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Tar Heels Visit Hurricanes Looking for First Road Win of Season

North Carolina forward Garrison Brooks (15) passes against North Carolina Central during an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Dec. 12, 2020.

Both the North Carolina Tar Heels (5-4 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) and Miami Hurricanes (4-4, 4-4) enter their ACC battle Tuesday night on two-game losing skids. UNC is seeking its fifth straight victory over Miami in what has been a very lopsided matchup of late. History might suggest a high-scoring game is in store, but the 2021 rosters of these teams tell a different narrative. 

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Miami Hurricanes
  • Date/Time: January 5, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Watsco Center
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: UNC -4 | O/U 144.5 (Line History)
  • North Carolina vs Miami Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

UNC opened as a 4-point favorite but money has come piling in on the Hurricanes, driving the line closer to a pick’em with UNC having lost back-to-back games as a favorite. The total for this contest opened at 144.5, has dipped to 143 and may be even lower by tipoff. 

North Carolina News & Notes

The Tar Heels are searching for their identity, coming into the new year still without a statement victory. Although the roster includes eight top-100 recruits, the team really hasn’t meshed well.

Coming off a forgettable 14-19 season, North Carolina’s first losing campaign since 2001, the Tar Heels rely heavily on senior Garrison Brooks, who accounted for nearly 23 percent of the team’s point production a year ago.

Coach Roy Williams is desperately trying to find his team’s go-to guy down the stretch, with his top five scorers averaging between 11.4 and 8.9 points per game.

Although the Tar Heels rank outside the top 150 in scoring and field-goal percentage, they do rank fifth in the country in offensive rebounds. UNC is 3-5-1 ATS this season and has seen the total go UNDER in nine of its last 11 games dating back to last season.

Miami News & Notes

Miami enters this game at .500 following a heartbreaking loss to Clemson on Saturday in which they led by four points with under two minutes to go.

The Hurricanes are missing senior Chris Lykes, potentially their best player, due to a severe ankle sprain. The five-foot-seven guard has been the heart and soul of this team for the past four seasons.

Without Lykes, who has played only two games, this Miami team is very young – the squad’s top four scorers excluding him are all underclassmen. Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong leads the team, averaging 17.9 points per game, which is good for fourth in the ACC.

Miami ranks outside the top 250 in scoring, averaging 68.75 points per game. The Hurricanes are 4-4 ATS and have gone OVER the total in their last three games.

Betting Pick: UNDER 143 Points

This total is simply too high considering the lack of offensive firepower on either team. Without Lykes, Miami is missing more than 20 percent of its scoring and its pace of play takes a rapid decline. UNC has also struggled offensively, often going deep into the shot clock before establishing its plays. The tempo just won’t be there. Expect the total to go UNDER on Tuesday night.

Shark Bites
  • UNC is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games on the road.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 5 matchups.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Miami’s last 10 home games.