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Wolverines Slight Favorites Visiting Tar Heels

Michigan takes on North Carolina on Wednesday, December 1.

The 24th-ranked Michigan Wolverines (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS) will attempt to live up to their preseason hype Wednesday when they visit the North Carolina Tar Heels (4-2, 0-6) as small road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

This ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup opened as a pick’em before seeing early money coming in on the Wolverines, who have fallen short of expectations early this season but have seen their conference go 5-1 SU in the first six games.


Michigan Wolverines vs North Carolina Tar Heels
  • Date/Time: December 1, 9:15 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Dean E. Smith Center
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Pick’em | O/U 148 (Line History)
  • Michigan vs North Carolina Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Echoing what has already happened in early betting action, Michigan has become a small favorite and may become bigger chalk considering how well the Big Ten has performed so far.

The conference went 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS on Tuesday as the unbeaten Minnesota Golden Gophers failed to cover the spread as 3-point road favorites in a 54-53 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers, and the lone SU loss came when the Syracuse Orange held off the previously undefeated Indiana Hoosiers 112-110 in double overtime as 3-point home underdogs.

The Wolverines were ranked sixth nationally in the preseason before losing twice in their first five games, but an impressive road victory here can get them back on track.

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Michigan News & Notes

Most of the highly ranked preseason teams have already stumbled early on, with the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Duke Blue Devils each losing within the last week after sitting atop the polls. Duke’s reign at No. 1 may not last long either after the team fell 71-66 to the Ohio State Buckeyes as a 3-point road underdog on Tuesday.

One thing working against Michigan in this spot, though, might be the fact that the home teams in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge have also gone 5-1 ATS, with Syracuse and Pittsburgh both covering on Tuesday as well.

The Wolverines have been favored in every game so far, losing to the Seton Hall Pirates 67-65 and the Arizona Wildcats 80-62 within a six-day period in the middle of November.

North Carolina News & Notes

This is not your typical North Carolina team, as it is extremely rare to see this school as a home underdog, especially vs a non-conference opponent. In fact, you have to go back almost 11 years to find the last time the Tar Heels closed as home dogs in that exact situation, with the Kentucky Wildcats closing as 1.5-point road favorites and losing 75-73 on December 4, 2010.

They have actually won three of the last five times that has happened overall, including ACC play, going 4-1 ATS in that scenario. Of course there is a new head coach leading them now in Hubert Davis, who is still learning the ropes following nearly a decade as an assistant under his former boss, Roy Williams. Davis is hoping to surprise people like Michigan’s Juwan Howard has done since 2019. 

How Michigan Will Cover

The Wolverines have a strong inside game led by sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, who is averaging 14.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. However, Dickinson has seen his offensive production go down in four consecutive games, so changing that key trend alone could possibly lead to a much easier win and cover for Michigan at North Carolina.

How North Carolina Will Cover

Chapel Hill remains a difficult place for opponents to play, and Davis is fortunate to be seeking his first signature victory at home. While North Carolina has failed to beat the spread this season, this is a game where a win would be viewed as an upset and cover. 

Computer Pick: Michigan -2

  • Best Spread
    -110
    -105
    MICH-2.5
    +2.5UNC
    Intertops BOVADA
  • Best Moneyline
    -140
    +125
    MICH
    UNC
    BOVADA BetOnline
  • Best Total
    -110
    -105
    Over151.5
    152Under
    Intertops Intertops

For more college basketball predictions, visit our NCAAB Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • UNC is 5-0 SU in its last 5 home games.
  • Michigan is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • The UNDER is 6-1 in Michigan’s last 7 road games.