Pittsburgh at North Carolina Odds, Betting Prediction & TV Info

Written by on January 30, 2017

The unranked Pittsburgh Panthers are in their worst slump in years and aren’t going to make the NCAA Tournament barring a miracle run in the ACC tourney. North Carolina was No. 9 in last week’s polls but will fall some in the new ones off a bad loss in Miami. But the Heels will be solid college basketball betting favorites Tuesday against Pitt.

Pittsburgh at North Carolina Odds, Betting Prediction & TV Info

When: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7 PM ET
Where: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: UNC favored by TBA

Why Bet On Pittsburgh?

Pitt clearly made a mistake when it basically ran former Coach Jamie Dixon out of town — he’s at TCU now — and replaced him with former Vandy coach Kevin Stallings. Pitt is 12-9 and on a six-game losing streak following a 67-60 defeat to Clemson on Saturday.

The Tigers (12-8, 2-6 ACC) won for the first time in 2017 by holding Pitt to just 32 percent (18-of- 55) shooting and keeping it together after the Panthers trimmed a 10-point deficit to 60-57 with 4:35 left. Gabe DeVoe knocked down a turnaround jumper and then slipped into the lane for a putback. Clemson’s defense did the rest. Pitt made just 5 of 28 shots in the second half and missed its final five shots over the final 2:33.

Michael Young scored in double figures for the 20th time this season and 80th time in his career for Pitt. He finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while shooting 7-of- 8 from the free throw line. Jamel Artis scored in double figures for the 19th time this season and the 71st time in his career. He finished with 16 points off 7-of- 15 from the field. Either Artis or Young have led the Panthers in scoring in 48 of the past 54 games, including all 21 games this season.

Pitt led 36-31 at the half for its first halftime lead since leading No. 11 Virginia at the half Jan. 4 … the Panthers went on to win that game 88-76 in overtime. Pitt slips to 10-3 on the year when Artis, Cameron Johnson and Young score in double figures in the same game. Pitt was 0-2 vs. North Carolina last year.

Why Bet On North Carolina?

The Heels had a seven-game winning streak snapped in a 77-62 loss at Miami on Saturday. The Tar Heels’ point total was a season low and 27 below their average, and they shot only 35 percent. The Hurricanes repeatedly got their hands on the ball against the taller Tar Heels, especially in the lane.

Miami also had a 41-36 edge in rebounding against the Tar Heels, who lead the nation in that category. The Tar Heels had scored at least 85 points in a school-record seven consecutive league games, but that streak was doomed by a season-low first-half point total. They missed 18 of their final 19 shots and trailed 39-22 at halftime. Carolina set season lows in points (62), points in a half (22 in the first half), FG percentage in a half (20.7 in the first half, which is 2nd lowest in Roy Williams era at UNC).

Williams subbed for his entire lineup at one point in the second half, but no combination worked. The Tar Heels played without injured swingman Theo Pinson. The loss was the second game this year when UNC officially had zero fastbreak pts (also vs. Wisconsin), although Justin Jackson scored on the secondary break early. UNC’s eight second-chance points also tied fewest this year (with loss at Indiana).

Jackson’s 21 points led UNC for the third game in a row and the seventh time in the last 10 games. It was his 11th 20-point game this year. Pinson isn’t going to play here and might be done for the year with a foot injury. Midway through the first half of UNC’s victory against Virginia Tech on Thursday, Pinson left the game after enduring an ankle injury. Williams said later that Pinson “rolled” his right ankle. Pinson didn’t return and came back to the bench only in the final minute, out of uniform.

Whatever happened with his ankle last Thursday could have had a ripple effect on other areas of his foot. Before the season, Pinson broke the fifth metatarsal in that same foot and the injury forced him to miss UNC’s first 16 games.

Pittsburgh at North Carolina Betting Prediction: North Carolina Tar Heels

Heels will bounce back big at home and cover the spread.