Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#715 Elon vs.
#716 North Carolina (UNC)
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 8:30pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#715 Elon University
#716 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2-2
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13-17
21-13-1
15-15
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70
85
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73

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The #5 North Carolina Tar Heels will host the Elon Phoenix in the Battle 4 Atlantis campus game Wednesday night from the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill. The Phoenix were routed 70-50 by Michigan this past weekend, and the Tar Heels tallied a 77-61 home win against Gardner-Webb in their previous action. The Tar Heels demolished Elon by a 116-67 score last season.

Elon Charged with Second Straight Loss

The Elon Phoenix opened their season with two wins against poor opponents but have since lost two straight games against Illinois, followed by a 70-50 road loss to Michigan. Marcus Sheffield II is a big threat and their top player. He has registered an average of 17.3 points on 43% shooting accompanied with 5.8 rebounds. The senior guard collected 22 points in the defeat to Michigan and 24 points in the season opener.

Simon Wright has seen a huge increase in playing time this season after logging 1.9 PPG last year. The junior forward has only scored a combined four points in his last two games and is carrying an average of 7.3 PPG and a team-leading 7.3 RPG. Hunter McIntosh stands third in team scoring with 9.8 points. The Phoenix two wins occurred against Mars Hill and Milligan who do not play in the DI.

Elon is currently placed down at 327th in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings. They are going to have trouble this season as they rely heavily on Marcus Sheffield II. The Phoenix' are struggling in a big way in the offensive end, averaging only 69 points, ranking them 240th overall. They are allowing an average of 68 points, positioning them 177th in D1.

#5 Tar Heels Cruise to Three Convincing Wins

The North Carolina Tar Heels have won all three games this season quite easily. Their toughest opponent was Notre Dame in a game the Tar Heels took by a 76-65 score. North Carolina is playing outstanding defense which included a 77-61 win against Gardner-Webb in their previous action.

Watch for Cole Anthony who has lived up to his lofty expectations through the first three games of his collegiate career. The freshman point guard was a five-star recruit and is expected to go in the top 10 in the NBA draft. Anthony is already dominating, scoring at least 20 points in all three games, and he is sporting an average of 27.3 PPG on 40% shooting to go with 7.3 rebounds.

Garrison Brooke is the Tar Heels' leading returning scorer from last season. The junior forward averaged 7.9 points last season, and he is looking good, posting 11.3 PPG and a team-leading 9 RPG which included a double-double. Justin Pierce is expected to contribute after coming over in a transfer from William & Mary. The senior guard has delivered so far, averaging 10.3 points on 45% shooting in three games.

The Tar Heels lost a good portion of last year’s roster but have brought in enough talent to again be one of the top teams in the ACC and in the nation. The Tar Heels move climbed up to 7th in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and 5th in the AP Top 25. North Carolina is currently averaging 77 points, ranking them 115th overall. They are limiting opponents to 62.7 points, good for 107th in the country.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I expect a dominating win from the Tar Heels. This is a large spread but North Carolina should take this one by big points. Elon is awful from an offensive standpoint. They only scored 40 points against Georgia Tech and 50 points against Michigan in their last two games. Elon will struggle against a Tar Heels team that is clicking defensively. They are holding opponents to 35.5% shooting from the field, so it is going to be another tough night for the Phoenix.

Furthermore, Elon lost by 23 points to Georgia Tech and 20 points to Michigan, which makes this spread attainable. The Tar Heels are better than both those teams, so I am confident they can cover this spread.

Prediction: North Carolina Tar Heels

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am going with the under in this one. The under cashed in the Phoenix last two games against Georgia Tech and Michigan due to their shooting struggles. They shot 21% (yikes) against G.T. and 34% against Michigan. The under is also 4-1 in their last five road games.

In addition, North Carolina should pour on the points. With that said, Elon has held their opponents to 39% shooting this season. Overall, I expect the Tar Heels' defense to lead to the under. The under is 7-1 in the Tar Heels’ last eight non-conference games, and 5-1 in their last six home games.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Elon team total offered on PointsBet is a strong option. Elon only has one player averaging double-digits in points and they don’t have an answer for the Tar Heels defense. Elon is attempting 21 three’s per game and no one has been able to have success from deep against North Carolina. They are limiting opponents to 23.2% shooting from three-point territory on the season.

Prediction: Elon Team Total Under

Half-Time Side Pick

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I am staying with the Tar Heels on the halftime line. The Tar Heels should have a mammoth lead at the half. Elon was limited to only 13 and 22 points respectively in the first half in their last two games. The Tar Heels defense has been stellar in the first half where they are holding opponents to 29 points.

Prediction: North Carolina Tar Heels
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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.