College Basketball Picks Against the Spread: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

No. 20 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at North Carolina Tar Heels
Saturday, 12/29/12, 2:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  North Carolina -5
Current Betting Line:  North Carolina -4
Opening Total:  158
Current Total:  158
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The North Carolina Tar Heels are 0-4 ATS versus teams that allow 64 or less points this season

UNLV has won nine games in a row, as it comes off an 89-74 win over Canisius as 14.5-point home favorites, which improved the team’s record to 7-1 at the Thomas & Mack Center.  “Now we have a great opportunity against a storied program like North Carolina and a coach like Roy Williams,” stated Runnin’ Rebels head coach Dave Rice.  The Runnin’ Rebels are led by freshman forward Anthony Bennett, who is averaging 19.5 points per game.  UNLV is 0-2 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points over the last two-plus seasons, which is important to consider when making your college basketball picks against the spread Saturday.

The Runnin’ Rebels have just one win in four meetings against the Tar Heels, with that coming in a 90-80 victory as eight-point underdogs last season.  UNLV has compiled a dominating 26-2 record in the months of November and December during his time on the sidelines, but the program is just 1-5 ATS in its last six opportunities when playing with five or six days rest.

North Carolina has won four of its last five games and ranks third nationally in averaging 84.0 points per game, while leading all teams in dishing out 20.1 assists.  The Tar Heels will be playing their second ranked opponent of the season, as they were handed an 83-59 blowout loss by the Indiana Hoosiers on Nov. 27.  In looking over the college basketball odds page, it’s important to note that the squad has won its last 62 non-conference games at the Smith Center.  North Carolina is 0-4 ATS versus good defensive teams this year that allow 64 or fewer points per game.

The Tar Heels are averaging 21.4 attempts from beyond the arc per game, which is the most through 12 games of any season during the Williams era in Chapel Hill.  North Carolina leads the ACC in averaging 8.0 3-point makes per game, while sitting fourth in shooting 37.4 percent.

Sports bettors will likely back the Runnin’ Rebels due to their 4-3 ATS mark versus winning teams, while the Tar Heels are 1-2 ATS as home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points.

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