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Virginia vs. North Carolina - 1/6/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

North Carolina Tar Heels (12-3) at Virginia Cavaliers (13-1)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm (John Paul Jones Arena)

The Line: Virginia Cavaliers -5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The 12th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels will travel to John Paul Jones Arena to take on the 8th ranked Virginia Cavaliers this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The 12th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels dropped to 12-3 (1-1 ACC) on the season after being defeated by the 24th ranked Florida State Seminoles, 81-80, this past Wednesday. North Carolina fought back after trailing by a 51-40 margin at halftime, however, couldn’t take advantage of some missed FT’s by the Seminoles and the Tar Heels, Joel Berry II, couldn’t hit a possible game winning attempt with :07 seconds left in regulation. North Carolina allowed Florida State to shoot 49.1% from the field and 37.9% (11-29) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Tar Heels was Joel Berry II who had 28 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals. On the season, North Carolina is averaging 84.9 ppg on 46.7% shooting from the field. The Tar Heels are averaging 7.9 three-pointers per game on 38.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, North Carolina has been led by Luke Maye (18.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 bpg), Joel Berry II (17.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.1 spg), Kenny Williams (12.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg), and Theo Pinson (9.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.5 apg). Defensively, North Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 72.3 ppg on 40.9% shooting from the field. The Tar Heels have a rebound margin of 12.1 and a turnover margin of -0.3.

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Virginia vs. North Carolina - 1/6/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 8th ranked Virginia Cavaliers won their 5th straight game and improved to 13-1 (2-0 ACC) on the season after defeating Virginia Tech Hokies, 78-52, this past Wednesday. Virginia did a great job of slowing down the offensive attack of the Hokies, and cruised to victory after a 15-0 Cavaliers run gave Virginia a 63-35 lead with 6:53 left in regulation. Virginia held Virginia Tech to 36.2% shooting from the field and 16.7% (2-12) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Cavaliers was Kyle Guy who had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. On the season, Virginia is averaging 71.6 ppg on 47.8% shooting from the field. The Cavaliers are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 40.0% shooting from beyond the arc.  Offensviely, Virginia has been led by Kyle Guy (15.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.1 spg), Devon Hall (11.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.9 apg), Ty Jerome (9.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.2 spg), and Isaiah Wilkins (6.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.4 bpg). Defensively, Virginia is holding their opponents to an average of 52.7 ppg on 36.4% shooting from the field. The Cavaliers have a rebound margin of 3.6 and a turnover margin of 5.1.

The Tar Heels are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 35-17-2 ATS in their last 54 games following a straight up loss. The Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.

North Carolina has lost 2 of their last 4 games, however, this is still one of the better teams in the country as the Tar Heels rank 25th in scoring offense, 3rd in rebound margin, and 99th in FG%. Virginia has been outstanding this season and has one of the best defenses in the country as the Cavaliers rank 1st in scoring defense and 2nd in defensive FG%. Virginia is a great team, however, I think the UNC offense will be able to do some damage against the Virginia defense and as I think the Tar Heels will treat this as a must win, I’m taking North Carolina and the points.  

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