Free NCAA Hoops Pick: Tar Heels vs Panthers CBB Odds
Looking for North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Pittsburgh Panthers NCAA basketball free picks & CBB odds? CBB betting sees the Tar Heels taking on the Panthers on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at the Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all college basketball matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NCAA hoops predictions like this Tar Heels Panthers matchup.
10-3 (0-0 conf) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Pitt Panthers 10-3 (0-0 conf)
Date: Saturday, January 5, 2019
Time: Noon EST
Venue: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
CBB Moneyline Odds: OFF
CBB Betting Odds: UNC -10
CBB Betting Total: 151
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Atlantic Coast Conference play gets kicked off in earnest this weekend in Pennsylvania, as the vaunted North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers at the Petersen Events Center.
Although Pitt currently has the same record as UNC, the visitors have had some really tough games to date, and no one really considers the Panthers on the same plane as the Tar Heels. North Carolina can bear that out by grabbing a convincing road victory over the weekend.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Despite already having three losses on their record, the historical, presitigious college hoops program of UNC still ranks 15th in the country in the Coaches’ poll. In their last five games, the Heels only have a loss to equally strong Kentucky. They just rolled Harvard in its first game of 2019 and look to keep it up in a road game at Pitt.
Former Panther Cameron Johnson now plays for UNC, as he came to Chapel Hill as a graduate transfer. Johnson and other contributors like Luke Maye, Coby White and Nassir Little are relied on for scoring. Even lesser known pieces like Garrison Brooks and Kenny Williams chip in more than eight points per game.
North Carolina’s modus operandi is to out-score the opponents, as evidenced by the Tar Heels’ metric of over 90 points per game on average – a crazy-high figure for college basketball. It needs to be, too, because UNC surrenders over 77 points per game, coming in at – not a misprint – 218th in the nation. So yeah, defense isn’t a priority for those clad in baby blue.
Long a crucial part of any ‘Tobacco Road’ rivalry, the Heels have their hands full this season with the dominance of bitter rival Duke. Yet, they can lay waste to some ACC opponents in the meantime, and Pittsburgh could fit the bill nicely.
The Panthers have narrow losses versus Iowa and lowly Niagara so far, as well as a double-digit loss against West Virginia. A 10-3 record is nothing to sneeze at, but a program like Pitt shouldn’t be dropping games to Niagara, of all opponents.
Pitt is currently ranked tied for third in the ACC, but with the conference schedule just coming up, now is when the games really start to matter. Pitt’s scoring is handled by the four-headed monster of Xavier Johnson, Jared Wilson-Frame, Trey McGowans and Au’Diese Toney. Sidy Ndir, a New Mexico State grad transfer originally from France, also chips in some secondary scoring.
That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t appear that Pittsburgh has the defense to handle a high-octane attack like North Carolina’s. To be fair, maybe no team does.
The Panthers have played, let’s be honest, fairly middling teams so far on their schedule, and UNC is one of the first legitimate challenges. It should be the type of game that separates the wheat from the chaff in the ACC this season.
Free North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Pittsburgh Panthers NCAAB Prediction:
Pitt has actually shown they can ‘D’ up at times (against admittedly inferior competition) but the fast-paced attack of North Carolina’s is something the home side hasn’t contended with yet in 2018-19. An interesting stat is, since Johnson transferred from Pitt to UNC in the middle of last season, the Panthers haven’t won an ACC game.
You can expect that trend to continue on Saturday afternoon, as North Carolina’s scoring and pushing of the pace will be simply too much for the home team to handle in Petersen Events Center. Hey, at least the Steelers made the playoffs. Oh wait…
4* Free CBB Betting Pick: North Carolina -9
Look for Cameron Johnson to have a big game in his return to the Keystone State.
NCAAB Free Score Prediction: North Carolina 88 – Pitt 76
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