The No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers (13-1, 2-0 ACC) put their five-game winning streak on the line when they square off with the No. 12 North Carolina Tar Heels (12-3, 1-1 ACC) at John Paul Jones Arena. Action gets underway at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 6, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Cavaliers Betting Preview
In the Tar Heels last matchup, they lost a close one to the No. 24 Florida State Seminoles, 81-80. North Carolina’s Joel Berry II put together a good performance, leading both teams in scoring with 28 points on 10-for-23 shooting. Florida State had a free throw rate of 0.246 (above their season average of 0.203). North Carolina, meanwhile, had a turnover percentage of 8.0 (better than their season average of 15.3).
The Cavaliers come in on a high note after blowing out the Virginia Tech Hokies in their last outing, 78-52. Devon Hall played a pivotal role for Virginia with 12 points and seven rebounds. The Cavaliers forced 16 turnovers and held the Hokies to an effective field goal percentage of 0.383 (below their season average of 0.615).
It might turn into a shootout as a pair of the nations premier offenses clash. Virginia ranks 45th with 114.7 points per 100 possessions and North Carolina is 59th (113.0). Opposite paces will be on display in this showdown. The fast-breaking Tar Heels rank 30th in possessions per game, while the slower-paced Cavaliers rank 347th.
This is the first time these teams will battle this year. Each won one of the two games played against each other last season. The Cavaliers won the most recent game 53-43. The Cavaliers dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a fantastically low turnover percentage of 6.0 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.407. The Tar Heels were 21.5 and 0.396, respectively, for those same stats.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Cavaliers Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – North Carolina, ATS Winner – North Carolina, O/U – Under
- The Cavaliers rank 17th in blocks allowed per game (2.2) while the Tar Heels rank 157th (4.9).
- Virginia ranks second in steals allowed per game (3.9) while North Carolina ranks 87th (6.2).
- North Carolina ranks third in rebounds per game (43.9) while Virginia ranks 201st (34.1).
- The Cavaliers rank first in assists allowed per game (8.3) while the Tar Heels rank 175th (14.6).
- Virginia ranks 94th in three pointers allowed per game (21.0) while North Carolina ranks 254th (27.1).
- The Cavaliers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 22.4, up from 18.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Tar Heels have scored an average of 78.4 points per game (6.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 74.8 points per game (2.5 above their season average).