The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-10, 5-7 ACC) travel to No. 21 North Carolina to play the Tar Heels (19-7, 8-5 ACC) in a game that has the potential to be high-scoring. The game starts at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, February 12, 2018, and will air on ESPN.
The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 150.5 points with North Carolina opening as a 9.5-point favorite.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at North Carolina Tar Heels ATS Prediction
The Fighting Irish come in on a high note after beating the Florida State Seminoles in their last matchup, 84-69. The Fighting Irish knocked down 20 of their 24 free throws (83.3 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.582 (above their season average of 0.521). With 28 points on 10-for-15 shooting, Matt Farrell was the game’s leading scorer.
In the Tar Heels’ last game, they were victorious over the North Carolina State Wolfpack, 96-89. North Carolina’s rebounding was their largest strength. The Tar Heels had more offensive rebounds (15 vs. seven), defensive rebounds (26 vs. 17) and total rebounds (41 vs. 24). Luke Maye was the top scorer from either team with 33 points on 15-for-22 shooting.
This meeting figures to be a high-scoring affair as a pair of the nation’s top offenses face off. North Carolina ranks 25th with 114.7 points per 100 possessions and Notre Dame is 33rd (113.7). The Fighting Irish should be expected to protect the ball well. They rank 16th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 15.3 percent). Conversely, the Tar Heels force the 49th-fewest turnovers in the nation (opponents’ turnover percentage of 16.7 percent).
Notre Dame is 15-10 straight up (SU), but they are just 9-11 against the spread (ATS). Vegas tends to set the total low when the Fighting Irish are involved, as 55.0 percent of their games have ended over the O/U total.
Meanwhile, North Carolina is 19-7 SU and 12-10-3 ATS. Coinciding with Notre Dame, Tar Heels games also have a tendency to finish over the total (56.0 percent).
Both teams have had a player take their game to the next level over their last five games. T.J. Gibbs (21.8 points) has been great for the Fighting Irish while Cameron Johnson (15.8 points) has made solid contributions to the Tar Heels.
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. Maye had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the first matchup, in which the Tar Heels topped the Fighting Irish 69-68 but could not cover as 5-point favorites. The game finished with a total of 137 points, which was 10 points below the projected point total of 147 points. The Tar Heels’ 9.3 turnover percentage was their biggest strength over the Fighting Irish, who had a mark of 13.2.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at North Carolina Tar Heels Pick
College Basketball Prediction: SU Winner – North Carolina, ATS Winner – North Carolina, O/U – Over
Notre Dame is 5-6 ATS on the road with 7 unders and 4 overs.
At home, North Carolina is 7-3-2 ATS with 9 overs, 2 unders and 1 push.
North Carolina averages 17.8 assists per game, which ranks ninth in the NCAA. Notre Dame ranks 167th in assists allowed per game (13.9).
The Fighting Irish rank 111th in three pointers attempted per game (23.1) while the Tar Heels rank 263rd in three pointers allowed per game (26.6).
North Carolina averages 43.3 rebounds per game, which ranks first in the NCAA. Notre Dame ranks 130th in rebounds allowed per game (34.4).
The Fighting Irish average 3.8 blocks per game, which ranks 77th in the NCAA. The Tar Heels rank 191st in blocks allowed per game (4.7).
Notre Dame ranks 45th in steals allowed per game (5.3) while North Carolina ranks 106th (6.1).
In their last five games, Notre Dame is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
North Carolina is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under over their last five games.
The Fighting Irish have been outscored by an average of 3.8 points in their last five games. On the season, Notre Dame has defeated opponents by an average of 8.4 points.
During their last five games, the Tar Heels have scored an average of 88.6 points per game (5.3 above their season average) and allowed an average of 81.8 points per game (8.2 above their season average).
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