The middle of this week has a dandy of a matchup in Chapel Hill. Michigan travels in for their bout with North Carolina in the ACC/BIG Ten Challenge and both teams have been humbled early. Michigan’s two losses are to #25 Seton Hall and #11 Arizona. North Carolina’s two losses are to #2 Purdue and #13 Tennessee. All four losses are respectable which is why there is still a lot of shine on this game.
North Carolina is helmed by junior Armando Bacot. As a sophomore he appeared in 28 of 29 Tar Heel games last year and now he leads the team in points, rebounds and blocks. He’s got help in the Heels’ high-energy offense from sophomore Caleb Love who tallies 15.2 points on his own and leads the team in minutes played and leading the point is R.J. Davis who’s dropping in 13.7 points and shoots 50% from beyond the arc. In fact, 4 of 5 North Carolina starters are averaging in double digits.
North Carolina’s issue will be two-fold. The first being their pace has played into the fact that they are 324th in the nation in scoring defense. Michigan will be able to run with Eli Brooks (who scored 24 against UNC when they played last in 2019) and they shoot the lights out, 48% from the field. Carolina’s other issue might be depth. Michigan has played a bunch of different lineups this season while the Tar Heels have spent the vast majority of their minutes of 7 players. It’s something I’ll be watching for some possible live-plays.
The good news reigns at the end for me picking North Carolina moneyline at +1005: Michigan is playing it’s first true road game and they turn the ball over a wild 21.5% of the time. Oh, and Michigan is hitting a paltry 29% from three and is 2-4 ATS. I’ll add that UNC is 0-6 ATS but they are 3-0 at home outright and simply put, I think North Carolina wins this thing at home.