North Carolina vs. UCLA Odds, Lines, Picks & Predictions – NCAAB, Mar. 25

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North Carolina guard RJ Davis (4), forward Brady Manek (45) and forward Armando Bacot (5) celebrate in the second half of a second-round game against Baylor in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, March, 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
BetMGM Staff @BETMGM Mar 24, 2022, 2:05 PM

The Sweet 16 has some great games, which will make for an exciting few days of college basketball betting.

One of those is North Carolina taking on UCLA in a blue-blood matchup that should bring plenty of fun. With Baylor and Kentucky, who had great college basketball odds going into the tournament, both knocked out of the region, things feel wide open for either of these teams to make a run to the Final Four.

Below we take a look at the matchup, including some college basketball trends, and give a prediction for who we think comes away with a win.

North Carolina vs. UCLA: When, Where & How to Watch

#8 North Carolina: 26-9 (15-5) | #4 UCLA: 27-7 (15-5)
Date: 03/25/2022 | Time: 9:39 PM ET | TV: CBS
Location: Philadelphia, PA | Venue: Wells Fargo Center

North Carolina vs. UCLA Odds, Moneyline, Total

Moneyline: North Carolina +120 | UCLA -145

Spread: North Carolina +2.5 (-110) | UCLA -2.5 (-110)

Total: 141.5 Over -110 | Under -110

North Carolina vs. UCLA Analysis

North Carolina is certainly not playing like a No. 8 seed anymore.

Their patented “Iron Five” starting lineup has turned it up a notch and sent the first top seed of this year’s tournament packing with their overtime win over Baylor last weekend. Many point to the ejection of Brady Manek causing the momentum swing in the near-meltdown from the Tar Heels, but the lack of bench minutes is also a slight concern regarding UNC’s ability to play out a full 40 minutes.

The worry with this bet will be North Carolina’s inability to force turnovers on the defensive end.

The Tar Heels rank 347th in defensive turnover percentage while the Bruins sit in the top five in offensive turnover percentage. If North Carolina is going to keep UCLA’s scoring in check, it’s likely going to come from shot defense and keeping the Bears off the offensive boards, where the Tar Heels rank second in the nation.

Sounds like I’m making a case for UCLA, but I can’t get in front of this North Carolina team playing at their ceiling right now.

UCLA can get in some scoring droughts that concern me and getting 2.5 points with the amount of talent that the Tar Heels possess is good enough reason for me to back the dog here.

North Carolina vs. UCLA Prediction

The Pick: North Carolina +2.5 (-110)

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Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.

Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.