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North Carolina vs Kentucky Betting Odds - Calipari ends Kentucky jinx against UNC

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/5/2014 1:55:22 AM

NCAA Basketball Odds: Pick Kentucky


Kentucky jumped to the head of the class as soon as John Calipari signed on to coach in Lexington, and the Wildcats have gotten off to a good start while learning his fast-paced system. The Wildcats will host their annual meeting with North Carolina this weekend in what should be an offensive track meet, but it is defense and the crowd that will help Kentucky.

WHAT: NCAA basketball betting
WHEN: Saturday, December 5, 12:30 PM ET
WHERE: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
KEY STAT: North Carolina has won five in a row over Kentucky


North Carolina vs Kentucky betting odds maker breakdown: THE STORYLINE
The No.11 Tar Heels (7-1) are coming off an 89-82 win over No.9 Michigan State in a rematch of last year’s national championship game, shooting a blistering 57.9% from the field. This will be the first “real” test for No.5 Kentucky (7-0) under new coach John Calipari, who is looking to restore the Wildcats to greatness after building a powerhouse at Memphis.


North Carolina vs Kentucky betting odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
Some wondered if the UNC attack would suffer with all the talent they lost to the NBA. Well, so far, so good for the Tar Heels, who are tied for 16th in the nation in points scored. They shot the lights out against a good Michigan State defense, although they hit only 18 of their 30 free-throw attempts. They don’t waste shots, shooting at a 52.3% clip for the season, led by the inside duo of Ed Davis and Keon Thompson.

The Wildcats are catching on Calipari’s dribble-drive offense, shooting 51.5% from the floor. Freshman guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe are as good as anyone in the country, and some say Wall could be the top overall pick if he decided to leave school early. Patrick Patterson holds down the fort in the post. One thing you have to know when you play a Calipari-coached team: the pace will be fast.

Betting Edge: Draw


North Carolina vs Kentucky betting odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
UNC’s defense let them down a bit late against the Spartans, as they almost let a 19-point lead slip away in the second half. But the potential is there for a lockdown unit. Davis is a genuine shotblocker with 2.4 swats per game, and Marcus Ginyard is a perimeter stopper. The Tar Heels are also a very good rebounding team, leading the nation in total boards.

The Wildcats aren’t far behind in 11th on the glass, led by Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins. Wall has also been known to hit the boards for Kentucky, who seem to have things sorted out after allowing 92 points to Sam Houston State in the third game of the year. Wall and Bledsoe are tailor-made for Calipari’s high-pressure system, both averaging around two steals a game.

Betting Edge: Kentucky


North Carolina vs Kentucky betting odds maker breakdown: COACHING
Roy Williams had the troops fired up for Michigan State and got them out to a fast start, although you know he wasn’t happy about the late defensive lapses. He’s not a yeller as a coach, but Williams gets his teams up for big games, even since he was back at Kansas.

Calipari got a number of recruits, notably Wall, to follow him to Lexington after he left Memphis, so that shows how much players love to play for him. Calipari also gets his teams motivated for big games, as he proved at Memphis, who reached the Sweet 16, at least, in four straight years, including 2008’s overtime loss to Kansas in the title game.

Betting Edge: Draw


North Carolina vs Kentucky betting odds maker breakdown: BETTING PREDICTION
Kentucky owned this series from 2000-2004, but the Tar Heels have won the last five games, including a 77-58 win at home last year. The Wildcats should be single-digit favorites at home on Saturday, and the over has to be attractive to online betting players as both of these teams play at a fast pace and love to get up and down the floor. There will be matchups all over the floor to watch, particularly between Davis and Patterson in the post, and Wall and Ginyard on the perimeter. The difference in this game will be homecourt advantage at Rupp, as well as the Wildcats’ slight edge on defense.

WASHINGTON’S PICK: Kentucky


For more sports betting picks to warm up for March Madness, bookmark Washington in the Betting Edge at BetOnline. Visit the stats section for more information on the North Carolina vs Kentucky betting matchup.

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