It’s a familiar position for the Tar Heels who now find themselves once again needing to make a run in the ACC tournament should they want to get a March Madness bid. That all starts against Boston College as they open as a sizable favorite against the Eagles, sitting as an astonishing -10 favorite. The issue for the Heels is that their offense has been sputtering as of late and is a major reason why the under should cash.
Boston College Vs. North Carolina Prediction
It’s been a disappointing season for the Tar Heels after coming off a deep run in a National Championship loss last year. With aspirations to make it back to the big dance, the Heels now have to once again make a run after crashing and burning on the way to the finish line. They built some momentum with a late push, but all of that evaporated in a disappointing loss to their in-state rivals Duke Blue Devils. A loss that once again highlighted their offensive struggles.
Lacking on the offensive end has been the main culprit of the Heels woes, especially in the shooting department. An oddity for a Tar Heel team who based their success on perimeter shooting last year with the same cast and crew. Now they are one of the worst shooting units in basketball, only completing from deep at a 30.9% clip. This is heavily correlated with Caleb Love’s struggles, shooting a lowly 30.1% from deep as the team’s leading scorer.
With a lack of ability to stretch out opposing defenses, teams have been blessed with the opportunity to sag down and clog space against Armando Bacot. Lucky for the Tar Heels, Bacot is a special offensive talent and can still work with what he has as he is averaging 16.5 points per game. Still, this plays in our favor as having the offense run through Bacot has slowed the scoring pace.
Looks also may not come so easily in this one for Bacot as well as Boston College may be welcoming back their big man Quentin Post. Post stands tall at 7’0” 250lbs, anchoring the paint and altering looks at the rim. He has yet to be confirmed good to go as he missed their initial contest against Louisville yet is rumored to give it a go in this one. He suffered an ankle sprain in their game against Georgia Tech.
Boston College Vs. North Carolina Prediction: Under 138.5 (Buy out if Post is ruled out)
Boston College Vs. North Carolina Odds
Per oddsmakers, North Carolina should have little issue getting past the Eagles in this matchup as they opened as a -10 favorite. Bettors believe this opened a tad too high, backing the Eagles down to +9.5 in some shops as of writing. Even in the midst of their win streak to nearly end the season, UNC has had trouble putting opponents away and squeaking out close wins. With motivation being more dire than ever, the extra variance makes this an immediate pass for me.
Where my intrigue does lie is in the total as I have eluded too throughout this piece. Oddsmakers opened this number at 138.5, believing this game would feature a moderate scoring pace. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either end of the total since it was released, keeping the number the same since the opener. UNC’s offense has regressed to 68th in AdjO while Boston College poses as no threat either, sitting at 249th per Kenpom.
Boston College Vs. North Carolina Key Matchups
North Carolina perimeter defense vs Boston College three-point shooting
To make this season for North Carolina even more odd in comparison to last year is that they have actually played as a respectable defensive unit. They finished the season ranked 44th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
A brunt of their defensive success has been their ability to cover the open man, holding opponents to an eFG% of 48.5%. Per TeamRankings, they have actually vastly improved in their most recent contests by bumping that down to 42.7%.
Boston College will struggle to challenge the Tar Heels defense as they rank a lowly 249th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. Especially from the perimeter, shooting a lowly 32% from deep. The Tar Heels improved defense is a major reason why I believe the under will cash in my Boston College Vs. North Carolina prediction.
With Quentin Post potentially giving it a go to anchor the Boston College defense, I will back the under as Bacot will fail to find scoring success as UNC’s lone consistent scorer.