Admittedly, showdowns in the Atlantic Coast Conference are not all that unusual, but Saturday’s matchup between the Virginia Cavaliers and the North Carolina Tar Heels could have a significant bearing, both on the national rankings in the seating of the post-season conference tournament. These teams will get together at 6:30 PM ET at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA. And even after the opening tip off, BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to place wagers in real time against the college basketball odds through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.
North Carolina is 23-5 straight-up and 11-16-1 against the basketball pointspread, and they are ranked sixth in the coaches’ poll, with a #7 slot in the Associated Press rankings. Virginia, the #3 team in the country in both major polls, is 21-6 straight-up and 12-13 ATS.
The Cavaliers have won 18 straight games at home, and they are on the money-making and of an interesting trend, as they are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 games that a been played on a Saturday. But North Carolina, arguably, is coming in here with a little more momentum, scoring big wins over Miami (96-71) and North Carolina State (80-68) after losing to Duke.
In the college basketball odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Virginia is the team favored:
Virginia Cavaliers -3.5 North Carolina Tar Heels +3.5
Over 137.5 points -110 Under 137.5 points -110
Everyone knows that North Carolina is a team that likes to push the tempo, and they are perfectly capable of exploding on offense. But what is absolutely critical is that point guard Marcus Paige gets untracked. Page has been extremely erratic from the field lately, shooting only 29% over his last three games. And Bryce Johnson has to find some room inside. He averages 17 points, but he will encounter probably one of his toughest defensive challenges of the season against the Cavaliers.
In fact, Virginia, coach by the terrific Tony Bennett, once again stands out as one of the nation’s best defensive teams. Part of that is also that they are able to slow the pace more often than not against opponents; they have given up just 59.7 points per game, and that is third-best in the nation.
Along those lines, interesting trends for BetAnySports patrons to digest involves the over/under on the game. North Carolina has played nine of its last 11 games under the total, while Virginia has registered seven straight “unders.”
The Cavaliers are shooting pretty well lately, hitting at least 48% of their shots in eight of their last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are not likely to make their living from the outside, as they have converted only 31.4% of their three-point attempts. Against Virginia, which has held four straight opponents to 50 points or less, they are going to have to find their points wherever they can.
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