Saint Peter’s vs North Carolina Betting Odds
The Peacocks are putting together the greatest Cinderella run ever. There is a timeline where the Peacocks beat Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, and Kansas to win a national title. That’s astounding.
But first, the Peacocks have to sneak by the Tar Heels.
North Carolina has been scary hot in the second half of the season. UNC has won nine of its last 10 games.
So, which team has the edge in the Elite Eight?
Saint Peter’s Peacocks Odds
The Peacocks’ five-out, spread offense has been giving these high-major programs issues.
Out of that set, SPU attacks in a few different ways.
The Peacocks will attack the rim ferociously. The Peacocks drive the line ferociously and end up with rim opportunities more than 53% of the time, which is good for first nationally.
They also get a ton of action on off-screen and cutting sets. Backdoor cuts helped the Peacocks down Kentucky and Purdue in upset victories.
And Saint Peter’s will dominate in catch-and-shoot opportunities. Doug Edert and co. are seventh nationally in catch-and-shoot 3-point points per possession (1.21).
But the defense is where the Peacocks dominate. Saint Peter’s currently ranks 24th in defensive efficiency and seventh in effective field goal percentage allowed (44.2%). Behind three-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Year KC Ndefo, the Peacocks have suffocated opposing offenses.
North Carolina Tar Heels Odds
The Tar Heels had some growing pains in the post-Roy Williams era. But North Carolina is on the verge of making another Final Four.
This is as talented of a roster as college basketball has. Particularly in the frontcourt, where Armando Bacot and Brady Manek can out-play any front line in the nation.
Manek has been on fire since the calendar turned to February. He’s shooting over 40% from 3 during that time, and he’s dropped a combined 67 points during this tournament run.
Unlike Purdue did, UNC needs to try and utilize its size against this Saint Peter’s squad. Purdue got away from attacking with Edey and Williams, and that cost them. The Saint Peter’s squad should keep up with the UNC backcourt.
Especially because Caleb Love should see some regression after last game. The UNC guard dropped 27 points in the second half, shooting 6-for-13 from 3. It was amazing, but also unsustainable.
Saint Peter’s vs North Carolina Prediction and Pick
Both teams have offensive advantages in this game. Moreover, I’m expecting this game to be played closer to UNC’s pace than Saint Peter’s, which would trend towards the over.
Plus, we should see plenty of foul shots. Saint Peter’s allows one of the highest opponent free-throw rates in the nation while simultaneously attacking the rim on the other end.
Plus, both teams have been elite from the charity stripe. UNC is a top-25 team season-long in free-throw percentage, while SPU has shot 82.2% from the line in this tournament run.
There will be plenty of ways for each team to score points in this game. So, I’m willing to back the over up to 138.