Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#605 Miami - FL 148 vs.
#606 North Carolina (UNC) -5.5
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#605 University of Miami
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The North Carolina Tar Heels will host the Miami Florida Hurricanes in an ACC battle Saturday afternoon from the Dean E. Smith Center. The Hurricanes were demolished 89-59 at Duke on Tuesday night, and the Tar Heels were edged 79-77 in overtime at Virginia Tech in their latest bout. The Tar Heels topped the Hurricanes in both meetings last season.

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Miami Florida Demolished by Duke

The Miami Florida Hurricanes have been on the wrong end of several blowouts in ACC play. They were pelted with an 89-59 road loss by #8 Duke on Tuesday night to plummet to 2-6 in conference action. The Hurricanes have now lost three straight games and five out of their last six games overall as they cannot find their stride on the defensive side.

Chris Lykes has been a threat in most of ACC play. The junior guard has scored at least 20 points in two out of his last three games and is carrying an average of 15.7 PPG on a 43% shooting percentage. Dejan Vasiljevic is very effective from three-point territory where he holds a 42% efficiency. The senior guard scored 19 points in last weekend’s loss to Florida State and he is posting 14.6 PPG on the season. Kameron McGusty has scored a combined 28 points in his last two games. The junior guard is third in team scoring with 14.5 points.

The Hurricanes are now positioned down at 103rd in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings and are an even 3-3 on the road this season. Miami Florida has not been productive in ACC play, and they are averaging 71.8 points, ranking them 169th in DI. They are conceding an average of 74.1 points, placing them down at 292nd overall.

Tar Heels Battling Injuries, Fall to 1-6 in ACC Play

The North Carolina Tar Heels' disastrous season continues. They have lost five in a row and are last in the ACC with a 1-6 record. They have been decimated with injuries which have been the key contributor to their woes. The Tar Heels put forth a valiant effort in a narrow 79-75 double-overtime road loss to Virginia Tech on Wednesday in a game that had North Carolina tagged as seven-point dogs.

Tar Heels' leading scorer Cole Anthony, who is averaging 19.1 PPG, remains sidelined but is expected to return in a few weeks. Garrison Brooks has been their top threat in Anthony’s absence. The junior guard scored 23 points in Wednesday’s defeat and has lifted his season average to 15.2 PPG and 9.4 RPG. Brandon Robinson sat out of Wednesday’s game with a neck injury and is questionable for this one. The senior guard owns an average of 12.1 PPG on 38.8% shooting.

The Tar Heels are currently placed 97th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings which is an odd sight for this historic program. North Carolina is 4-5 at home and they are scoring an average of 70.1 points, ranking them 218th in the country. They are conceding an average of 71.1 points, positioning them 231st overall.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am siding with Miami Florida in this one. The Tar Heels' injuries will be too much to overcome. They continue to play without their leading scorer Cole Anthony (19.1 PPG) and they have lost five straight games overall. Moreover, Brandon Robinson (12.1 PPG) missed Wednesday’s game and is questionable for this one.

Furthermore, the Hurricanes haven’t been much better but at least they are healthy, plus they have the edge from an offensive standpoint. Miami Florida is a big threat from three-point range where they are shooting 35.1%, and the Tar Heels stand down at 250th in the country in three-point defense.

Prediction: Miami Florida Hurricanes

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am selecting the over in this one. The Hurricanes have increased their pace recently. They have logged an average of 74.9 possessions in their last three games which is well above their season average. I expect their three-point shooting to play a big role in the over. The over is 10-2 in the Hurricanes’ last 12 games following a straight-up loss of more than 20 points.

In addition, the Hurricanes defense is a big reason they are 2-6 in ACC play. They have surrendered over 80 points in three straight games, although one of those went to overtime. The over is 3-0-1 in the Tar Heels’ last four home games overall.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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Miami should be able to make a big impact offensively and a play on their team total available on PointsBet is an attractive option. Miami features solid scoring punch. The Tar Heels have surrendered an average of 78.6 points in their last three games overall. Although two of those went to overtime the absence of Cole Anthony impacts them defensively considering he is averaging over six boards per game. The Tar Heels even surrendered 96 points to Georgia Tech earlier this month and can’t be trusted.

Prediction: Miami Florida Team Total Over

Half-Time Total Bet

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I am staying with the over on the halftime total. The Tar Heels have squandered an average of 34 points in the opening half in their last three games. Also, the Hurricanes' first-half defense has been atrocious, conceding an average of 37.3 points in their last three games overall.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.