Louisville Vs. North Carolina: NCAAB Predictions, Odds, & Best Bets (1/17/24)

Louisville vs. North Carolina tips off this Wednesday (1/17/24) at 9:00pm EST in Chapel Hill, NC as a home game for the Tar Heels. Get Louisville vs. North Carolina predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on North Carolina’s team total over 88.5 in a a game where they should be able to take advantage of a weak Louisville defense.

Louisville Vs. North Carolina Prediction

Despite poor 3-point shooting, the Tar Heels offense exploded in their last game against Syracuse, putting up a season-high 103 points. Their interior offense could not be stopped due to their crisp facilitation, in addition to going 22 for 27 from the free-throw line.

The Tar Heel offense now gets an opportunity to make it two big performances in a row against a weak Louisville defense. The Cardinals come into this contest ranked 232nd in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency per Kenpom, now having to try and stop an elite UNC offense in Chapel Hill. Not exactly an ideal position for Louisville, especially when UNC’s offense thrives off of their ability to get guys open via ball movement.

The Tar Heels offense boasts an Assist to Turnover Ratio of 1.347, jumping up to 1.563 when on their home court per TeamRankings. Their improved facilitation can be attributed to slotting RJ Davis to shooting guard while Elliot Cadeau takes over point guard duties. This allows RJ to play off the ball and exploit gaps in coverage as an improved shooter while Armando Bacot sets screens and crashes to the rim as an elite interior scorer.

Factor in Cormac Ryan being a sharpshooter and Harrison Ingram being a capable scorer in his own right and UNC has enough offensive firepower to consistently burn the Cardinals defense. Louisville ranks 252nd in Opposing Effective Field Goal Percentage, allowing offenses to shoot 52.1% from the field. With Cadeau stretching out their defense, expect him to hit his weapons in stride and give the Tar Heels plenty of open looks to clear their team total over.

Louisville Vs. North Carolina Prediction: North Carolina’s Team Total Over 88.5

Louisville Vs. North Carolina Best Odds

North Carolina has been on a tear and oddsmakers believe they are in a position to dominate once again by opening them as a -23 favorite. Bettors believe this may be tighter than the number implies, backing the Cardinals down to +21 as of writing. Expect the Cardinals to struggle on both ends as they lack the offensive firepower to crack the Tar Heels elite defense.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 156. Bettors believe points may come at a tad slower rate, backing the under down to 154.5 in some shops. With Louisville struggling on both ends of the court, the total is a pass as it’s hard to tell how the Cardinals offense will do their part towards the number.

Louisville Vs. North Carolina Key Matchups

Can the Tar Heels three-point shooting find success against the Louisville perimeter defense?

UNC Three Point Shooting vs Louisville Perimeter Defense

For how well UNC’s offense has run, it’s almost shocking to see them rank near 100th in Three Point Shooting Percentage. A majority of their offense revolves around their ability to get high quality looks on the inside, though they would certainly benefit from more consistent perimeter shooting.

They now face a Cardinals defense who ranks 143rd in Opposing Three Point Shooting Percentage as they allow offenses to convert on 32.8% of shots from deep. Their defensive perimeter struggles have been drastically worse in their last three contests as that percentage has increased to 50%. Expect Ryan and Davis to get plenty of open looks from deep, especially with Cadeau and Bacot commanding defensive attention with their screen sets and drives to the rim.

North Carolina Sports Betting Update

NC sports betting is currently legal and set to go live sometime before June, 14 of this early. Early reports from state legislators say that the goal is to have it up and running by March Madness, though no formal date has been set. Individuals across the Tar Heel state will likely find out more about the roll out of local sports betting after the state’s internal controls deadline on Jan. 26. Once sports betting is live, North Carolina residents will be able to take advantage of new user bonuses, such as a bet $5 get $200 bonus from FanDuel North Carolina and a $1,000 first bet bonus from Caesars North Carolina that can be used to wager on their favorite teams.

For up-to-date North Carolina sports betting coverage — including the best new user promo codes — check out the “NC Sports Betting” tab on Lineups.

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Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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