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North Carolina vs. Kentucky - 12/22/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Kentucky Wildcats (8-2) at North Carolina Tar Heels (8-2)
Date & Time Saturday December 22, 2018, 5:15 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -4.5 -- Over/Under: 165
TV Channel
CBS
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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels meet Saturday in college basketball action at the United Center.

The Kentucky Wildcats look to stay hot after winning eight of their last nine games. The Kentucky Wildcats are averaging 84.6 points on 49.8 percent shooting and allowing 70.3 points on 42.8 percent shooting. Keldon Johnson is averaging 16.1 points and 1.3 assists while Reid Travis is averaging 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds. PJ Washington is the third double-digit scorer and Tyler Herro is grabbing 3.9 rebounds. The Kentucky Wildcats are shooting 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 75.4 percent from the free throw line. The Kentucky Wildcats are allowing 39 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 36.9 rebounds per game. The Kentucky Wildcats have split their last six non-home games.

The North Carolina Tar Heels look for another victory after winning six of their last eight games. The North Carolina Tar Heels are averaging 94.3 points on 49.5 percent shooting and allowing 75.3 points on 42.2 percent shooting. Cameron Johnson is averaging 16.6 points and 5.2 rebounds while Coby White is averaging 15.2 points and 3.9 assists. Luke Maye is the third double-digit scorer and Nassir Little is grabbing 4.6 rebounds. The North Carolina Tar Heels are shooting 37.1 percent from beyond the arc and 73.6 percent from the free throw line. The North Carolina Tar Heels are allowing 33.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.4 rebounds per game. The North Carolina Tar Heels have won three of their last five non-home games.

The Wildcats are 17-8-2 ATS in their last 27 neutral site games, 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. Atlantic Coast and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games. The Tar Heels are 20-7-2 ATS in their last 29 vs. Southeastern, 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The Wildcats are 3-9-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings. The over is 8-1 in Tar Heels last 9 overall. The over is 15-6 in Wildcats last 21 non-conference games.

The Kentucky Wildcats as an underdog is always intriguing, but this young club still has issues on defense and the two best teams they played this season, they lost. The North Carolina Tar Heels are a scoring machine and just rocked Gonzaga last week rather easily. In fact, North Carolina is averaging 90 points on 47.2 percent shooting in its last five games. I'm not trying to step in front of the Tar Heels right now. Kentucky is a team that's going to run out of gas in this contest. I'll lay the reasonable number with UNC. 

Pick:
North Carolina Tar Heels -4.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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