Upcoming Match-ups

UNC vs Pitt Picks and Odds

Jordan Horrobin

by Jordan Horrobin in College Basketball

Updated Jan 25, 2021 · 6:04 PM PST

Ithiel Horton looking to make a pass
Pittsburgh's Ithiel Horton (0) looks to pass against Syracuse during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 96-76. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
  • North Carolina (10-5, 5-3 ACC) battles Pittsburgh (8-3, 4-2 ACC) on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7pm ET
  • The Tar Heels have yet to cover in five road games this year, though they’ve won five of their past six games straight up
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below

For the first and only time this season (barring a conference tournament meetup), North Carolina and Pittsburgh get together on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 7pm ET. Both schools have maneuvered their way to some quality wins, but the Tar Heels have yet to impress on the road.

The Panthers hope it’ll stay that way, though they’ll be the slight underdogs for Tuesday’s matchup.

North Carolina vs Pittsburgh Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
North Carolina -126 -1.5 (-114) Over 143.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh +108 +1.5 (-106) Under 143.5 (-110)

Odds as of Jan. 25th, 2020 at FanDuel

How They’ve Fared Recently

North Carolina went through a bit of a non-conference gauntlet early last month, facing #5 Texas and #7 Iowa six days apart. The Tar Heels didn’t win either game, but it helped set them up for what has been a fairly solid foray into the ACC slate.

The Tar Heels have a lot of tight wins — seven of which have come by eight points or fewer. Their best showing probably came against Syracuse, who they beat 81-75, thanks to senior leader Garrison Brooks’s double-double.

YouTube video

True to form as a team that uses five freshmen in its rotation, North Carolina is very mistake prone: they commit a turnover on 20.7% of possessions (246th in NCAA Division I), 12.3% of which are steals (336th in D-I). With that said, they are masters of the second chance opportunity, generating an offensive rebound on 40.7% of possessions (2nd in D-I).

Pittsburgh is coming off of a heartbreaking 76-75 loss to Wake Forest, who staged a spirited 18-3 run in the second half en route to the win. The Panthers had been rolling along nicely before that, though, with a trio of consecutive wins over KenPom top-50 teams (Syracuse, twice, and Duke).

YouTube video

As with North Carolina, Pittsburgh loves to follow its own shots (35.3% of possessions result in an offensive rebound, 21st in D-I). And while they are dreadful from the free throw line (64.8%, 307th in D-I), they don’t give many free looks to opponents (45.7% effective field goal percentage allowed, 34th in D-I).

ATS Analysis

The Tar Heels are just 5-9-1 against the spread this season, with losses in six of their past eight games. More notably, North Carolina is 0-5 ATS on the road this year (1-4 straight up), including a pair of straight-up losses as favorites last month (versus Georgia Tech and North Carolina State).

Pitt has won three of four ATS and is 7-4 ATS on the season. The Panthers are 4-3 ATS at home this season (5-2 straight up), with a pair of straight up wins as underdogs in the past 10 days (versus Syracuse and Duke).

Neither team has an overwhelming over/under trend across the whole season, but they have both seen the over hit lately: North Carolina has seen the over hit in four consecutive games, while Pitt has seen it hit in three consecutive games.

Head-to-Head Matchup

Pitt won both of last year’s meetings straight up — once as the favorite and once as the underdog. Both teams have four of their starters back from those matchups, so we can’t find much distinction there.

What sticks out the most is North Carolina’s inability to win on the road this year. Pitt’s recent run of success overshadows Saturdays loss, and makes them a worthwhile money line play.

Pick: Pittsburgh (+108)

Author Image