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NC State vs UNC Prediction, Odds & Player Prop Picks – 2024 ACC Title Game

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Basketball

Updated Mar 16, 2024 · 11:22 AM PDT

North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis is guarded by North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Michael O'Connell
Mar 2, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) is guarded by North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Michael O'Connell (12) during the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kinser-USA TODAY Sports
  • No. 10 NC State faces No. 1 UNC in the ACC Title Game on Saturday
  • The College Basketball odds favor the Tar Heels to win big over the Wolfpack
  • Read below for NC State vs UNC prediction, odds and player prop picks

The 2024 ACC Tournament comes to a thrilling conclusion on Saturday, March 16 as the 10th-seeded NC State Wolfpack take on the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels in an all-North Carolina championship showdown. Tipoff is set for 8:30pm ET at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

According to the college basketball odds, the Tar Heels enter as 10.5-point favorites with the over/under set at 144.5 points. UNC is a heavy -525 favorite on the moneyline (bet $525 to win $100), while NC State is a +400 moneyline underdog.

Let’s get into our NC State vs UNC prediction as we analyze the ACC odds and determine player props picks to make.

NC State vs UNC Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
NC State +10.5 (-110) +400 Over 144.5 (-105)
North Carolina -10.5 (-110) -525 Under 144.5 (-115)

In the NC State vs North Carolina odds, the Tar Heels are -525 favorites at ESPN Bet, giving them an implied win probability of 84%.

 

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Despite their underdog status, NC State has some betting trends in its favor. The Wolfpack are 4-1 straight up and 3-2 ATS in their last five games overall. The over has hit in eight of their last 12. In this tournament, NC State is 3-1 ATS with their only non-cover coming by a half-point in the semifinals.

However, UNC has been the far steadier team all season. The Tar Heels are 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS in their last eight games overall. They’ve covered in four of their last five neutral site games. As a favorite this season, UNC is 23-4 SU and 15-12 ATS.

In the latest March Madness odds, North Carolina is a top-10 betting choice to win the tournament at +1600, while NC State is a longshot.

NC State-UNC History

UNC won both regular-season meetings with NC State rather comfortably. The Tar Heels prevailed 67-54 in Raleigh on January 10, leading by as many as 22. Davis scored 19 points and had six assists in the win.

WolfPack vs Tar Heels Recent Results

Date Home-Away Against the Spread O/U
03/02/2024 UNC 79 – NCST 70 NCST +11 U 156
01/10/2024 NCST 54 – UNC 67 UNC -2.5 U 154
02/19/2023 NCST 77 – UNC 69 NCST -2 U 155
01/21/2023 UNC 80 – NCST 69 UNC -6.5 U 153
02/26/2022 NCST 74 – UNC 84 UNC -4 O 151

In the rematch in Chapel Hill on March 2, UNC pulled away for a 79-70 victory to clinch the outright ACC title. The Heels led by 16 in the second half before NC State made a late push to cover as 11-point underdogs. Bacot dominated with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Overall, UNC has won 6 of the last 7 in the series and 10 of 13 against the spread. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 120-59. This will be the first time the rivals have met in the ACC Tournament since 2012.

NC State’s Implorable Run

NC State has been the Cinderella story of the ACC Tournament, becoming the first 10-seed ever to reach the championship game. The Wolfpack lost four straight to end the regular season at 17-14 overall and just 7-13 in ACC play. They barely squeaked into the tournament as the second-lowest seed.

But NC State has caught fire at the perfect time, reeling off four straight upset wins in four days to improbably reach the title game. In Friday’s semifinals, NC State pulled off perhaps its most miraculous win yet.

Trailing Virginia 62-59 with under 10 seconds left, guard Michael O’Connell banked in a desperation 30-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. The Wolfpack dominated the extra period to prevail 73-65 and punch their ticket to the championship game.

During this magical run, NC State has been led by the dynamic duo of senior guard DJ Horne (16.8 ppg) and junior forward DJ Burns (12.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg). Horne erupted for 25 points in the win over Syracuse, while Burns poured in 19 points and 8 rebounds to power the Wolfpack past Virginia.

Other key contributors have been junior guard Casey Morsell (11.6 ppg), freshman guard Jayden Taylor (12.5 ppg), and senior center Mohammed Diarra (5.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg). The Wolfpack bench has also provided a huge spark, outscoring Duke’s reserves 21-0 in the quarterfinals.

