Now that we’re halfway through the month of February, sportsbook fans can begin to prepare themselves for March Madness betting in the best way possible; by familiarizing themselves with all the nation’s top-contenders. Included in that is of course, NCAAM betting favorites the North Carolina Tar Heels.
No. 10 North Carolina may not have the best odds of avenging their last-second loss in last year’s championship match by winning the 2017 NCAA Tournament, but the Tar Heels will undoubtedly be a legitimate contender. Nevertheless, North Carolina most recently suffered a discouraging 86-78 loss to the Duke Blue Devils that brings into question how deep the Tar Heels will be able to go in this year’s tournament.
North Carolina will get a chance to jump right back on the horse Wednesday night when they face off against North Carolina St. In a climatic ACC showdown with North Carolina bragging rights on the line, the Tar Heels are more than likely to come in as overwhelming sportsbook favorites. Let’s take a look at what kind of lines the bookies are posting for this contest.
NCAAB BETTING ODDS – REGULAR SEASON – Wednesday, February 15th
North Carolina Tar Heels -10½ (-110) 167 (-110) -630
North Carolina St. Wolfpack +10½ (-110) 167 (-110) +465
As most bettors anticipated, North Carolina is in fact a huge favorite over the Wolfpack. The Tar Heels are coming into this bout with a 21-5 record that ranks them 1st in the ACC. However, since both Florida State and Louisville are just a ½ game behind the Tar Heels, North Carolina needs a serious effort down the stretch in order to secure an automatic bid to this year’s tournament by winning the ACC. Furthermore, Duke, Virginia, and Notre Dame are just one game behind North Carolina, so it would not be unfair to say that the ACC is up for grabs.
Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, it does not seem like NC State will be contending for the lead of the Conference. NC State currently ranks 13th in the ACC all thanks to the 14-12 record that they’ve slumped their way to. Additionally, NC State has posted a 3-10 record in conference play that further paints this team as a NCAAM betting underdog against the Tar Heels. There’s no lack of reasons to favor the Tar Heels over the Wolfpack, but one copious reason is the fact that NC State has lost their last 5 games consecutively.
The Wolfpack will turn to leading point-scorer Dennis Smith Jr. to lead them in Wednesday’s game. Smith Jr. is averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. Terry Henderson is second for NC State with his average of 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
The sportsbook favorites are in turn led by Justin Jackson who is netting 18.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Second in points for the Tar Heels is Joel Berry II who is currently draining 14.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game.