Last Updated Jan 11, 2023, 7:56 AM

Virginia Cavaliers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Picks, Predictions, Odds

The North Carolina Tar Heels have righted the ship after a very uncharacteristic four-game losing streak lasting from late November to early December. North Carolina has since won six of its last seven games with the only blemish being a two-point road loss to the 11-5 Pittsburgh Panthers. They will face their toughest test in over a month on Tuesday night though when they take on the Virginia Cavaliers.

The Virginia Cavaliers will host the North Carolina Tar Heels on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN from John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia.

North Carolina is starting to pick up the pace, winners in six of its last seven games. (Getty)

Virginia Cavaliers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Prediction

We saw North Carolina knock off Virginia in both meetings between these teams last season, but the Tar Heels had lost seven straight games to the Wahoos prior to those victories.

North Carolina was held to 50 points or less in four of those seven defeats, so it will be interesting to see whether last year was an aberration or if the Tar Heels have actually adjusted to Tony Bennett's Pack Line Defense under Hubert Davis. Since this is a team led by upperclassmen, I'm of the latter opinion, so I'll roll with the Tar Heels as a probable short underdog by the CBB betting odds on Tuesday night.

Score Prediction: North Carolina 67 Virginia 62
Best Bet: UNC +4.5

Virginia Cavaliers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Odds

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Virginia Cavaliers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Resources

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023
TV-Time: ESPN, 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: John Paul Jones Arena
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Matchup
Expert Picks

ACC Championship Odds

Virginia Cavaliers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Stats

Virginia Cavaliers
SU: 11-3
ATS: 4-10
O/U: 8-6
PPG: 70
OPPG: 59.6

North Carolina Tar Heels
SU: 11-5
ATS: 5-11
O/U: 8-6-2
PPG: 81.4
OPPG: 74.3

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

Virginia Cavaliers Betting Analysis

Virginia runs one of the slowest, most pragmatic offenses in the country under Tony Bennett. According to Ken Pomeroy, UVA has the third slowest tempo in the nation, so every possession is at a premium for both teams in this game. The Wahoos rank in the top 25 in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency, as they tend to get off very good shots while limiting opponents on the defensive end.

This is a very balanced offense with the top five scorers averaging between 9.4 PPG and 11.4 PPG. Kihei Clark is the conductor from the point guard position, and he is averaging 11.4 PPG and 6.3 APG while making 44.1% of his field goals and 40.9% of his threes. Armaan Franklin is also averaging 11.4 PPG while making 41.4% of his treys, while Jayden Gardner is the interior threat on the team. Gardner is averaging 11.3 PPG and 5.3 RPG, and he is making 52.1% of his field goals.

Since winning the national championship four years ago, Virginia has struggled compared to what we had seen for most of the 2010s. However, the Cavaliers are dangerous once again as a veteran team with a legitimate seven-man rotation. Freshman Isaac McKneely is the only underclassman seeing significant minutes, and he is starting to learn his role in this system. That bodes well for Virginia over the second half of the season.

UVA has been a terrible against the spread recently, going 1-9 in its last 10 for bettors. (Getty)

North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Analysis

North Carolina nearly made history under Hubert Davis last year. Davis almost led UNC to the national championship in his first season in charge of the program, but the Tar Heels blew a double-digit lead to Kansas. That left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of his players as North Carolina brought back four key players from last year's team and welcomed in Pete Nance as a grad transfer from Northwestern.

Armando Bacot is the superstar of this team. Bacot has thrived over the course of his four seasons in Chapel Hill, and he leads the team with 18.8 PPG and 11.2 RPG this season. He is making 56.7% of his field goals, and he continues to be very efficient with the ball in the low post. The presence of Nance keeps opponents from collapsing on him down low too, but Nance isn't nearly as productive with the ball in his hands.

Guard play is extremely important for beating Virginia. Fortunately, UNC has two very experienced guards in Caleb Love and R.J. Davis. Love is averaging 16.9 PPG, and Davis is averaging 16.4 PPG on the season. Neither player is a lights out perimeter shooter, but they can both get to the cup and create. Leaky Black can be a difference maker with the ball in his hands too.

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