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Betting On North Carolina Virginia - Virginia Tries To Stop The Bleeding At Home

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/10/2014 4:14:41 AM

The Virginia Cavaliers are still quite likely to make the NCAA Tournament, but a win at home against the North Carolina Tar Heels would make them a lock for the upcoming Big Dance.

North Carolina Tar Heels @ Virginia Cavaliers - Saturday, February 25
Sports betting line: No line

Why North Carolina Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, it’s hard to avoid a very simple conclusion: North Carolina is likely to overwhelm Virginia on the glass. The Tar Heels have not been shooting the ball well from three-point range this season, but even when they miss, their big men – Tyler Zeller and John Henson – are frequently able to rebound the ball. On eight occasions this season, the Tar Heels have grabbed at least 20 offensive rebounds. That’s simply a ridiculous statistic, and it’s also an indication of the profound advantage the Heels have even when they miss shots.

Zeller and Henson own large wingspans and can pluck the ball over and against smaller, less athletic defenders. It’s true that Carolina’s perimeter players need to hit more threes, but even if Virginia slows this game down and plays at the pace it wants, the Tar Heels are still likely to win the rebounding battle; unless it turns the ball over a lot, North Carolina is in very good position to win this game in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Why Virginia Will Win

The college basketball betting experts who follow the Atlantic Coast Conference for a living know that Virginia has struggled recently; the Cavaliers enter this game without a winning record in the month of February. A hand injury has limited the effectiveness of leading scorer Mike Scott, and the Cavaliers have wilted at the offensive end of the floor. However, coach Tony Bennett – who has steadily improved the program in his tenure – regularly gets his team to play sound halfcourt defense, and that’s exactly what can counter North Carolina’s foremost strengths.

North Carolina wants to push the pace and get out in transition; that’s the style Tar Heel coach Roy Williams desires. Bennett, though, won’t let Williams engineer a racehorse game from the bench. Virginia will slow the tempo, pack in its defense, and make it hard for Tar Heel point guard Kendall Marshall to feed the ball to big man Tyler Zeller in the low post.

The only perimeter shooter Virginia has to worry about is Carolina two-guard Harrison Barnes. If Virginia can contain Barnes as a three-point shooter, the other four Cavs on the floor can make life difficult for Zeller and minimize the impact of North Carolina’s size and length near the basket. The ingredients exist for a Virginia upset, and they exist at the defensive end of the floor.

Who Will Win

It’s a nasty place for Virginia to be: Even if the Cavaliers play great defense, they have to protect the defensive backboard, and that’s very hard to do against North Carolina’s length. This game will probably be low-scoring and tailored to Tony Bennett’s tastes, but even then, North Carolina is likely to get 15 offensive rebounds and enough second-chance points to win a close game. Take the Tar Heels on the road.

College Basketball Betting Pick: North Carolina

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