North Carolina Tar Heels (4-2) at Kentucky Wildcats (1-4)
College Basketball: Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 2:00 pm (Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse)
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats +3 -- Over/Under: 139 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Kentucky Wildcats meet Saturday in college basketball action from Quicken Loans Arena.
North Carolina comes into this matchup at 4-2 so far. The Tar Heels had fallen in consecutive games to Texas and Iowa before getting a win over NC Central last weekend. As for Kentucky, they’re skidding at 1-4 this year. The Wildcats have lost four straight games and are coming off a one-point loss to Notre Dame. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
North Carolina has been all over the place though six games, from blowout wins to a double-digit loss to close victories and one tight defeat. The Tar Heels opened up at 3-0 before falling 69-67 to Texas and 93-80 to Iowa. Last Saturday, North Carolina got back on track with a 73-67 win over NC Central.
In the win over the Eagles, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot led the team on a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Both Caleb Love and Day’Ron Sharpe notched 12 points apiece, combining for six assists and nine boards.
Over on the Kentucky side, they started the year with an 81-45 win over Morehead State, but have lost four consecutive games since then. The Wildcats have fallen to Richmond 76-64, Kansas 65-62, Georgia Tech 79-62 and Notre Dame 64-63.
In the tough loss to the Irish, Kentucky’s top scorer was Olivier Sarr on 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Terrence Clarke and Brandon Boston each notched 14 points while combining for five assists and six rebounds in the defeat.
Kentucky is 15-5-2 ATS in their last 22 neutral-site games as an underdog and 5-1 ATS in their last six games as an underdog. The under is 6-2 in the Wildcats’ last eight neutral-site games and 4-1 in their last five Saturday games.
Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS in their last five Saturday games and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite. North Carolina is 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games overall and the under is 7-1 in their last eight overall.
PICK: I’m going to take a shot on Kentucky here. The Wildcats fought back in the second half against Notre Dame, turning a 48-26 deficit into a one-point loss by allowing just 16 points after the break. As for North Carolina, they were pretty underwhelming in their last appearance, notching 18 turnovers and an ugly 13.3 percent on 3-point shooting. There’s not a huge chance that Kentucky wins here, but I think they can stay in range well enough to cover.