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Tennessee vs North Carolina Odds, Picks, Predictions (Nov. 29)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Nov 29, 2023 · 7:13 AM PST

North Carolina Tar Heels players walking up the court
Nov 22, 2023; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Cormac Ryan (3) and North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Ingram (55) and North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) and North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) react during the second half against the Northern Iowa Panthers at Imperial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
  • Tennessee plays its second true road game of the season on Wednesday when the Vols visit UNC in Chapel Hill
  • North Carolina is 3-0 at home but hasn’t faced a top-100 team at the Dean Smith Center
  • See the Tennessee vs North Carolina odds, spread, picks and predictions for Nov. 29

The #10 Tennessee Volunteers (4-2, 1-0 away, 3-3 ATS) have had a week off to think about their back-to-back losses to then-#2 Purdue (71-67) and then-#1 Kansas (69-60) in Hawaii. When they return to the court on Wednesday, the Vols’ schedule doesn’t ease up as they face the #17 North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1, 3-0 home, 3-3 ATS) at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill (7:15 pm ET) as part of the 2023 ACC/SEC Challenge.

Oddsmakers give UNC a slight edge in the Tennessee vs North Carolina odds, but slight is the operative word.

Tennessee vs North Carolina Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Tennessee Volunteers +2.0 (-110) +110 O 144.0 (-110)
North Carolina Tar Heels -2.0 (-110) -130 U 144.0 (-110)

North Carolina is just a two-point home favorite in today’s college basketball odds and -130 on the moneyline. The total is 144.0, which is the lowest over/under for the fast-paced Tar Heels so far this season, but the second-highest for the methodical, defense-first Vols.

 

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Odds as of Nov. 29 on the Caesars Sportsbook app. New bettors at the sportsbook can claim a Caesars promo code to bet on Tennessee vs UNC. 

The college basketball public betting splits for this game side with the Tar Heels so far. As of 10:00 am ET, UNC was getting 63% of ATS handle as two-point favorites and 70% of moneyline handle as -130 chalk. The public was also heavily backing the under, putting 89% of game-total handle on under 144.

Tennessee Lets Games Slip Away in Honolulu

Tennessee’s trip to Honolulu for the Maui Invitational demonstrated that the Vols have the talent and coaching to hang with the best teams in the country. They led current #1 Purdue by nine in the first half (20-11) and took a one-point lead into halftime before an ugly start to the second half allowed the Boilermakers to go on a 12-2 run and take a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

A similar script played out against current #5 Kansas: Tennessee led 24-17 in the first half but KU had tied it by the break (35-35) and the Vols’ offense went cold in the second half.

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Both losses showcased one of Tennessee’s biggest weaknesses: rebounding. The Jayhawks had a 45-35 edge on the glass, led by a monster 20-rebound performance from Hunter Dickinson; the Boilermakers finished with an even bigger edge on the boards (44-31), led by ten from Zach Edey.

The Vols had been 4-0 before their trip to Hawaii, and their 80-70 true road win at Wisconsin continues to rate as one of the best Ws in college basketball this season.

Northern Colorado transfer Dalton Knecht (17.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 37.9 3P%) has been a revelation for the low-scoring Volunteers since game one. The 6’6 senior is now a top-10 favorite in the Wooden Award odds.

UNC Goes 2-1 in the Bahamas

After a trio of home games against overmatched competition to start the season (Radford, Lehigh, and UC Riverside, who rate 142nd, 253rd, and 251st at KenPom), North Carolina went 2-1 during its trip to Nassau for the 2023 Battle 4 Atlantis.

The Tar Heels started the trip with a 91-69 rout of Northern Iowa (92nd), then lost a heartbreaking 83-81 OT game to Villanova (14th) before rebounding with a resounding 87-72 victory over Arkansas (49th).

YouTube video

After leading scorer Caleb Love transferred to Arizona, expectations were tempered for the Tar Heels. Last April, they opened as a top-ten favorite in the odds to win March Madness (+1000) but those odds faded to +3140 when Love transferred.

There is still plenty of continuity and experience on Hubert Davis’ team, though. Seniors RJ Davis (18.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.7 APG) and Armando Bacot (15.8 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 1.5 BPG) are both off to strong starts, while top-15 recruit Elliot Cadeau (7.5 PPG, 3.2 APG, 1.5 TPG) looks comfortable running the offense.

Tennessee vs UNC Prediction

On a neutral court, I would have a lean to the Vols, but in Chapel Hill is a different story. UNC has only lost six home games over the past three years, and all six came during conference play. The last non-conference home loss for the Tar Heels was all the way back in Dec. 2019 when Ohio State routed UNC 74-49 in a down year for the program.

Bacot was on that team, which was also embarrassed 68-64 on its home court by Wafford, and he is 18-0 in non-conference home games since.

There is very little to choose between the talent on these teams, but UNC’s home-court advantage is real and it’s strong.

Tennessee vs North Carolina pick: UNC moneyline (-130)

 

Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NCAAM betting record:

  • ATS: 6-6 (-0.54 units)
  •  Player props: 1-0 (+0.87 units)

All wagers one unit unless expressly stated otherwise. 

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