The No. 1 North Carolina tar chop (4-0) and the Portland pilots (4-2) meets Thursday in the Phil Knight Invitational at Moda Center. The tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET (ESPN). Below we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s rules around the North Carolina vs. Portlandchancesand make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
Rankings courtesy of the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll.
The Tar Heels have played 4 games at home to prepare for their first trip away from Chapel Hill. UNC had 3 wins and non-covers against UNC Wilmington, Charleston and Gardner-Webb before fielding James Madison 80-64 for the 12.5 point coverage. The Under is 3-1 through 4 games in total.
The Pilots look to recover after an 80-68 home against the WAC’s Seattle. Portland started 3-0 SU, but it has dropped 2 of the past 3, while the Under have cashed in each of their last 3 appearances.
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Opportunities between North Carolina and Portland
Offered by Tipico Sportsbook; access the USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Rules last updated at 6:45 AM ET.
- Money Line (ML) : North Carolina -1800 (bet $1,800 to win $100) | Portland +800 (bet $100 to win $800)
- Against the Spread (ATS) : North Carolina -14.5 (-115) | Portland +14.5 (-105)
- More than/less (O/U) : 152.5 (O: -105 | U: -115)
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Picks and Predictions of North Carolina vs. Portland
North Carolina 80, Portland 63
North Carolina (-1800) will cost you 18 times your potential return. That’s normally a bad bet, but it’s especially bad if you’re playing against a home city team, even though this is technically considered a neutral venue game.
against the spread
NORTH CAROLINA -14.5 (-115) is the number 1 team in the country, but it hasn’t really picked up steam in 4 games against Tomato Cans. Portland isn’t the strongest team in the country either, but at least there’s some adversity here with traveling across the country, playing on vacation, and playing in the opposing hometown.
Portland may be without team steal leader G Michael Meadows, also, as he is doubtful to play due to an undisclosed ailment. He has missed the last 2 games.
UNDER 152.5 (-110) is lean, but play with half a unit at best.
Portland is fairly mid-pack so far with a 45.3% field goal percentage, and the defense is also so-so. While North Carolina places 80.8 PPG to 66th in the nation, it does so low and on the line. UNC is only 318th from center to begin with, hitting 3-pointers at a clip of just 28.8%.
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