Texas Longhorns vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Picks

December 1, 2020

Date:Wednesday, December 2nd
Time:4:00 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Maui Invitational
Spread:Texas -1
O/U:139

The 3-0 Texas Volunteers will meet the 3-0 North Carolina Tar Heels at 4:00 PM ET in the Maui Invitational Championship. The squads have endured different paths to the championship, but it only matters that they made it and the winner will walk away as the champs. The Tar Heels have won the National Championship all three times they won the Maui Invitational under Roy Williams, so this might be a more important game than it seems. Let’s dive into how this one will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of my NCAAB Picks and Predictions for the upcoming week of games.

Trends

  • Longhorns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight-up win of more than 20 points.
  • Tar Heels are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
  • Under is 8-2 in Longhorns last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Under is 5-0 in Tar Heels last 5 overall.

When The Texas Longhorns Have The Ball

The Longhorns were underdogs against Indiana yesterday and never left the game in question. Texas was the better team from start to finish and now they’ll have to face off with an extremely talented North Carolina team. The Longhorns do it with balance as you won’t find one guy dominating the ball in this offense.

Courtney Ramey (13 pts) and Matt Coleman III (16 pts) were excellent yesterday and the guard duo must have a big game here. They also can’t turn the ball over, which was their kryptonite in 2019 and UNC will pressure them. Brock Cunningham played 31 minutes off the bench and I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds a larger role moving forward. Jericho Sims and Gabe Brown are talented, but they won’t play more than 20 minutes in most games.

When The North Carolina Tar Heels Have The Ball

The Tar Heels won a back and forth affair against Stanford in round two to advance to the Maui Invitational Championship. They did it with an extremely balanced offense as all five starters reached double-digits. Freshman PG Caleb Love led the way with 16 points, three rebounds, and two assists. He’s joined on the perimeter by R.J. Davis, who’s an inconsistent, but talented slash-guard.

The Tar Heels’ biggest strength is their size. Armando Bacot and Garrison Brooks are already monsters in the paint and the addition of Day’Ron Sharpe will make them tough to deal with for anyone. Sharpe is an absolute beast and he’s a guy I expect to start by year’s end. He can not only score and rebound but also pass and play defense. The Tar Heels look a lot better with him on the floor.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: UNC +1

These are two balanced offenses and this is going to be a phenomenal game. The Tar Heels have the talent edge in both the frontcourt and backcourt, but Texas has the experience edge at guard and the way they win this game is with Ramey and Coleman.

The Heels win it by getting the ball down low and making everything tough on Texas. I expect the Tar Heels to take home the championship for the 4th time under HC Roy Williams in a game that will inevitably come down to the wire.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 139
Final Score Prediction: North Carolina 68, Texas 66

Neither of these offenses force the ball and while there will be plenty of transition, that will just be an answer to tough defense. The Tar Heels make nothing easy in the paint and Leaky Black does a great job on the opposing team’s best perimeter option. Texas isn’t as tough on defense, but they just held Indiana to 44, so that might not be true this season. Ramey and Coleman are bulldogs and they have just as much size down low. I like the under here.

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