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North Carolina Getting Five Points on the Road against Inept Virginia Offense; Picks & Odds

Virginia Cavaliers
No. 7 North Carolina and No. 5 Virginia clash in a huge ACC matchup on Sunday, Dec. 8. Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire.
  • No. 5 Virginia (7-1) is a 5-point favorite on Sunday afternoon against No. 7 UNC (6-2)
  • Both teams are looking to bounce back from blowout losses
  • The Cavaliers have shot under 40% from the field in their last three contests

Two teams coming off of difficult losses will meet in a huge ACC matchup on Sunday afternoon. Both the Tar Heels and Cavaliers are looking to rebound, and the UNC vs Virginia odds favor the latter to return to the win column.

No. 7 North Carolina vs No. 5 Virginia Odds

Team Spread Total
North Carolina Tar Heels +5.0 (-110) Over 114.0 (-110)
Virginia Cavaliers -5.0 (-110) Under 114.0 (-110)

Odds taken December 7

The Cavaliers have won two of their last three, but it’s been a struggle offensively. Virginia shot just 37% from the field in their 69-40 loss to Purdue, 38% in a 46-26 win over Maine, and only 36% in a 3-point victory against Arizona State.

This team is led by three very good players in Mamadi Diakite (13 PPG, 7 RPG), Jay Huff (10 PPG, 7 RPG), and Braxton Key (10 PPG, 8 RPG), but none of them is an elite, reliable scoring option that can regularly create his own shot. That is a piece that Tony Bennett’s team sorely needs right now.

Roy Williams’ team enters Sunday off of a loss as well. The Tar Heels fell to Ohio State by a score of 74-49 in their most lopsided home loss ever with Williams at the helm. It was the second loss in the last three games for UNC, who also fell to Michigan by a 9-point margin during the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

Cole Anthony was up-and-down against the Buckeyes, going 4-of-8 from behind the arc, but just 4-of-15 as a whole from the field.

Of course, UNC and Virginia are opposites in how they find their output. Anthony is unquestionably the highest producer on the Tar Heels roster, posting 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals per game. He’s struggled in spots early this year, but overall, the freshman is taking the mantle as the man on Chapel Hill.

What’s the Best Bet?

Both the Tar Heels and Cavaliers have been underwhelming this season, despite being top-11 contenders in the 2020 NCAA Tournament odds. Each program has gone just 2-6 against the spread this year, and each is consistently going under the total. Just 1 of 8 UNC games has gone over, and only 2 of 6 Virginia contests have done the same.

For two teams still putting the pieces together on offense, the under is a strong play here. However, the best bet has to be the Cavaliers -5.

Bennett’s team thrives in defensive contests. They may not have the offensive firepower, but they give up just 43.8 points per game, making them the nation’s top defensive unit. Against a Tar Heel offense that ranks 195th nationally in points per game, the Cavaliers are poised for a bounce back game on Sunday.


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