The Miami Hurricanes are in danger of missing the Big Dance this season with how they are faring so far. They could change that script though if they could beat the North Carolina Tar Heels, who are looking to duplicate their success against Miami this season. Read on for more about this matchup below.
Betting Preview for the Miami Hurricanes vs. North Carolina Tar Heels College Basketball Game on February 9, 2019
Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill
When: Saturday, February 9, 2019, 12:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Miami Hurricanes (9-12 Overall / 1-8 Conference)
Miami is not a tournament team this year, but the Hurricanes are obligated to win because they can’t continue to embarrass their proud school. As of this writing, the Hurricanes are on a five-game losing skid, including a 56-46 road loss to the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville last Saturday. They are taking on a winnable matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish before facing the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Miami has been so-so on both ends of the court this season. Their offense isn’t imposing and their defense is mediocre. They are averaging 73.1 points per game on 44.5 percent shooting and allows 71.2 points per contest. There’s a seemingly lack of defensive effort on their part, too, as opponents are taking the fourth fewest free throw attempts per game (12.8), which is a sign of laziness on defense. The Hurricanes, however, were able to keep in step with North Carolina at least in the first half of an 85-76 home loss on Jan. 19, wherein the halftime score was at 37-37. Miami leading scorer Chris Lykes had 20 in a losing effort. He is putting up 16.7 points per game.
Miami is 2-2 against the spread (ATS) as a road underdog this season.
Betting on the North Carolina Tar Heels (17-4 Overall / 7-1 Conference)
Pending a Tuesday matchup with the NC State Wolfpack, the Tar Heels are on a roll right now in conference play. They have won all of their last five games, including a 79-69 road win over the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday, which avenged their only conference loss so far this season. North Carolina’s offense has been humming for most of the season. It is third in the nation with 87.1 points per game, with plenty of second-chance scoring opportunities. The Tar Heels are the best rebounding team in Division I basketball right now with an average of 43.9 rebounds per game. It was a big reason why they outlasted Miami in the first matchup with Jim Larranaga’s team this season, as the Tar Heels gobbled up a ton of rebounds while facing barely any resistance from the Hurricanes’ slimmed down frontcourt, winning the battle on the boards, 38-23. Forwards Luke Maye and Garrison Brooks should be able to dominate the glass once again, as nothing much has changed in that area for Miami. Maye leads the Tar Heels with 9.8 rebounds, while Garrison and Cameron Johnson combined for 14 rebounds against Miami, including six on the offensive end.
The Tar Heels are 3-1 ATS in their last four games against Miami.
North Carolina repeats over Miami with an 88-73 win.
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