ACC College Basketball Betting Picks: #2 Virginia Cavaliers at #13 North Carolina Tar Heels

#2 Virginia Cavaliers at #13 North Carolina Tar Heels
Dean Smith Center – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Monday, February 2, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Virginia -2
Current Line: Virginia -1
Opening Total: 127 1/2
Current Total: 128
Opening Money Line: Virginia -120 / North Carolina +100
Current Money Line: Virginia -115 / North Carolina -105

Virginia looks to rebound from their first loss of the season as they travel to the North Carolina Tar Heels Monday.
Virginia looks to rebound from their first loss of the season as they travel to the North Carolina Tar Heels Monday.

The 19-1 Virginia Cavaliers suffered their first loss of the season Saturday at home against Duke 69-63. Virginia looks to rebound as they travel to the 17-5 North Carolina Tar Heels Monday night. Virginia and Notre Dame are in a virtual tie for first place in the ACC with the Cavaliers being 7-1 and the Fighting Irish being 8-2. North Carolina is 7-2 and alone in third. The Tar Heels will be tied with Notre Dame for first if they beat Virginia Monday. Louisville is also in the mix at 6-2.

North Carolina leads the series 128-51 including 65-6 in Chapel Hill. This series dates back to 1911. Virginia won the only meeting last year 76-61 in Charlottesville. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season. North Carolina has won 7 of the last 10 games in the series.

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Virginia is coached by Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers have home wins over George Washington, Cleveland State, Harvard, Davidson, North Carolina State, Clemson and Georgia Tech. Virginia has neutral site wins over LaSalle and Rutgers in a tournament in Brooklyn, plus road wins at James Madison, Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth, Miami, Notre Dame, Boston College and Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers are 12-6 ATS and the total is 6-8-1 this season. Virginia was a 5.5 point favorite against Duke and the total was 126.

North Carolina is coached by Roy Williams. The Tar Heels have a neutral site loss to Butler in a tournament in the Bahamas, home losses to Iowa and Notre Dame, plus road losses at Kentucky and Louisville 78-68 in overtime Saturday. The Louisville loss snapped a six game winning streak for UNC. The Tar Heels have key wins over Davidson in Charlotte, UCLA and Florida in the Bahamas, Ohio State in Chicago,  home wins over East Carolina, UAB, William & Mary, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Syracuse,  along with road wins over Clemson, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. North Carolina is 11-10-1 ATS and the total is 11-8-1 this season. The Tar Heels were 5 point underdogs against Louisville and the total was 148.

Virginia is outscoring teams 68-50 this season. The Cavaliers are #1 nationally in points allowed. Virginia is shooting 47% from the field and 38.8% from 3 point range. The Cavaliers are in the top 40 nationally in both categories. Virginia is #15 nationally in free throw shooting at 74.8%. Opponents are shooting 35.1% from the field and 30.4% from 3 point range. Virginia is #2 nationally in field goal defense and #43 in three point defense. The Cavaliers average 38 rebounds per game and allow 24.4 per game. Virginia is #1 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Cavaliers average 13.6 assists, 8.9 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 8.2 assists, 10 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 2.5 blocks per game.

Guard Justin Anderson averages 13.8  points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Malcolm Brogdon averages 13.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Anthony Gill averages 10.9 points, and 6.5 rebounds. Mike Tobey averages 7.6 points and 5.6 rebounds. Darion Atkins averages 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds. London Parrantes averages 4.5 assists per game. Mariel Shayok, Isaiah Wilkins, Evan Nolte and Devon Hall will also get minutes in the rotation.

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North Carolina is outscoring teams 80-67 this season. The Tar Heels are #17 nationally in scoring. North Carolina is shooting 46.6% from the field including 33% from 3 point range. The Tar Heels make 69.2% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 37.3% from the field and 28% from 3 point range. UNC is in the top 10 nationally in both categories. The Tar Heels average 43.5 rebounds per game and allow 30.1. UNC is #2 nationally in rebounding. The Tar Heels average 17.4 assists, 13.1 turnovers, 7.1 steals and 4.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.4 assists, 13.1 turnovers, 7 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.

UNC guard Marcus Paige averages 14.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Forward Kennedy Meeks averages 12.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.3 blocks per game. Forward Brice Johnson averages 11.8 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block per game. Justin Jackson averages 10 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. J.P. Tokoto averages 9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Four other Tar Heels average at least 11 minutes per game. Guards Stilman White, Theo Pinson, Joel Berry II, and Luke Davis, along with forward Sasha Seymore are either out indefinitely or for the season.

Virginia is 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 6-1 in road games, 13-3-1 after failing to cover, 12-3-1 against teams with winning home records, 26-7-2 against teams with winning records, 6-2-1 in Monday games, 20-7-2 against ACC teams, and 29-11-2 overall. The favorite has covered 4 of the last 5 games in this series. The Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 against the Tar Heels.

North Carolina is 55-26-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 1-3-1 in Monday games, and after failing to cover, 2-7 against teams with winning road records, 1-6-1 overall and against ACC teams, 0-4-1 at home and 0-5-1 ATS against teams winning records. The home team has covered the last 6 games in this series.  The under is 9-2 in the series recently including 4-1 in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels are 7-3-1 ATS against the Cavaliers in Chapel Hill recently.

This is a battle of North Carolina’s high scoring offense against Virginia’s smothering defense. Virginia is also excellent at not allowing rebounds while North Carolina is one of the best rebounding teams in the country.  While the injured players don’t play a lot of minutes for North Carolina it still effects their depth. I think Virginia controls the tempo and wins a close game on the road.

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