ACC Betting Picks: North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Tech Hokies

#8 North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Tech Hokies
Cassell Coliseum – Blacksburg, Virginia
Thursday, January 19, 2012, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: North Carolina -6
Current Line: North Carolina -7
Opening Total: 144
Current Total: 144
Opening Money Line: UNC -300 / Virginia Tech +250
Current Money Line: UNC -330 / Virginia Tech +280

North Carolina tries to rebound from a 90-57 loss at Florida St Saturday as they travel to Virginia tech Thursday night. The Tar Heels are 7 point favorites.

The 15-3 North Caolina Tar Heels are coming off a 90-57 blowout loss at Florida St that dropped the Tar Heels to 2-1 in the ACC. UNC is part of a three team pack a game behind 3-0 Duke and a half game behind 3-1 Florida St.  Now North Carolina tries to rebound as they travel to Blacksburg to take on the 11-6 Virginia Tech Hokies. Virginia Tech is in last place in the ACC after an 0-3 start. However, all conference losses are by 4 points or less, including a 61-59 loss at Boston College Saturday. North Carolina leads the series 61-13 all time against Virginia Tech, including 18-5 in Blacksburg. The Tar Heels won last year in Chapel Hill 64-61 in the only meeting between the schools.

North Carolina is coached by Roy Williams. The Tar Heels have additional losses to now #14 UNLV in a tournament in Las Vegas  and at #2 Kentucky. The FSU loss snapped a 9 game winning streak for UNC. The Tar Heels have wins over Michigan St, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Evansville, Long Beach St, Texas, Boston College and Miami-Florida.

Virginia Tech is coached by Seth Greenberg. The Hokies have additional losses to Syracuse in the pre-season NIT in New York, Minnesota, and Kansas St. Virginia Tech has wins over Florida International, Oklahoma St twice, St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island, and Eastern Michigan.

North Carolina is outscoring opponents 85-67 this season. The Tar Heels are #1 in the country in scoring. North Carolina shoots 47.8% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. UNC makes 63.7% from the free throw line. The Tar Heels lead the nation in rebounding with 46.1 rebounds a game, with a rebounding margin of +10.9. The Tar Heels average 18.7 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 7.6 steals, and 5.9 blocks a game. UNC is 5th nationally in assists. UNC opponents are shooting 38.6% from 3 point range, and 30.9% from 3 point range. The Heels force 14.8 turnovers a game on defense.

UNC forward Harrison Barnes averages 16.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. He makes 44.2% of his 3 point attempts. John henson averages 14.4 points, 9.7 rebounds to lead the team, 1.5 assists, and 3 blocks a game to lead the team. Tyler Zeller averages 14.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks a game. Reggie Bullock averages 8.5 points, and 4.5 rebounds a game. Dexter Strickland and Kendall Marshall lead the team in steals with 1.4 a game. Marshall also leads the Heels in assists with 9.6 a game. Forward Desmond Hubert is questionable with an ankle injury, and guard Leslie McDonald is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Virginia Tech is outscoring opponents 69-60 this season. The Hokies are shooting 43.6% from 3 point range, and 35.7% from 3 point range. Virginia Tech shoots 75.3% from the free throw line. The Hokies average 36.1 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +3.4. Virginia Tech averages 12.6 assists, 13 turnovers, 6.4 steals, and 4.2 blocks a game. Hokie opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 26.2% from 3 point range. Virginia Tech is #3 nationally in opponents’ three point percentage. The Hokies force 13.4 turnovers a game.

Virginia Tech guard Erick Green averages 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. He leads the Hokies in scoring, assists, and steals. He makes 40.4% of his 3 point shot. Green is probable with a knee injury after missing the Boston College game. Dorenzo Hudson averages 11.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists a game. Jarell Eddie averages 9.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists a game. He makes 50% of his 3 point attempts. Dorian Finney-Smith leads the Hokies in rebounds with 8.2 a game and is tied for the team lead in blocks with Cadaraian Raines with 0.9 a game. J.T. Thompson is out for the season with a knee injury.

Virginia Tech is 5-7-1 against the spread and the total is 4-9 this season. North Carolina is 9-8 ATS and the total is 8-9 this season. Virginia Tech has covered 5 of the last 6 against North Carolina, and 5 of the last 7 have gone under  the total. The Tar Heels are 4-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 6-2 in road games against teams with winning road records, 37-18-1 after a straight up loss, 1-4-1 in ACC games, and 0-4 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more. The Hokies are 4-0 ATS in Thursday games, 4-1 as a home underdog, 5-2 at home against teams with losing road records, 1-3-1 as an underdog, 3-11-1 against with a winning record, 1-4 after a straight up loss, and as a home underdog of 7-12.5 points, 0-3-1 as an underdog of 7-12.5 points, and 0-5 against ACC teams.

North Carolina should be pretty angry after getting humiliated by Florida St. North Carolina should win and cover rather easily especially with a banged up green for Virginia Tech.

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