Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:46 AM

UNC vs. Virginia Predictions, Odds, Preview

Feb. 13, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert

The North Carolina Tar Heels are on the March Madness bubble, given a great opportunity to earn a quality win against the Virginia Cavaliers. This ACC game is set for 6 p.m. (ET) and will air on ESPN.


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UNC-Virginia Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Virginia -6.5
  • Money-Line: Virginia -240 UNC +200
  • Total: 130.5

Odds Subject to Change

Virginia enters as the home favorite, given a -6.5-point spread. Virginia has covered more times than not, entering with a 9-7-1 ATS. UNC has failed to cover 11 of 18 games this season.

The point total is set at 130.5, which UNC typically goes UNDER on. The Tar Heels have gone UNDER the point total in 11 of 18 games this season, while Virginia is 9-8 on the O/U.

Betting Analysis – UNC Tar Heels

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 12-6
  • ATS: 7-10-1
  • SU - Home: 6-1
  • SU - Away: 6-5
  • O/U: 7-11

The Tar Heels are desperate for a quality win, a young but improving team. Most notable is Armando Bacot who is quickly becoming a threat in the post. Bacot averages roughly 12 points and seven boards per game, becoming the main focus point of this Tar Heels offense.

Caleb Love and Day'Ron Sharpe are also improving, but the glue that holds this team together is senior Garrison Brooks. He is one of three Tar Heels who average over seven rebounds per game, and despite Bacot's offensive dominance its actually Brooks who attempts the most two-pointers per game for UNC.

It's no secret what the UNC strength is, rebounding. UNC averages 42.5 rebounds per game (ranks fourth nationally) and attempts 44.7 two-pointers per game (ranks eighth nationally). Those two stats derive from Brooks' presence, as his role on this team is the most crucial outside of Bacot.

Betting Analysis – Virginia Cavaliers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 14-3
  • ATS: 9-7-1
  • SU - Home: 9-1
  • SU - Away: 5-2
  • O/U: 9-8

Virginia's offense continues to be overlooked, averaging just 70 points per game but with an efficiency rating of 114.5 which is ninth-best nationally. The Cavaliers have our players who average a double-digit point total in Sam Hauser, Jay Huff, Trey Murphy and Kihei Clark.

Virginia ranks top 20 nationally all over the court in terms of shooting production. They shoot 56.1% from two-point territory (ranks 21st), they shoot 39.5% from three-point territory (ranks 10th), they shoot 81.7% from the free throw line (ranks second) and they shoot a 49.5% overall field goal percentage (ranks 19th).

The defense always gets the credit, but its Virginia's offense that has been highly productive - despite the 70 points per game total. The low point total, efficient offense and 59.4 points allowed per game (ranks sixth in nation) all point to one thing - Virginia controls the game very well.

As good as the offense has been this year, the Virginia tempo begins with the defense. The offense makes the most of possessions as well. Whether its the game or the literal basketball itself, Virginia's strength is their control.

Inside the Stats – UNC Tar Heels

  • PS/G: 74.1 (124th)
  • PA/G: 70.4 (185th)
  • Off Rtg: 103.3 (154th)
  • Def Rtg: 98.3 (147th)

Inside the Stats – Virginia Cavaliers

  • PS/G: 70.5 (206th)
  • PA/G: 59.4 (6th)
  • Off Rtg: 114.5 (9th)
  • Def Rtg: 96.5 (104th)

Key Players to Watch

  • UNC - Armando Bacot (12.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG)
  • UNC - Caleb Love (11.1 PPG)
  • UVA - Sam Hauser (14.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG)
  • UVA - Jay Huff (13.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG)

UNC-Virginia Predictions

There's no reason to really consider UNC here, as Virginia should be fine in covering the spread. Feel free to play the UNC ATS trends of failing to cover in 11 of 18 games this season. UNC might keep it close, but the experience and smothering pace of play Virginia forces should be too much for Roy Williams' team.

The point total is tricky, but siding with the UNC 7-11 O/U record isn't a terrible idea. Virginia's offense can score 70 though, but it seems unlikely against a UNC team that should easily win the rebounding battle. Although Virginia seems to be a confident bet to cover, the point total going UNDER seems to be fine as well.

  • Score Prediction: Virginia 69 UNC 61
  • Best Bets: Virginia -6.5
  • Best Bets: UNDER


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