North Carolina at Pittsburgh Spread, Betting Pick & TV Info

North Carolina at Pittsburgh Spread, Pick & TV Info

Written by on February 23, 2017

Potential trap game for No. 8 North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The Heels continue their push for the ACC regular-season title but are off a tough matchup vs. No. 7 Louisville on Wednesday. Pittsburgh can play spoiler and perhaps boost its NIT hopes with an upset as Pitt will be a solid underdog in NCAAB spreads.

North Carolina at Pittsburgh Spread, Betting Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 25, Noon ET Where: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh TV: ACC Extra Stream: WatchESPN RadioNorth Carolina / Pittsburgh Opening NCAAB Lines: UNC favored by TBA

Why Bet On North Carolina?

Wednesday’s game vs. Louisville at the Smith Center was the 31 st AP Top-10 game there in its 32 seasons of operation. It was the first time the Cardinals were in the building for a top-10 showdown. Nearly half (14) of the 32 games at the 21,750-seat arena have been against Duke, and Carolina holds an 8-6 mark in those contests. Louisville was a the 12th non-Duke opponent to come to the Smith Center for a top-10 game. The most frequent non-Duke opponent in top-10 games might surprise you—it’s Maryland, against whom the Tar Heels are 2-1 in top-10 battles in the Smith Center. The Terps are also the most recent top-10 game in the building, as No. 9 Carolina won an 89-81 decision over No. 2 Maryland on Dec. 1, 2015. Carolina’s 32 top-10 matchups at the Smith Center will tie for the most in the ACC in that same stretch. Carolina is fifth in the NCAA’s RPI. The Tar Heels’ opponents collectively have the ninth-best RPI in the nation. The NCAA ranks Carolina’s strength of schedule as the 19 th most difficult in the nation. Justin Jackson is second in the ACC with 2.64 three-point field goals per game. That is also the second-highest made threes per game in UNC single-season history behind Shammond Williams, who made 2.71 per game when he made a UNC-record 95 threes in 1996-97. Carolina is third in the nation in assists per game, fifth in scoring margin, sixth in points per game and eighth in assist-turnover ratio. Sophomore guard Kenny Williams is expected to miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair his right knee on 2/21. As a result, the Tar Heels will finish the season having started only four games (NC State, Wake Forest, Boston College and Virginia Tech) and finished two with their full roster (NC State and Boston College; Tony Bradley was injured in the first half at Wake Forest and Theo Pinson was injured in the first half vs. Virginia Tech).

Why Bet On Pittsburgh?

Pitt recorded its second win over an AP-ranked opponent last Saturday, besting No. 17 Florida State, 80- 66, at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt limited Florida State to a season-low 29 points on 34.4 percent (11-of- 32) shooting from the field in the second half of play. The Panthers shot 54.5 percent (12-of- 22) from the field in the second half of play and 51.0 percent (26-of- 51) from the field for the game. Pitt is now 8-2 on the season when shooting 50 percent or better from the field. Michael Young leads the ACC in scoring at 20.2 points per game, while Jamel Artis is just under the 20.0 point per game mark (19.6 ppg.). Georgia Tech was the last ACC school to have at least two 20-point scorers for a season when Dennis Scott (27.7 ppg.), Brian Oliver (21.3 ppg.) and Kenny Anderson (20.6 ppg.) accomplished that feat during the 1989-90 season. Artis and Young are two of the seven players in the NCAA averaging at least 19.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game on the year. Pitt is 14-4 on the year when shooting a higher percentage from the field than its opposition. The Panthers are 8-2 on the season when shooting over 50 percent from the field. Pitt’s 8.2 three-point field goals per game are the most in a season in program history. The Panthers visited North Carolina on Jan. 31 and lost just 80-78. Jackson had 20 points, Joel Berry II had 19 points, Isaiah Hicks added 18 and Kennedy Meeks finished with 10 for the Tar Heels, who never trailed but also never got comfortable against the Panthers. Cameron Johnson matched a career high with 24 points and hit a career-best six 3-pointers, Young finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Artis had 17 points for Pitt, which shot nearly 56 percent. Artis missed an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer.

North Carolina at Pittsburgh Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Panthers

I like Pitt not just with the points, but I believe the Panthers will win outright (but take the points).