College Basketball Picks: Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Betting Odds

Doc MosemanCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2013

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 23:  James Michael McAdoo #43 of the North Carolina Tar Heels battles for a rebound with Daniel Miller #5 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during play at the Dean Smith Center on January 23, 2013 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will try and curtail a three-game slide in the ACC with a trip to Chapel Hill to tangle with the North Carolina Tar Heels this Tuesday night.

All the action from the Dean E. Smith Center gets underway at 7 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

It has been a rough ride for Wake Forest in conference play this season. Saturday’s 86-60 loss to Maryland as an 11-point road underdog dropped it to just 3-6 in the ACC and under .500 on the year (10-11 straight up). The Demon Deacons have gone 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games, and the total has gone “over” in five of their last seven.

North Carolina continues to battle its way into the ACC regular season title picture with a 5-1 record in its last six conference games. The Tar Heels are now 15-6 SU (11-8 ATS) overall this season and 5-3 in ACC play. The total has gone over in three of their last four games.


Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Betting Storylines

Effectively shooting the ball continues to be a big issue for Wake Forest. Overall, it is hitting 43.1 percent from the field, but this drops to just 38.9 percent on the road. It is averaging 67.8 points a game while giving up 70.4. These numbers also head in the wrong direction on the road with a scoring average of just 63.5 points versus 72.9 points by its opponents.

To have any shot at pulling off the upset in this matchup, the Demon Deacons will need a huge effort from Travis McKie and CJ Harris. Each is averaging close to 15 points a game, with Harris leading the team in rebounds with 7.9. He is also the team’s best pure shooter; hitting 46.7 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range. He has been especially accurate from the foul line in converting on 83.2 percent of his attempts.

Getting tagged with five losses in its first 16 games—including a 0-2 start in the ACC—was not what head coach Roy Williams envisioned for his team before the season started. However, he is well aware that in college basketball it is all about how you finish and not how you start.

North Carolina’s recent run in the conference has it primed for a much more important run in tournament time this March. The Tar Heels have posted double-digit margins of victory in their last four wins, including a 72-60 score against Virginia Tech their last time out in a game that actually went into overtime.

James Michael McAdoo leads a trio of players scoring in double figures with 15 points a game while pulling down a team-high 8.6 rebounds, but he remains a game-time decision for this contest with a sore back. North Carolina is averaging 78.7 points a game, which is the eighth-highest total in the nation. The team is shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from three-point range. It is ranked second in the nation in rebounds with an average of 42.4 a game.


Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Betting Odds and Trends by BetOnline

BetOnline has opened North Carolina as a 12-point home favorite now that McAdoo has been upgraded to probable for tonight. The “over/under” is listed at 147.

The Demon Deacons are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record and 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games following an ATS loss. The total has gone over in six of their last eight games following a SU loss.

The Tar Heels are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a losing record and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU win. The total has stayed under in their last five home games.

Head-to-head in this matchup, the underdog has covered the last five times and the total has stayed under in the last four meetings. Wake Forest is 7-2 ATS in its last nine road games against North Carolina.


College Basketball Picks: Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Betting Predictions

The past trends in this matchup tend to lean heavily in Wake Forest’s favor, but the current form of both these teams clearly does not. Even if McAdoo is a scratch, stick with the Tar Heels all the way in this one as they still have enough of an edge talent-wise to easily handle the Demon Deacons on their home court.


Take # 512 North Carolina (-12) over Wake Forest (Tuesday, Feb.5, 7 p.m.)