NC State at North Carolina Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Friday,January 6, 2017 9:52, EST in

There is nothing the NC State basketball team would rather do in a given season than beat rival North Carolina, especially in Chapel Hill. The Wolfpack have a reasonable shot on Saturday when they visit the No. 14 Tar Heels, who might get a key player back from injury. UNC will be a solid college basketball betting favorite.

NC State at North Carolina Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Jan. 7, 8 PM ET
Where: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill,
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioNC State / North Carolina
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: UNC favored by TBA

Why Bet On NC State?

The Wolfpack (12-3) come off perhaps their best outing of the season, a 104-78 blowout of a No. 21 Virginia Tech team that dominated Duke last weekend. Freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. made some history in becoming just the second Wolfpack player ever to record a triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds. Smith joined Julius Hodge in the elite club, who recorded his triple-double Dec. 14, 2002 against NC A&T with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Smith has led NC State in scoring in five of the last six games and has led the team in assists and steals in seven straight games.

In addition to Smith’s triple-double, Abdul-Malik Abu added a double-double win 20 points and 11 rebounds. Terry Henderson added 22 points and Maverick Rowan scored 13. NC State came out fast and quickly staked a double-digit lead, and after shooting nearly 70% from the field, held a 25-point halftime lead. Virginia Tech turned it over 20 times and also struggled inside the arc, making only 12-for- 28 attempts (42.9%). NC State dominated the game down low, posting a 62-24 advantage in points in the paint and a 40-25 advantage in total rebounds.

NC State’s 104 points marked the first time the Pack has scored 100 points since it defeated ECU 100-66 on Nov. 19th 2004 in Raleigh. The last time NC State scored 100 points against an ACC opponent was at home versus Maryland on Feb. 27th, 1991 with a, 114-91 victory.

Counting Terry Henderson (who only played the first six minutes of the season last year before being injured and lost for the year), 72.1% of the minutes (2038 of 2825 minutes) played for NC State this season have been by players that did not play for the Wolfpack last season.

The Pack have 181 wins all-time over top-25 teams. Coach Mark Gottfried has 10 wins over top-25 teams in his time coaching NC State.

Why Bet On North Carolina?

The Heels (13-3) are off an 89-86 OT win over Clemson. Joel Berry had career highs with 31 points and seven 3-pointers as the 14th-ranked Tar Heels bounced back from their ACC opening loss to Georgia Tech. Berry hit 12 of 19 shots, was seven of 10 from 3-point range and played all but 4 of the 45 minutes. Kennedy Meeks’ basket with 1:12 left in overtime put North Carolina ahead for good. Meeks finished with 14 points and tied his career best with 16 rebounds. It was his fifth double-double this season.

The Tar Heels had a 23-3 edge in second chance points and 23 offensive boards to Clemson’s 22 defensive. It was UNC’s 7th time this year w/20 2nd chance points. Berry’s 31 points are most by a Tar Heel at Clemson since Wayne Ellington went for 36 in an overtime win in 2008. Clemson shot 53.3 from the floor in the first half but only 15 of 38 (39.4 percent) in second half and extra period.

Carolina is now 60-53 in overtime including 10-9 under Roy Williams. UNC has won seven of last nine OT games. But the Heels could easily be 0-2 in the ACC and are struggling to hang onto the ball. In the two conference games this season, North Carolina has turned the ball over a whopping 38 times.

The Heels could get back Theo Pinson for this game. He has yet to play this season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot. Pinson, who was expected to enter the season as a starter, dressed on Tuesday vs. Clemson as if he might play. He has been doing that for about two weeks now, dressing as if he’s ready to go. Pinson on Tuesday said went through two full practices in the days before the game at Clemson. His foot felt “real good,” he said, after going through those practices.

Pinson is arguably UNC’s best defensive player, which showed last season during a Final Four run. He’s also another scoring option for the Tar Heels on the perimeter. He averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds last season but was expected to take a bigger role in 2016-17.

NC State at North Carolina Free Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels

Go UNC at home in NCAA basketball betting.