Notre Dame at North Carolina Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,February 3, 2017 9:25, EDT in

No. 12 North Carolina holds a small lead atop the nation’s best basketball conference this season, the ACC. The Tar Heels are being chased by Virginia and Florida State, however. Meanwhile, No. 20 Notre Dame was the last ACC team to lose in conference but is on a major slide heading to Chapel Hill on Saturday. Let’s take a look at the college basketball betting preview for the game.

Notre Dame at North Carolina Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 6 PM ET
Where: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioNotre Dame / North Carolina
Opening NCAAB Lines: UNC favored by TBA

Why Bet On Notre Dame?

The Irish have lost three straight and four of five. Down 13 points midway through the second half Monday, Notre Dame (17-6, 6-4 ACC) scored 12 straight points to cut a Duke lead to one point at 63-62 with over six minutes left in the game. However, it was as close as the Irish would get, as the Blue Devils pulled away in the closing minutes to win by a final of 84-74.

Senior forward V.J. Beachem scored a team-high 20 points on 7-of- 14 shooting and added three rebounds. Junior forward Bonzie Colson added 17 points, finishing 8-of- 12 from the field, and finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. The other two Irish players to finish in double figures were freshman guard T.J. Gibbs, who scored 12, and junior guard Matt Farrell, who totaled 11.

Notre Dame, normally a model of efficiency at the free-throw line and the top team in the country in that category coming into the game, missed nine from the stripe. Meanwhile, Duke put on a clinic in connecting on 23 of 24.

The Irish went small most of the night, with starting center Martinas Geben playing only seven minutes. That had something to do with Duke’s 38-26 final edge on the boards. Senior guard Steve Vasturia has been named one of 10 watch list finalists for the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. Vasturia boasts one of the strongest all-around games in college basketball, averaging 14.1 points-per- game, 3.5 rebounds-per- game and 3.2 assists-per- game while shooting .410 from three-point range and .923 from the free throw line.

Why Bet On North Carolina?

The Heels beat Pitt 80-78 on Tuesday in a game much closer than expected. Justin Jackson led UNC with 20 points. It was his fourth straight game scoring at least 20, which is the longest streak in his three seasons. Jackson has converted his weakness from last season — he shot 29 percent from 3-point range – – into a strength. He entered Tuesday ranked seventh in the ACC, with a 40.1 shooting percentage from 3.

“The difference is he’s making them,” said senior Isaiah Hicks, who had 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds. “Of course, Justin’s taking them. He worked really hard. You see him every day working on his shot. It’s all about his work ethic, and it shows.”

Carolina shot 50 percent from the floor, the ninth time this year UNC has shot 50 percent or better. UNC is 8-1 this year when it shoots 50 percent. Pitt shot 55.6 percent from the floor, the highest percentage by an opponent this year (previous was .541 by Kentucky).

Carolina out-rebounded the Panthers, 31-23, including 15-6 in offensive rebounds. Carolina scored 20 second-chance points, the 13th time UNC has scored 20 or more second-chance points. The Tar Heels have won all 13 of those games. The Tar Heels’ ACC schedule was back-loaded with difficult games. Through their first nine ACC games, Florida State was the only team they faced in the top five of the league standings. Now they prepare to face six nationally ranked teams in their final eight games, starting with Notre Dame.

They’re still doing it without junior forward Theo Pinson, who missed his second straight game after rolling his right ankle against Virginia Tech last week. UNC coach Roy Williams said Pinson will “start back working some” this week, but he will not play against the Irish.

Notre Dame at North Carolina Expert Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels

This is the only meeting of the season between the teams. Go Heels on NCAA odds.