North Carolina vs. Texas Prediction
Last year: NORTH CAROLINA (-10) over Texas, 82-63. #23 North Carolina (8-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) is coming off a 93-87 win over East Carolina at home on Dec. 15 laying 16.5, while Texas (6-4 SU, 3-5 ATS) is coming off a 75-63 win over Texas State last Saturday, giving 15. North Carolina visits the Frank Erwin Special Events Center from Austin, TX, to face the Longhorns at 9pmET.
LINE MOVEMENT: The North Carolina Tar Heels opened as a 4.5-point favorite and remained there in most books. The total opened at 139.5 and remained there at most books.
NCAA FREE PICK: Take Texas. According to the latest college basketball trends, the Tar Heels are 8-23 ATS in their last 31 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game and are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Texas is 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Longhorns are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
The 23rd-ranked Tar Heels have lost in two of their past three games away from home and on Saturday, they nearly gave away an 18-point lead in the final 7:19 to East Carolina at home Saturday. North Carolina allowed the Pirates to get within four with 27 seconds left but Dexter Strickland hit a pair of key free throws and Leslie McDonald knocked down a jumper with nine seconds to go in a 93-87 win. Texas pulled away from Texas State for a 75-63 victory Saturday to bounce back from consecutive losses. The Longhorns didn't commit a turnover for the final 10 1/2 minutes and freshman guard Javan Felix had a career-high 20 points, giving him back-to-back games in double digits for the first time. Sophomore forward Jonathan Holmes also recorded his first career double-double with a season-high 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Longhorns are averaging 63.3 points but they've tried to compensate by holding opponents to an average of 58.2 points on 33.2 percent shooting. The Heels will struggle on the road against a young, hungry team looking for a signature win and some revenge after last year.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL FREE PICK: TEXAS LONGHORNS +4.5