NCAA Basketball Picks – Virginia Cavaliers at North Carolina Tar Heels Betting

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Feb/11/2019

The road doesn’t get easier for the Virginia Cavaliers. Coming off a disappointing home loss to Duke on Saturday, the Cavs have no time to dwell on that defeat, which might be a good thing.


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The bad news is that they have another ACC frontrunner in the North Carolina Tar Heels, who have put together a seven-game winning streak to own a share of the league lead with the Dookies. And the Cavs have to travel to the Dean Dome for Monday night’s matchup on ESPN.

Virginia Cavaliers at North Carolina Tar Heels

Date and Time: Monday, February 11, 2019, 7 p.m. ET

Location: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC

Opening CBB Odds: Virginia -1, O/U 142.5

Virginia at North Carolina TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Take Duke out of the equation and Virginia would have a special season in the works. But that’s life in the treacherous ACC. The Cavs’ only two losses this season were administered by the Blue Devils and they allowed the most points of any game in those two contests. With a chance to avenge an earlier loss at Cameron Indoor, the Cavs defense was riddled by a barrage of three-pointers early and never could recover.

Short term memory is needed now that the Cavs have another testy matchup. The Cavs and UNC will face each other for the only time during the regular season and the Heels come in riding a seven-game winning streak after taking down Miami in overtime on Saturday. And that close encounter might have been just what the Heels needed after blitzing the previous four opponents by an average margin of nearly 18 points per game.

In all the years of success on the court at Chapel Hill, the Heels are 9-1 in league play for the first time under Roy Williams. And after seeing what Duke did on Saturday, UNC will try and push the tempo to take UVA out of its defensive alignments. That’s easier said than done, however. And UNC doesn’t have the horses Duke has, so this should be a close affair.

Virginia

This is life in the ACC, going from one dominant team to another. The Cavs are right there with Duke and UNC and need to put the frustration of Saturday’s loss behind them. They also need to play a stronger defensive game. Counting on Duke not shooting the triple and packing the middle to limit the effectiveness of Zion Williamson, the Cavs were torched by 13 Duke triples and the Devils shot 61.9 percent from distance and 57.8 percent overall. But the Cavs aren’t going to deviate from a defensive game plan that’s brought them plenty of success over the years.

And UVA should have a better showing since they are 20-0 against teams not named Duke. In those games the Cavs have surrendered and average of 52 points per game while holding nine of those opponents to fewer than 50 points. In two games against Duke the Cavs surrendered an average of 76.5 points per outing. UVA got Ty Jerome back after he missed a few games with a back injury. He scored 16 points with three steals in 37 minutes and is hoping to be ready with a quick turnaround.

North Carolina

It’s hard to believe UNC had never won nine of its first 10 league games under Williams. But the Heels reached that point by knocking off Miami, 88-85, in overtime on Saturday for their seventh consecutive victory. And they way they’ve been able to score the basketball in that stretch could present a problem for UVA. Twice during the win streak the Heels topped the 100-point plateau and they are averaging 88.6 points per game during that span.

And that’s just about par for the course for UNC, which averages 88 points for the season. However, doing it in ACC play is more of a sign that the team can score on just about anyone. It’s one thing to score 100 points against Elon and Tennessee Tech, which the Heels did by the way. It’s another to do it against the likes of NC State and Virginia Tech. Maybe the Heels were looking past the last-place Hurricanes since it took a Luke Maye three to send the game into OT and 33 points from Coby White to survive. But a win is a win and the Heels now have UVA all to themselves.

Bet Virginia at North Carolina at BookMaker.eu

We’ve seen some close, low-scoring games recently between these two and there’s a good chance we get more of the same, which is exactly what UVA wants. This isn’t Duke, but the Heels have been able to score at a high rate this season and they will need to bury a few triples early to soften the Cavs’ zone. UVA could also be without key defender Mamadi Diakite, who left the Duke contest with a head injury. That would be a huge loss opening up several options for the Heels offensively. And I like them to take advantage for the victory.

 

CBB Score Prediction: North Carolina 66, Virginia 62

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