College Basketball Best Bets, Jan. 2: Pittsburgh vs North Carolina

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down North Carolina at Pitt and which side is the right side between the ACC squads.

North Carolina (-4.5) at Pittsburgh: O/U 158.0

We have an ACC battle that I will be in attendance for between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Pitt Panthers in the Oakland Zoo! I expect this game to live up to expectations and the home team to have a slight edge.

Pitt has won three straight versus Hubert Davis and North Carolina as he is still searching for his first win over the Panthers. Since 2021, Pitt won both meetings at UNC and the only matchup at Pitt.

North Carolina is coming off a 106-50 home win over Charleston Southern and goes to Pitt to play its first true road game of the year. The Tar Heels have played five neutral court games and gone 2-3 with wins over Northern Iowa and Arkansas, plus losses to Villanova, UConn, and Kentucky.

While UNC has played the tougher schedule thus far and is admittedly the better team, this is not an ideal spot on the road and in conference play versus an opponent that's had their number. North Carolina was 4-7 in true road games last season and 12-10 overall in the past two years under Davis.

Pittsburgh is a large team (6th-tallest) that will battle Armando Bacot and the Tar Heels on the boards, plus the Panthers' have a solid perimeter defense. If UNC falls into the up-and-down offensive pace that Pitt prefers (ranked 91st in offensive tempo), then the Panthers should cover and have a real shot at winning four straight over the Tar Heels.

Give me Pitt +4.5 at -112 odds down to +4, plus I sprinkled the ML at +160 odds.

Pick: Pitt +4.5 (1u)

Season Record: 14-6 (70%) +7.13 units

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