November 30, 2016
There are 2 college basketball picks tonight.
#1: Take Indiana +5 spread against North Carolina for 3% of the bankroll.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge continues tonight with a top-10 matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Indiana Hoosiers from Bloomington, Indiana. The third-ranked Tar Heels are coming off a championship in the Maui Invitational last week at sit at 7-0 for the first time since 2008-09. This will arguably the toughest test for North Carolina thus far this season.
Indiana has a very deep and experienced roster as well and already has a resume building win in the books over Kansas. Indiana’s leading scorer is James Blackmon Jr. who averages 20.5 points per contest. OG Anunoby is averaging 11.8 points and leads the team with seven blocks thus far this season. Indiana is averaging 88.6 points per game and they are shooting 49.5 percent from the floor including 39.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. They are a team that loves to push the pace and is arguably the best team in the country when it comes to playing in transition.
A big strength of this Tar Heels team has been their ability to clean up on the glass. North Carolina grabs an astounding 46.6 percent of its own misses, which ranks second in the country. In recent years, the Hoosiers haven’t been a great defensive rebounding team, however that has seemingly changed this season as they rank 16th in the country in that category. It's going to take a collective effort tonight, but if they can match UNC's intensity on the glass, it will open up fast-break opportunities for the Hoosiers.
Playing at Assembly Hall can be a daunting task for opposing teams. The Hoosiers are incredibly tough to beat in this building and have shown their ability to rain down threes at a moment’s notice. As dominant as they have been this early in the season, UNC will need to play a near flawless game to escape Bloomington with a victory. We expect Indiana to pull off the upset in this contest, but if they don't we believe the points will come into play as a Tar Heels win will likely be by the slimmest of margins.
#2: Take Ohio State +13 spread against Virginia for 3% of the bankroll.
There is no question that the Virginia Cavaliers have been impressive on the defensive side of the basketball this season. They are currently ranked as the country's best defensive unit and have yet to allow an opponent to score over the 60-point mark. That being said, Ohio State comes into this contest undefeated and have shown their proficiency on the offensive side of the ball. Ohio State has a ton of talent at their disposal, with six players averaging in double-figures in scoring. They are an incredibly deep team and as a whole, come into this game ranked tied for 89th in the nation in scoring offense with 79 points per game on 51% shooting from the field and 38% from long range. They are also tied for 34th with 41.8 rebounds per contest and is 48th in the nation with 16.8 assists per game. While a lot of talk has been made about the Virginia defense, Ohio State has been tight with their defensive assignments as well, coming into this contest ranked 13th in scoring defense as they have given up just an average of 58.8 points per game on the season.
As good as the Cavs have been defensively, they are a team that still struggles somewhat on the offensive end. They come into this contest tied for 211th in the country in offensive production. Another area where the Cavaliers used to dominate, but have taken a step back tis season has been on the glass. They are just 154th in the country in rebounding which could play a factor in this matchup tonight. Ohio State has been shooting the ball extremely well and is efficient from the floor. If Virginia is allowing the Buckeyes to crash the glass and grab their misses, it's only a matter of time before that vaunted Virginia defense starts to break down. Teams can't allow a team as good as Ohio State second and third chance opportunities.
The odds makers have set this line believe that the Virginia defense is once again going to carry this team. While that may certainly be the case, it will be extremely difficult to shut such a deep and dangerous Ohio State roster down for a full 40 minutes. The Buckeyes are the deeper, more experienced, and more potent team on the offensive end. Even if they don't win this game outright, they should have the firepower on the floor to keep this game within striking distance. There are numerous ways Ohio State can find to stay within this generous number and only one way that Virginia covers. We don't see this contest being a blowout and even if it is, given the numerous players on offense who have shown an ability to score the basketball, a backdoor cover, receiving this many points is certainly never out of the question.
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