North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Michigan State Spartans: NCAA Basketball Odds and Predictions

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Michigan State Spartans
Wednesday, 12/4/13, 9:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -9
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -9
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan State Spartans have been known to cover the number as 6.5 to 9 points home favorites
The Michigan State Spartans have been known to cover the number as 6.5 to 9 points home favorites

North Carolina will play the nation’s top-ranked team on the road Wednesday night, as it looks to bounce back from a 63-59 setback to the UAB Blazers as 7.5-point favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total of 161.5.  The Tar Heels are 6-0 SU against the Spartans under head coach Roy Williams, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball odds page.  The program is 7-7 SU in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with all seven wins coming in the last 10 years with Williams on the bench.  North Carolina is 6-1 ATS after scoring 60 or fewer points the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 4-3 in that situation.

The Tar Heels have 12 wins over No. 1 teams, which is more than any other school in NCAA history—something that can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks.  North Carolina leading scorer Marcus Paige was held to eight points below his season average last time out, as he missed on all six shot attempts from beyond the arc.  He scored 58 points in two wins the previous weekend against Richmond and Louisville.

Michigan State is off to a perfect 7-0 start under longtime head coach Tom Izzo, with sophomore guard Gary Harris leading a quartet of players averaging in double figures, as he comes in scoring 17.7 points per game.  The Spartans lead the nation in assists and assists-to-turnover ratio.  Point guard Keith Appling is a major part of that production, while he’s also knocked down 12 of 23 attempts from beyond the arc.  Michigan State is 34-9 ATS in its last 43 opportunities as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points.

The Spartans are running more than usual this season, which has led to a scoring average of 85.9 points per game, with 20.4 coming in transition.  Michigan State is 3-11 SU all-time against North Carolina, but the two storied programs have split their four challenge games.  The team is shooting 73.2 from the charity stripe, with the three players attempting the most free throws all hitting at or above that number.

Sports bettors will likely back the Spartans due to the favorite being 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings of the series.

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