UNC vs. Louisville Betting Line – February 1

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
UNC vs. Louisville Betting Line – February 1

Carrie Stroup here with your UNC vs. Louisville betting line for Monday night  Louisville -1, Total: 148


No. 2 North Carolina looks to remain perfect in ACC play on Monday night when it visits a No. 19 Louisville team just two days removed from a humiliating home loss.

The Tar Heels have ripped off 12 straight wins since a buzzer-beating loss at Texas on Dec. 12, but are just 5-7 ATS during this span. They have shot at least 50% in eight of these dozen straight wins and are facing a Cardinals team that just allowed a season-high 58% FG in Saturday's 63-47 loss to Virginia; their first home defeat of the season. After starting the season 6-1 ATS, Louisville is a dreadful 2-8 ATS in its past 10 contests.

These schools met three times in the Cardinals inaugural ACC campaign last year with both teams winning at home and the Tar Heels taking the rubber match 70-60 in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals. While UNC shot 46% threes and 88% FT in that victory, Louisville made only 18% threes (4-of-22) and 60% FT (12-of-20).

There are plenty of reasons for bettors to choose either side on Monday, as the Heels are 64-40 ATS after four straight games of committing 14 or less turnovers since 1997, and are 54-36 ATS in February games in this same span. The Cardinals are 18-7 ATS following a double-digit conference loss under head coach Rick Pitino, and their Monday opponent is 2-9 ATS versus good shooting teams (45%+ FG) after 15+ games in the past two seasons.

North Carolina's offense is difficult to contain with 85.8 PPG (4th in nation) on 48.5% FG (20th in D-I), but shoots a woeful 30.8% threes (312th in nation). The Heels are outstanding at handling the basketball with 18.8 APG (4th D-I) and 10.5 TOPG (17th in nation) for a stellar 1.79 assist-to-turnover ratio (2nd in D-I). This team is always aggressive on the glass with a +9.4 rebounding margin (13th in nation) and 14.0 offensive RPG (17th in D-I). But this defense isn’t great, as it allows 70.2 PPG (147th in nation) on 42.0% FG (113th in D-I) and a dreadful 37.2% threes (301st in nation).

F Brice Johnson leads the team with 16.8 PPG and 10.2 RPG and has recorded 12 double-doubles this season. He shoots a blistering 62% FG (13th in nation) and also has 1.3 blocks per game. Johnson took over the ACC Quarterfinals matchup with Louisville last season when he scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half.

PG Marcus Paige had 13 in that victory and has been steady all season with 59 assists and only 13 turnovers (4.5 Ast/TO ratio). This has helped him lead this team despite seeing his numbers drop across the board from 14.1 PPG, 40% threes, 87% FT and 4.5 APG last season to 12.7 PPG, 33% threes, 74% FT and 3.9 APG this season.

The Heels have three other double-digit scorers in G Joel Berry II (12.6 PPG, 4.3 APG, 1.6 SPG), F Kennedy Meeks (11.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.5 BPG) and swingman Justin Jackson (11.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.1 APG). Berry is the best shooter on the team at 38% threes, while Meeks provides muscle inside with 58% FG. Jackson is best when driving to the basket, as evidenced by his strong 56% two-point FG rate and feeble 21% threes.

Louisville averages a strong 79.3 PPG (50th in D-I) on an efficient 48.5% FG (22nd in nation) and 36.8% threes (78th in D-I). The team turns the ball over just 12.0 times per game (88th in nation) and also crashes the glass with a +10.4 RPG margin (8th in D-I) and 14.6 offensive RPG (10th in nation). The Cardinals have an excellent defense that allows only 60.2 PPG (5th in D-I) on 37.7% FG (6th in nation) and 30.7% threes (30th in D-I), but those numbers have risen to 70.5 PPG on 46.2% FG allowed over the past four games.

Louisville has three double-digit scorers that pace the offense in G Damion Lee (16.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.6 SPG), G Trey Lewis (12.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.4 APG) and C Chinanu Onuaku (10.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.0 BPG). The senior Lee has scored at least 10 points in every game except for two, the team's past two losses to Clemson and Virginia, where he was held to six points in each defeat on a combined 0-for-11 threes.

Lee, who played his first three collegiate seasons at Drexel, is shooting a career-best 46% FG to go along with 36% threes and 87% FT. Fellow senior transfer Lewis is also coming off a brutal performance versus Virginia (4 points on 1-of-6 FG) which followed a 22-point night at Virginia Tech on Wednesday. Lewis is knocking down 40% threes and 83% FT this season after draining 42% threes at Cleveland State last season.

The 6-foot-10 Onuaku did not attempt a single shot versus Virginia on Saturday and committed five turnovers in 19 minutes of action. He'll be needed to keep the UNC big men off the boards, and assuming his illness doesn't limit him too much, Onuaku will be expected to grab at least 10 rebounds for the eighth time in 10 games. He also has multiple blocks on 11 separate occasions this year.

Six-foot-9 sophomore F Jaylen Johnson (5.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG) could also see more action than his typical 17.0 MPG this season to try to combat Carolina's size. In Wednesday's win at Virginia Tech, Johnson had 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com

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