NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Target the Under for Wagner vs. North Carolina

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin

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.

After having to wait to see who their opponent would be in the Round of 64, the 1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels will square off against the 16 seed Wagner Seahawks. With many expecting the Tar Heels to take care of business versus the Seahawks, which bets should interest you in the upcoming contest?

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

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Wagner vs. North Carolina Betting Odds

Date and Time: Thursday, March 21st at 2:45 p.m. ET

Spread: North Carolina -24.5 (-115)

Total: 133.5


  • Wagner: +3000
  • North Carolina: -10000

Wagner vs. North Carolina Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Wagner Seahawks

  • numberFire Ranking: 302nd
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 295th
  • KenPom Ranking: 291st
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 171st
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 334th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 361st

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

Wagner vs. North Carolina Best Bet

Under 133.5 (-105)

It is a highly improbable NCAA Tournament appearance from Wagner after they won the NEC Tournament and defeated Howard, 71-68, in one of Tuesday's First Four matchups. The Seahawks own a 17-15 record, but they are one of the worst teams across the board when looking at offensive and defensive efficiency.

The fact Wagner is allowing the seventh-fewest points per game (62.3) in the nation is more about them playing at a snail's pace on offense rather than deploying a dominant defense. They check in just 171st in adjusted defensive efficiency, but the Seahawks play at the 361st adjusted tempo in college basketball, which makes the under of 133.5 points enticing.

Scoring won't come easy for Wagner when they take the floor against North Carolina as the Seahawks are 334th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are a well-rounded squad that has the 6th-best adjusted defensive efficiency and the 16th-worst effective field-goal percentage allowed (46.4%).

While the likes of RJ Davis (21.4 PPG) and Armando Bacot (14.1 PPG, 10.2 RPG) are fantastic players, we've seen North Carolina games hit the under against teams similar to Wagner. When the Tar Heels took on the Virginia Cavaliers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- two squads that are 336th or worse in adjusted tempo -- in conference play, the under won out in both contests.

Even as inconsistent as Virginia and Notre Dame are on the offensive end of the court, they are better offensively than Wagner is.

Given the combined 36-28 record to the under from Wagner and North Carolina this season, expect a low-scoring affair -- especially from the Seahawks -- in this First-Round clash.

Wagner vs. North Carolina Prop Bet

Armando Bacot Over 24.5 Points + Rebounds (-120)

Despite me liking the under in this game, Bacot should have plenty of success on both ends of the court. Dominating the glass is normal for Bacot, who has grabbed 10-plus rebounds in 19 of his 34 games this season.

The physical big man for the Tar Heels has upped his play ahead of the NCAA Tournament, posting 14-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in each of his last three games. While Bacot has combined for 25-plus points and rebounds in only 6 of his last 13 contests, he should have plenty of rebound chances in this one with Wagner ranking 353rd in effective field-goal percentage (44.6%).

Grabbing rebounds should be easy for Bacot, and he has made a concerted effort to get more involved in the scoring, producing 14-plus points in four of his last five outings. There certainly is a chance the Tar Heels seize a massive lead that results in Bacot seeing an early exit.

With that said, Bacot will likely be a large reason North Carolina gets such a big advantage.

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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.