who has sat out the last three weeks with a nagging knee injury. Clearly, the Huskies are as close to full strength as they’ve been all season which should be terrifying for opposing teams.
If there is one facet of the game that UConn needs to take advantage of, look no further than the Huskies to dominate the glass. With over 22.5 rebounds per game, there is no team in all of the country that corals more boards than UConn. Simply put, UConn could pull away in this one thanks to their second-chance opportunities of off their own misses that should only increase their scoring possessions.
Final North Carolina-UConn Prediction & Pick
Even though UConn saw their 13-game losing streak dating back to last season come to a halt last time out, the Huskies’ stellar combination of experienced talent should give the Tar Heels fits. This will be an all-out fight to the finish, but it is wise to side with the defending champs in this one.
Final North Carolina-UConn Prediction & Pick: UConn -5.5 (-110)