Louisville Cardinals vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Pick
Louisville Cardinals (20-12 SU, 17-13-2 ATS) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (26-5 SU, 19-10-2 ATS)
When: Thursday, March 14, 2019 – 7 p.m. ET
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
By: Matt Lowry, College Basketball Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UNC -7.5 (MyBookie Sportsbook)
Last Time Out: Louisville beat Notre Dame 75-53; North Carolina beat Duke in the regular season finale 79-70
Scouting the Cardinals:
The Cardinals won their opening round game of the ACC tournament when they took down the upset minded Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 75-53. This was a great start to their March Madness after they have struggled all year to close out games.
Scouting the Tar Heels:
The Tar Heels finished as the second seed in the ACC meaning they were awarded a double-bye into the quarterfinals. The Tar Heels most recently down a “Zion-less” Duke team to complete the sweep and head into this game on a seven-game winning streak. Joe Lunardi currently has the Tar Heels projected as a 1 seed, but they could easily lose this if they were to fall against the Cardinals. With the late season run by the Tar Heels, they are looking like a strong contender to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament and should even be considered a National Title contender.
Head to Head:
Louisville and North Carolina met twice this season. The strange thing was the away team won both meetings and both games were blowouts. Overall the past ten meetings dating back to 2008, shows that North Carolina has a slight edge and is 6-4 during this stretch against the Cardinals. Luckily for the Tar Heels, this game is being played in Charlette, North Carolina, so it is very possible that the Tar Heels will represent their team extremely well.
Notable Betting Trends:
The biggest trend to look at in this matchup is that Louisville is very poor when it comes to covering against the Tar Heels. Louisville has failed to cover in four of the last six and three of the last four. For the Tar Heels, they are 26-2 overall when they score 70 or more points and 0-3 when scoring less than 70.
The Louisville defense. When the Cardinals played in Chapel Hill way back in January, they of course ended up coming away with a blowout win. This was because they held the Tar Heels to 34.5% shooting from the field and 13.6% from the three-point line. They also held the Tar Heels to 62 points, which was their second lowest scoring game this entire season. More importantly, they held Cameron Johnson to 10 points, Coby White to 4 points, and Luke Maye to 9 points. If Louisville want any chance of advancing in this tournament, holding the Tar Heels to under 70 points will be the key.
Louisville will Cover if:
They can knock down their threes. The Cardinals shot 9-29 from the three-point line in the second round against the Fighting Irish. Luckily, Notre Dame is not a very good team, so they easily were able to win. Against the Tar Heels, it will be a much different story. The Cardinals shot 42.3% from three in Chapel Hill. They also shot north of 50% overall from the field. Jordan Nwora was the key contributor as he shot 5 of 8 from deep range and posted a 17-point game. Considering this is likely to be a high scoring game, the three ball can be a big reason why the Cardinals could keep this game close.
Who else wants $60 of FREE member picks & predictions?
North Carolina will Cover if:
Their top three scoring options continue to excel. Cameron Johnson, Coby White and Luke Maye have all three been amazing for this Tar Heels team all season long. Johnson leads the team in scoring with 16.8, White is right behind him with 16.3 and Maye also is in double figures with 14.6. The crazy thing is when one of these guys has a bad game, the others just step up even more and lead the way for this team. On a side note, the fact that Coby White is a freshman should scare the rest of the ACC if he decides to return for his sophomore season. It is possible that the Tar Heels may come out a little flat since they have had a ton of days off, but the offense from these main guys should give the Tar Heels a comfortable win.
Matt’s Pick for Louisville vs. North Carolina:
MyBookie has the Tar Heels set as a -7.5 point favorite. While Louisville does have one game under their belt, North Carolina is a much more talented team and will advance to the semifinals.
Matt’s College Basketball Pick: North Carolina ATS