UNC College Basketball Odds Vs. UConn: Will Tar Heels Cover In Jimmy V Classic?
In the second leg of the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday evening, No. 5 UConn is a favorite against No. 9 North Carolina at Madison Square Garden. The Tar Heels are to win straight up, with a total of . Will the Tar Heels cover the point spread in this top-10 non-conference game? Let’s dig into UNC basketball odds against the Huskies, including key metrics and matchups to hone in on.
UNC Basketball odds vs. Connecticut
How Did We Get Here?
After reeling off 24 straight double-digit victories in non-conference play, the Huskies’ streak was snapped at Kansas on Friday. However, the Tar Heels possess a more impressive resume this season than the defending champs. Not only did they pummel Tennessee as a short favorite on Nov. 28, but they also dismantled a then-healthy Arkansas team in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
While Huskies five-star freshman Stephon Castle (knee) is expected to return after playing in just two games so far, Dan Hurley’s bunch is banged up at other key spots. Rutgers transfer Cam Spencer, who boasts a team-high 43.4% perimeter clip, is hampered by big toe injuries on both feet. Elsewhere, the 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan also has a toe injury, and Clingan’s frontcourt mate Alex Karaban is dealing with a finger issue.
Spencer, Clingan, and Karaban are all tagged as questionable ahead of this matchup, making it difficult to handicap.
UConn’s Unlucky Shooting
Although the Huskies rediscovered their 3-point touch at Allen Fieldhouse, they’re due for more regression from behind the arc. They rank No. 203 in perimeter efficiency (32.3%), tallying a pedestrian 1.03 points per shot on unguarded jumpers (via Synergy). However, even with leading scorer Tristen Newton available, UConn is unlikely to attain much positive variance if Spencer and Karaban don’t suit up.
Conversely, the Tar Heels will have their hands full if the opposite occurs. That’s because UNC has been on the fortunate end of the stick when surrendering uncontested catch-and-look looks, as their opponents have shot just 33.8% in those situations.
If Clingan also sees the court, expect the Huskies to dictate a slower pace because of their rebounding proficiency — even against glass cleaner Armando Bacot. That should lead to UConn manufacturing more open 3-point looks while hindering RJ Davis and North Carolina’s uptempo attack.
Appraising Power Ratings
According to my college basketball power rankings, my raw numbers have UConn favored by around 4.6 points on a neutral floor. Factor in a slight home-court edge, with Huskies fans presumably packing the arena, and the spread (-5.5 as of this publishing) isn’t surprising.
Meanwhile, Haslametrics forecasts a final score of 78.5-75.3, favoring UConn. Erik Haslam, the owner of this college basketball analytics site, will join me on the Outside Shots podcast throughout the season.
- Related: Why Auburn Is Eli’s Longshot College Basketball Futures Bet
UConn vs. North Carolina Player Props
UNC Basketball Odds: Props and Futures
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