No. 12 North Carolina looks to build on its 12-3 start to the season in an important ACC battle against Louisville (10-5) that tips off at noon ET on Saturday. The Tar Heels are off to a 2-0 start in conference play, while the Cardinals had a convincing victory against Miami, but then got upset by Pittsburgh to fall back to .500 in ACC play. After the Tar Heels opened at -12 in the North Carolina vs. Louisville odds, the line sits at -11.5 as tip-off approaches, while the over-under for total points Vegas expects is at 156.5. With so much on the line in early-season ACC play on Saturday, be sure to check out the predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model before making any North Carolina vs. Louisville picks of your own.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $5,200 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. And it enters Week 10 of the 2018-19 college basketball season on a strong 36-21 run on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anybody who has been following it is way up.
Now the model takes aim at this conference matchup. We can tell you it is leaning to the under, and it also has a strong pick against the spread for North Carolina vs. Louisville that’s hitting in over half of simulations. You can see that one over at SportsLine.
The model has taken North Carolina’s red-hot offense into account. The Tar Heels enter play on Saturday averaging 89.9 points per game, which has helped them beat opponents by an average of over 17 points per game this season. They’re shooting 47.6 percent from the field and just over 37 percent from 3-point range on the season.
The two players to watch for Carolina are Cameron Johnson and Luke Maye. Johnson leads the team with 16.2 points per game, while Maye does a little bit of everything — averaging 14.8 points, 10 rebounds and a pair of assists per game. If those two play well, as they did in a win over No. 15 NC State earlier this week, the Tar Heels have a great chance to get the big win that covers the spread.
However, the Cardinals won’t make it easy for the hosts to cover the North Carolina vs. Louisville spread.
The Cardinals have a win over Michigan State earlier in the year and they competed hard against ranked opponents like Tennessee, Marquette and Indiana this season. Chris Mack’s group won’t be afraid of North Carolina despite the talent disparity.
In the win over Michigan State, the Cardinals did a great job of taking care of the basketball with just 10 turnovers for the game. Of course, it was also helpful that Ryan McMahon came of the bench and shot the lights out, hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point range and scoring 24 points in 20 minutes. Against a North Carolina squad that typically only goes eight deep, having another huge day from the Louisville bench could be a huge advantage.
Who wins UNC vs. Louisville? And which side of the spread can you bank on in over half of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to get the strong against-the-spread pick, all from the advanced model that is up more than $5,200 on its college basketball picks the past two years, and find out.