North Carolina Tar Heels

College Football Odds: Michigan favored over Michigan State

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The Michigan Wolverines take an unclear quarterback situation and a poor track record against the spread into their rivalry game against Michigan State this weekend.

Michigan is a 10-point betting favorite against the Michigan State Spartans with a 40-point total in their Week 6 college football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The head-to-head trend flatters the Spartans, who are 7-2 straight-up and 9-0 against the spread in their last nine games against Michigan.

The Wolverines, who got quarterback Wilton Speight (head/neck) banged up in their last outing two weeks ago and could be forced to turn to the less seasoned John O’Korn, do have some positive general trends. Michigan is 10-0 SU over its last 10 home games, as well as 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS in its last six games in Week 6.

The Louisville Cardinals are 3.5-point road favorites against the North Carolina State Wolfpack, with a 66 total in their Thursday betting matchup. Louisville is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 road games against teams with winning records. North Carolina State is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 home games against teams with winning records.

The Wisconsin Badgers are 11.5-point road favorites against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, with a 45.5 total. Wisconsin is 7-0 ATS in its last seven road games. Nebraska is 9-1 SU in its last 10 home games.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are 26.5-point road favorites against the Texas A&M Aggies, with a 54 total. Alabama is 8-0 ATS in its last eight road games against teams with winning records. Texas A&M is 9-2 SU in its last 11 home games.

The Florida Gators are 2.5-point favorites against the LSU Tigers, with a 45.5 total. LSU is 2-5 ATS in its last seven road games against teams with winning records. Florida is 5-2 ATS in its last seven home games in October. The total has gone under in eight of Florida’s last 11 home games, according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

The Clemson Tigers are 21.5-point favorites against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, with a 47.5 total. Wake Forest is 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games against its conference. The total has gone under in nine of Clemson’s last 12 home games against teams with winning records.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 14-point road favorites against the North Carolina Tar Heels, with a 57.5 total. Notre Dame is 7-0 SU and 2-5 SU in its last seven road games as a favorite of at least 10 points. North Carolina is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home games in October.

The Miami Hurricanes are three-point road favorites against the Florida State Seminoles, with a 46 total. Miami is 0-7 SU in its last seven games against Florida State, as well as 1-3 ATS in the past four. Florida State, who lost against N.C. State in its last outing at Doak Campbell Stadium, is 7-0 SU in its last seven home games after losing their most recent home game.

The TCU Horned Frogs are 13.5-point favorites against the West Virginia Mountaineers, with a 67 total. Texas Christian is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games against its conference. West Virginia is 3-1 ATS in its last four games against TCU.

And the USC Trojans are 34-point favorites against the Oregon State Beavers, with a 58 total. Oregon State is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in Week 6. Southern Cal is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games against its conference.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

North Carolina narrow favorite against Gonzaga for NCAA Tournament championship

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Joel Berry II and the North Carolina Tar Heels, who only seem to play close games at the Final Four, are a slim betting favorite against the first-time finalist Gonzaga Bulldogs.

The Tar Heels are listed as a 1.5-point favorite against the Bulldogs with 153.5-point total in the college basketball championship game matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The teams tip off at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Monday.

The Tar Heels are 7-2 both straight-up and against the spread on the college basketball point spreads in their last nine games as a favorite of 1.5 or fewer points. Gonzaga, though, is 15-1 SU in its last 16 games with one day off between games.

Coaches Roy Williams and Mark Few are going head-to-head for the first time since 2009, when UNC ousted the Zags in the Sweet 16 on its way to the national title. North Carolina is 0-4 ATS in its last four games after winning the previous game in a matchup, while Gonzaga is 6-0 SU and ATS in its last six games after losing the previous game in a matchup.

Gonzaga’s impressive record when it has a day of rest attests to having perhaps the deepest rotation in the country, with PG Nigel Williams-Goss as the floor leader.

Seven-foot-one Przemek Karnowski and freshman Zach Collins will be tasked with avoiding foul trouble and preventing North Carolina’s big men such as Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks from nabbing the offensive rebounds that give the Tar Heels extra scoring opportunities. How Collins, a NBA-bound freshman, responds to North Carolina’s challenge might make or break Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs are 1-5 SU in their last six games as an underdog, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database, but those contests are spread out from the 2013-14 to 2015-16 seasons.

With North Carolina, the main question is the health of Berry, who is soldiering on with two sprained ankles. Berry clearly seemed affected during the Tar Heels’ semifinal win against Oregon and will have greater challenges against Gonzaga at each end of the court.

The Bulldogs have, in Williams-Goss, a more electric point guard and also play man-to-man defense while Oregon uses a zone. Justin Jackson, who is North Carolina’s first look on offense, is a resourceful attacker whom Gonzaga will be hard-pressed to shut down completely.

With Berry compromised, backcourt depth will be important. Gonzaga has been more impressive than North Carolina in this area during the run of the NCAA Tournament.

The total has gone under in seven of Gonzaga’s last 10 games. The total has gone under in Gonzaga’s last five games against the Atlantic Coast Conference The total has gone under in 10 of North Carolina’s last 14 games after a win. The total has also gone under in five of North Carolina’s last six games with a closing total of 153.5 points or less.

Final Four betting preview: Gonzaga, North Carolina lead odds for matchups

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While the North Carolina Tar Heels are a slight favorite to win the national championship entering the Final Four, they are taking some troubling trends with them to Glendale.

Led by forwards Justin Jackson and Isaiah Hicks, the Tar Heels are the +140 favorite on the odds to win the NCAA Tournament at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. North Carolina was the favorite at the outset of the tournament and has had enough talent to override a habit of letting opponents back into games in the second half. That’s contributed to a 19-16-2 against-the-spread record this year.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are deemed the most worthy challenger at +180, while the Oregon Ducks (+550) and South Carolina Gamecocks (+750) are seen as the longer shots.

In game lines, Gonzaga is listed as a 6.5-point favorite against South Carolina for the first matchup on Saturday. Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss will need to be sharp against South Carolina’s swarming defense, which thrives at forcing turnovers that lead to baskets in transition.

Gonzaga’s defense has provided it with the cushion to win, but it’s notable that the Bulldogs are only 4-5-1 ATS over their last 10 games. Coach Mark Few’s emphasis on defense is also reflected in the fact that seven of Gonzaga’s last nine games have gone over.

South Carolina is a gritty group with their trio of leaders, SG Sindarius Thornwell, PG Duane Notice and SF P.J. Dozier. The Gamecocks have been underdogs in all four tournament wins, so that +6.5 line is enticing. The total has gone under in 21 of South Carolina’s last 30 games as an underdog.

North Carolina is favored by five points against Oregon in the matchup for the second semifinal. The health of PG Joel Berry, who has two wonky ankles, will be a concern going in with the Tar Heels, who are just 3-3-2 ATS over their last eight games.

North Carolina, which is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games against the Pac-12, has the most efficient offense in the field and has a rebounding machine under the basket in Kennedy Meeks.

Oregon, with a balanced lineup led by SF Tyler Dorsey and PF Dillon Brooks, is a team one underestimates at their peril. The Ducks are 17-7-1 ATS over their last 25 games as well as 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games on a Saturday, and they do a good job at limiting opponents’ looks, especially from three-point land.

Eight of their last 11 games have gone over; there’s a good chance the Ducks will try to run with North Carolina for portions of the contest.