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High-scoring No. 11 UNC becoming OVER Machine

UNC vs Michigan Betting Odds

The No. 7 Michigan Wolverines lay their perfect 6-0 record on the line as they play host to the No. 11 North Carolina Tar Heels in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge at the Crisler Center. These teams tipped off last year in Chapel Hill with North Carolina earning an 86-71 victory. However, in tonight’s game, it is Michigan that is a 3-point favorite with the total opening at 146 points.

Shark Bites
  • Michigan is 6-0 SU in its last six games (avg. winning margin: 22.5).
  • North Carolina is 0-12 SU and 1-10-1 ATS in its last 12 games as a road underdog.
  • The total has gone OVER in each of North Carolina’s last six games.

North Carolina vs Michigan Game Center

Tar Heels have a terrific offense this year

UNC has stormed out of the gate to a 6-1 record with its only loss coming against Texas (92-89) in the opening round of the Las Vegas Invitational last week. The Tar Heels bounced back from that defeat with a triumph over then-No. 17 UCLA (94-78) the day after to get back into the win column. The team has a good balance between veteran players and freshmen as senior guard Cameron Johnson leads the team with 16.4 points per game and senior forward Luke Maye tops all other Tar Heels with 8.6 rebounds per game. Complementing those seniors are two 2018 All-Americans in guard Coby White (15.7 ppg, 3.6 assists per game) and forward Nassir Little (12.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg).

Overall, UNC is averaging 96.6 points per game, second-best in the nation, while also taking the fourth-most shots from the floor. The Tar Heels do most of their damage from two-point range as they are averaging just 8.4 triples per game, which is the 114th-most in college basketball, while racking up 53.4 points from inside the arc, the top average in the nation. Defensively, the Heels do a good job cleaning the glass, ranking in a tie for 12th in the NCAA with 12.6 offensive boards per game, providing them with extra opportunities. However, they are giving up an average of 72.9 points per game, which is the 179th-fewest in the nation, including allowing the 50th-most field-goal attempts per game.

The defense has been the key to victory for the Wolverines

For the first time since the 2012-13 season, Michigan carries a perfect 6-0 record into its seventh game. Of course, that was the year it advanced to the national championship game, falling 82-76 to Louisville. The Wolverines have just two players who are averaging more than 10 points per game in freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis (15.7 ppg) and senior guard Charles Matthews (14.5 ppg). The team is taking just 56.3 shots per game, which is the 239th-fewest in college basketball, and averaging just 70.8 points per game, which ranks 230th. They are hitting 32.6 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, which is the 202nd-highest percentage in the nation. Sophomore forward Isaiah Livers is shooting 55.0 percent from long distance, going 11-for-20.

The defense is where Michigan smothers its opponents, surrendering an NCAA-low 48.3 points per game and holding foes to a shooting percentage of just 32.9, also the lowest in the country. Additionally, the Wolverines do a decent job of limiting opponent rebounds, allowing just 6.7 offensive boards, which is the 44th-fewest in the nation, while they grab the 18th-most defensive rebounds per game at 28.8.

Which side of the total should you be on?

UNC is one of the best-scoring teams in the nation while Michigan is one of the best defensive teams in college basketball and Bovada has the total opening at 146 points. The Wolverines haven’t had a game in which the total has gone OVER 146 points, with an average combined score of 119.17 through their six games. Conversely, the Tar Heels have gone OVER 146 in all but one of their games and they have an average combined score of 169.43 this year. The lone game that went UNDER was its season opener, which had a combined 145 points. These two teams collided last year and racked up 157 points and I think the OVER should come through tonight.

My Take on UNC vs Michigan

I like the OVER 146 points in tonight’s game. Michigan has shown the ability to put up a decent score offensively, pouring in 84 points over George Washington and 83 points vs Chattanooga in its last game. Meanwhile, UNC has scored the second-most points per game in the nation this season at 96.6 and has only had one game scoring fewer than 90 points, when it dropped 78 in its season-opening contest vs Wofford. Although the Wolverines defense is stifling, I don’t know if they are going to be able to shut the Tar Heels down and I think Michigan will score its fair share of points as well and the OVER will benefit us all.