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North Carolina vs Alabama Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Thursday night’s NCAA Tournament slate concludes with a highly-anticipated matchup between No. 1 North Carolina (29-7) and No. 4 Alabama (23-11).

The Tar Heels and Crimson Tide boast two of college basketball’s most electric offenses, so this is the highest projected total on the board for the Sweet 16. Expect plenty of points regardless of who comes out on top.

Here are our best bets for UNC vs. Alabama.

North Carolina vs Alabama Odds

The latest NCAAB odds have the Crimson Tide installed as 4.5-point underdogs, while the Tar Heels can be found for as little as 3.5-point favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook. Considering the disparity between these teams, that’s a pretty small spread.

The Over/Under is also set at a staggering 173.5 points, but that’s not all that surprising. Alabama ranks No. 4 per KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency rating, and North Carolina checks in at No. 17. Both teams also prefer to play at faster tempos.

North Carolina vs Alabama Prediction

North Carolina 94, Alabama 81

It felt like there were some unanswered questions about North Carolina coming into March Madness, especially since the Tar Heels had been upset in the ACC Tournament. However, they’ve cast aside any doubts with their first two showings, pummeling No. 16 Wagner and No. 9 Michigan State en route to the Sweet 16.

Alabama has also done well to reach this stage, but it hasn’t been nearly as impressive in its wins. Its lackluster defense was on display in the first round, allowing 96 points to No. 13 Charleston, before No. 12 Grand Canyon held the Tide to 36.9% shooting from the field in the second round.

There’s no question that Alabama can hang with any opponent offensively, but its inability to prevent points on the other end will eventually be its undoing. Given North Carolina’s two-way strength, I would be shocked if this isn’t the end of the line for the Crimson Tide.

North Carolina vs Alabama Best Bets

North Carolina -3.5 (-120)

FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Alabama has an exciting team, and their offensive potential is off the charts. However, their strategy hasn’t always worked against top-tier competition. Coming into Thursday’s meeting with North Carolina, the Crimson Tide are just 2-7 against the spread in contests with ranked opponents.

The Tar Heels, on the other hand, have generally played their best basketball in challenging matchups. Against ranked opponents, UNC has gone 6-2 outright and ATS. That includes impressive victories over Tennessee and Duke (twice).

North Carolina has every reason to win this game. Take the Tar Heels with your best college basketball bet today.

Over 173.5 Points (-105)

FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Only two teams have hit the Over at a higher rate than Alabama, which comes in at 25-9 (or 73.5%). Given the Crimson Tide’s min-max approach to offense and defense, it’s no surprise that their games generally soar beyond the projected total.

North Carolina has a much more moderate Over record of 18-17-1, thanks in part to the team’s success on both ends of the floor. The Tar Heels’ high-powered defense could be a real equalizer in this contest, but since each side plays at a fast tempo, I lean toward the Over at 173.5 points.

Author

Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is the Lead NBA Editor for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided. He graduated from Ball State University in 2021.

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