NCAAB

Will North Carolina Cover as a Big Favorite Against Notre Dame?

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
Will North Carolina Cover as a Big Favorite Against Notre Dame?

With the college basketball regular season winding down, the North Carolina Tar Heels are streaking with four consecutive wins. Ahead of a much-anticipated road matchup versus the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in their regular-season finale, the Tar Heels will host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Tuesday.

The Tar Heels are 13-1 at home this season, and it will be Senior night for the team in Carolina blue. RJ Davis, Armando Bacot, and Cormac Ryan -- who transferred from Notre Dame -- are the notable seniors who will undoubtedly receive a standing ovation from the North Carolina faithful.

When looking at FanDuel Sportsbook's college basketball odds, the Tar Heels are massive home favorites with a -2000 moneyline and a 15.5-point spread. Will North Carolina extend its winning streak or will Notre Dame play spoiler?

Let's dive into the betting odds and discuss the best bet to take in the impending clash between the Tar Heels and Fighting Irish.

All NCAA basketball odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Notre Dame-North Carolina Betting Odds

Betting Odds: Spread, Moneyline and Total

Tipoff: Tuesday (Mar. 5), 7 p.m. ET on ACC Network

Spread: North Carolina -15.5 (-110)

Moneyline:

  • Notre Dame: +980
  • North Carolina: -2000

Total: 138.5 (-115/-105)

Notre Dame at North Carolina Matchup Analysis

The Tar Heels enter Tuesday's contest as the No. 7 team in the AP Top 25 poll and No. 9 in KenPom's ratings. North Carolina owns a 23-6 overall record and are a half-game ahead of Duke with a 15-3 conference record in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

With Davis (21.4 PPG) and Bacot (14.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG) leading the charge, the Tar Heels tally the 28th-most points per game (81.4) in the country and the eighth-most rebounds per night (40.79). Defending home court has been a strength for North Carolina, and they could be extra motivated with their seniors having one last chance to play in front of their home fans.

At the same time, the Tar Heels could be looking ahead to their crucial showdown against the Blue Devils to close out the regular season. While North Carolina hasn't struggled to put the ball in the basket, Notre Dame has. ND is averaging the ninth-fewest points per game (63.6) and the 42nd-worst effective field-goal percentage (47.5%).

The Fighting Irish excel on the defensive end of the court as they surrender the 22nd-fewest points per game (65.4) and the 60th-lowest field-goal percentage (41.69%). Additionally, Notre Dame's defense is 25th in adjusted defensive efficiency (97.7).

If the Fighting Irish want to have any chance of upsetting the Tar Heels, they'll need to make shots at a higher clip than they usually do. As for the Tar Heels, they just need to make sure they aren't overlooking this game ahead of their bout with the Blue Devils.

Notre Dame at North Carolina Best Bet

Notre Dame +15.5 (-110)

While these teams are viewed at opposite ends of the spectrum, I'll back the Fighting Irish to cover the spread on the road against the Tar Heels. Despite their 12-17 overall record, Notre Dame is 7-3 against the spread (ATS) on the road while North Carolina is 7-7 ATS at home.

Besides their success at covering the spread on the road, the Fighting Irish are also an ACC-best 12-6 ATS when facing conference opponents. Even with this season being a forgettable one, Notre Dame has won five of its last six games, and they would be a perfect 10-0 ATS in their last 10 contests if they didn't miss covering the spread by a half-point in four of those games.

The offense has been tough to rely on, but the Fighting Irish have produced 69-plus points in five of their last six games. And while the Tar Heels are on a four-game winning streak, they have failed to cover the spread in back-to-back games at home, and they are 3-6-1 ATS across their last 10 contests.

Furthermore, North Carolina is 5-6 ATS when favored by 10-plus points and 2-4 ATS when they are favored by 15-plus points. Being regarded as massive favorites has typically led to closer games than expected for the Tar Heels.

It would be a major boost for the Fighting Irish if guard Markus Burton (17.3 PPG) -- who has averaged 26.7 PPG in his last three contests -- can continue his recent stretch of success. Even though North Carolina has their sights on the ACC regular-season title and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame is capable of keeping the score closer than anticipated.


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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.