2018 ACC Tournament Championship Game: Odds, College Basketball Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09:  Ty Jerome #11 of the Virginia Cavaliers and Kyle Guy #5 celebrate a basket against the Clemson Tigers during the semifinals of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the  Barclays Center on March 9, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers (30-2) will attempt to win their first ACC tournament title since 2014 when they face the sixth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (25-9) in Saturday's ACC Championship Game. This is a rematch of the title matchup from two years ago when the top-seeded Tar Heels edged the second-seeded Cavaliers 61-57 as 2.5-point favorites.

College basketball point spread: The Cavaliers opened as four-point favorites; the total is at 130.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).

College basketball betting pick, via OddsShark computer:71.0-66.7, Cavaliers (College basketball picks on every game).

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Why the Tar Heels can cover the spread

North Carolina is battle-tested and has proved to be a tough out the past few seasons, avenging last year's loss to the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the ACC tournament semifinals by beating them 74-69 as four-point underdogs on Friday.

The 12th-ranked Tar Heels now own two wins in three meetings with Duke, and they will take on Virginia for just the second time after falling 61-49 as 4.5-point road underdogs on January 6. North Carolina has turned things around after losing its last two games of the regular season, reeling off three straight wins and covering the spread each time in this tournament.

           

Why the Cavaliers can cover the spread

The top-ranked Cavaliers will earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, win or lose, but you can bet they want to earn another victory against the Tar Heels in this spot and stay hot. They have won the past two meetings thanks to stellar defense, holding the defending national champions to fewer than 50 points both times.

Virginia is coming off a 64-58 win over the fourth-seeded Clemson Tigers on Friday, holding on after seeing a 14-point lead cut to five with 7 minutes and 22 seconds remaining. The biggest positive, though, is that leading scorer Kyle Guy has averaged 17 points on 50 percent shooting from the field in the tournament after totaling 13 combined in the previous three games due to a knee injury.

           

Smart betting pick

North Carolina seems to be playing as well as any team in the country again and will try to lean on its championship experience in this matchup. But much like the Cavaliers, the Tar Heels nearly let a big lead disappear vs. the Blue Devils, surrendering a 13-2 run in the final 5:21 before advancing.

Virginia is a much better defensive team than North Carolina, obviously, and that will be the difference. The Cavaliers will jump out to another early lead and tighten the screws late to pick up the win and cover.

            

College basketball betting trends

North Carolina is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games.

Virginia is 2-4 ATS in its last six games.

The total has gone under in 14 of Virginia's last 20 games.

                 

All college basketball odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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