Baylor started off the tournament on the right track with a 36-point blowout win over Norfolk State. The Bears dominated their first-round matchup from start to finish, shooting 57% from the field and knocking down 11 shots from beyond the arc.
North Carolina was also impressive in the opening round, putting a beatdown on No. 9 seed Marquette. In a game that was projected to be close, the Tar Heels won by a whopping 32 points, which definitely opened some eyes and has them looking like a legitimate dark horse.
It’ll be tough for the Tar Heels to knock off the defending champs, but they should put a scare into Baylor in this second-round matchup. Remember, star guard LJ Cryer remains out for the Bears, which is bad news against a tough opponent like North Carolina.
Baylor vs North Carolina Odds
Baylor vs UNC odds are provided by Caesars and current as of Friday, March 14 at 3 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Baylor (-250) @ North Carolina (+205)
- Spread: Baylor -5.5 (-110) @ North Carolina +5.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 149 (-110) / Under 149 (-110)
- Implied Score: Baylor 77.25, North Carolina 71.75
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Baylor vs North Carolina Prediction
Both of these teams have excellent offenses, with Baylor ranking eighth and North Carolina sitting 22nd in adjusted offensive efficiency. Tar Heels forward Brady Manek is coming off a big game where he dropped 28 points and 11 rebounds. Expect this to be a high-scoring game that could come down to the final possession.
Baylor has a significant advantage on other end of the floor, as the Bears rank 13th to North Carolina’s 55th in adjusted defensive efficiency. It’s going to be difficult for the Tar Heels to knock down 13 threes at a 37 percent clip, like they did in the first round, this time around.
Having said that, the Tar Heels have posted double-digit wins over Duke and Marquette in their last four games, so they’re playing their best basketball of the season right now. This has the makings of a great matchup.
Baylor vs North Carolina Score Pick
Baylor 73, UNC 71
The Bears are likely to feel LJ Cryer’s absence in this game, taking on a red-hot Tar Heels team coming off a pair of double-digit wins against marquee opponents.
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It wouldn’t surprise me to see North Carolina win this game outright. We should be in for a treat in the Round of 32.
Baylor vs North Carolina Best Bets
North Carolina +5.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
The Tar Heels are live dogs in this game given their recent performances.
This point spread tells us a lot about the projection for this game as we have a one-seed facing an eight-seed, yet Baylor is only favored by five points.
Compare that to the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, who are 11.5-point favorites against Creighton.
Baylor is a vulnerable top seed and we could see that come to fruition in this matchup.
Under 149 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
I understand that these are two prolific offenses, but this is a high bar to clear.
Baylor’s first game combined for 134 points, while North Carolina’s finished at 158. I think that we’re going to see a close game that slows down as we get to the late stages of the second half.
Ride with the Under in this spot.