NCAA Tournament Betting: Alabama vs. North Carolina Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
NCAA Tournament Betting: Alabama vs. North Carolina Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

One of the most intriguing matchups in the Sweet 16 involves the Alabama Crimson Tide squaring off against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Ahead of Thursday's enticing showdown, which game and prop bets are worth taking?

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Alabama vs. North Carolina Betting Odds

Date and Time: Thursday, March 28th at 9:39 p.m. ET

Spread: North Carolina -3.5 (-118)

Total: 173.5


  • Alabama: +146
  • North Carolina: -178

Alabama vs. North Carolina Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • numberFire Ranking: 11th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 15th
  • KenPom Ranking: 13th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 112th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 2nd
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 9th

North Carolina Tar Heels

  • numberFire Ranking: 7th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 9th
  • KenPom Ranking: 9th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 6th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 24th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 41st

Alabama vs. North Carolina Best Bet

North Carolina -3.5 (-118)

Neither team has had major issues advancing to the Sweet 16, winning both of their games by 10-plus points. The Crimson Tide defeated the 13 seed Charleston Cougars and the 12 seed Grand Canyon Antelopes while the Tar Heels have beaten the 16 seed Wagner Seahawks and the 9 seed Michigan State Spartans.

Teams don't get to choose who they play against -- and previous years have little meaning on the outcome of this year's tournament -- but it should be noted that Alabama hasn't defeated a higher-seeded team in the NCAA Tournament since head coach Nate Oats took over in 2019.

For a team that has been shaky on the defensive end of the court all season, the Crimson Tide held the Antelopes to 32.1% shooting from the field and 10.0% shooting from three-point range in their Second-Round contest. Despite the success they had defensively versus Grand Canyon, Alabama is going to struggle to slow down North Carolina.

In the first two rounds of the tourney, the Tar Heels are shooting a combined 50.8% from the field and are knocking down 43.2% of their outside shots. Led by RJ Davis (21.3 PPG) and Armando Bacot (14.4 PPG, 10.2 RPG), North Carolina has tallied 85-plus points in each of their first two games while also giving up fewer than 70 points in both contests.

Turnovers could be crucial in this game with both teams playing at a frenetic pace. The Tar Heels are 32nd in offensive turnover rate (14.4%) compared to the Crimson Tide being 102nd (16.0%) in the same metric, via Bart Torvik's stats.

What could also separate North Carolina in this game is the fact they are eighth in adjusted defensive efficiency (93.2) and the fact Alabama is 319th in defensive free-throw rate (39.6%). That could be an issue against a Tar Heels team that is 77th in offensive free-throw rate (36.8%) with Bacot averaging 5.1 free-throw attempts per game.

Alabama vs. North Carolina Prop Bet

RJ Davis Over 21.5 Points (-113)

Davis' points prop is set slightly above his season average of 21.3 points per game, but the experienced guard has been clearing this line recently. Volume hasn't been an issue for Davis, who has taken 15-plus field-goal attempts in four of his last five contests.

While Davis posted 20 points against Michigan State in the Second Round, he scored 22 points in the First Round, and he's logged 22-plus points in 19 of his 36 appearances this season. It also helps that he's made three-plus threes in four consecutive games, and the Crimson Tide are 154th in defensive three-point rate (36.7%).

Playing in a pace-up game with the highest total among the Sweet 16 games of 173.5 should also benefit Davis. With Alabama being an inconsistent team on the defensive end of the court, Davis should have no issue producing 22-plus points in a must-win game to advance to the Elite Eight.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.