For the season, NC State ranks 104th in the nation in scoring (76.2 ppg) and 213th in points allowed (72.8 ppg). They shoot 44.6% from the field, 34.9% from three, and 72.8% from the foul line. The Wolfpack are 198th in rebounding (34.9 rpg) and average 12.9 assists per game.

UNC Aims for ACC Double

While NC State is playing with house money, North Carolina has championship expectations. The Tar Heels rolled to the ACC regular season title with a 17-3 conference record. At 27-6 overall, they are in contention for a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

UNC has taken care of business so far in the ACC Tournament. They opened with a 92-67 rout of 9-seed Florida State behind 18 points from ACC Player of the Year RJ Davis. In the semifinals, Davis exploded for 25 points to lead the Tar Heels to a hard-fought 72-65 win over 4-seed Pitt.

YouTube video

Davis, a junior guard, has been sensational all season, averaging 21.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He’s complimented by a pair of dominant big men in senior forward Armando Bacot (14.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg) and junior forward Harrison Ingram (12.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg). Bacot posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards against Pitt.

Graduate transfer guards Cormac Ryan (11.3 ppg) and Elliott Cadeau (6.5 ppg, 3.8 apg) round out the starting lineup. The Tar Heels also have great depth with key reserves like Seth Trimble, Jalen Washington, and Paxson Wojcik.

UNC boasts an elite offense, ranking 20th in the nation in scoring at 81.6 points per game. They are incredibly efficient, shooting 45.2% from the field, 35.7% from three, and 75.3% from the foul line (52nd in D-I). The Heels crash the glass, ranking 8th with 41.2 rebounds per game. Defensively, they allow 69.8 points per game, 117th in the country.

NC State vs UNC Player Props

College basketball player props are available for the marquee NC State vs UNC showdown in the ACC Title Game. Oddsmakers are forecasting a big night from RJ Davis, who is a top favorite in the 2024 Wooden Award odds. He’s the only player with an over/under point total above 20.

Player Points Rebounds Assists Three-Pointers Made
Armando Bacot 13.5 (Ov -120 | Un -120) 9.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) OFF OFF
Casey Morsell 9.5 (Ov -130 | Un -110) 2.5 (Ov -145 | Un +105) OFF 1.5 (Ov +180 | Un -245)
Cormac Ryan 11.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) 2.5 (Ov -165 | Un +125) OFF 2.5 (Ov +135 | Un -175)
D.J. Burns Jr. 11.5 (Ov -115 | Un -125) 4.5 (Ov +110 | Un -150) OFF OFF
Harrison Ingram 11.5 (Ov +100 | Un -140) 8.5 (Ov -140 | Un +100) 2.5 (Ov +125 | Un -165) 1.5 (Ov +145 | Un -190)
RJ Davis 20.5 (Ov -120 | Un -120) 3.5 (Ov -130 | Un -110) 3.5 (Ov -140 | Un +100) 2.5 (Ov -110 | Un -130)

Player props odds as of March 16th at DraftKings North Carolina.

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In terms of the player props we are targeting, it’s hard to bet against Davis. The junior guard leads UNC in scoring at 21.1 PPG and is coming off a 25-point performance in the semifinals. He is also an excellent shooter and facilitator.

The other player prop we like is the “under” on rebounds for NC State’s DJ Burns. The junior forward has been huge for NC State in the ACC Tournament, averaging 14.0 points on 63% shooting. He scored 19 points in the semifinal win over Virginia. However, he’ll have his hands full battling Bacot and Ingram inside.

NC State vs UNC Prediction

NC State’s magical run feels destined to strike midnight. The Wolfpack are playing their fifth game in five days, and the fatigue is bound to set in, especially against UNC’s fast pace (46th in tempo). NC State simply doesn’t have the frontcourt size to handle Bacot and Ingram on the glass.

The Tar Heels have too much talent, depth and motivation with a 1-seed on the line. Davis should be able to exploit the Wolfpack guards off the dribble. UNC’s defense, which ranks 6th in KenPom adjusted efficiency, can clamp down and force NC State into difficult shots.

I’m laying the points with UNC at -10. The Tar Heels should win comfortably and cut down the nets for their first ACC Tournament title since 2016. They are the more complete team and catch NC State on fumes after an exhausting four-day run. Look for the Heels to gradually pull away in the second half.

NC State vs UNC Pick:

  • Tar Heels -10 (best line available)

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