Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Saturday, Feb. 17 (Target total)

Feb 13, 2024; Syracuse, New York, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) drives as
Feb 13, 2024; Syracuse, New York, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) drives as / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina has come back to Earth after appearing to be a runaway ACC regular season title favorite.

THe Tar Heels have dropped three of five, but return home to Chapel Hill to face Virginia Tech as double digit favorites. Can UNC shake off the stunning loss at Syracuse against a Virginia Tech team that has struggled defensively?

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Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina Odds, Spread and Total

North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech Betting Trends

  • North Carolina is 14-11 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Virginia Tech is 3-6 ATS as an underdog
  • Virginia Tech is 1-7 ATS on the road
  • Virginia Tech has gone OVER in 13 of 24 games this season

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, February 17th
  • Game Time: 2:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Dean Smith Center
  • How to Watch (TV): ACC Network
  • Virginia Tech Record: 14-10
  • North Carolina Record: 19-6

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina Key Players to Watch

Virginia Tech

Sean Pedulla: Pedulla went to the line 16 times in the team's most prior game against Florida State, making 14 of them, but that won't be the case against a disciplined defense like North Carolina. Pedulla is going to need to be able to set the table for the likes of Hunter Catoor as the team's lead ball handler, but this is a UNC defense that allows the lowest assist rate in ACC play this season.

North Carolina

RJ Davis: Davis scored 19 points in the loss at Syracuse, but it wasn't his finest showing in what has been an All-American season for the senior guard. He'll draw a struggling Virginia Tech defense that can be a fine bounce back spot for the Tar Heels. Davis is shooting north of 42% from three in ACC play, and should get plenty of looks in this one.

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina Prediction and Pick

I like the over in Saturday's matchup as I believe North Carolina can get plenty of open looks from beyond the arc against Virginia Tech's suspect defense.

The Hokies are 232nd in ShotQuality's 'Open 3 Rate' which means that the team is consistently losing shooters along the perimeter, and the team is 300th in points per possession allowed in off the dribble three-point shots, which is where the Tar Heels thrive around Davis' self creation. UNC is 28th in the country in points per possession on off the dribble three's on a top third frequency.

However, I'm still concerned about UNC's perimeter defense. The Tar Heels are still the top three-point defense in the ACC (28% 3P% allowed) despite a downturn of late, and there may be more struggles on the way. The Tar Heels are outside the top 300 in terms of 'Open 3 Rate' and SQ deems that the team is due a four percent rise in opponent three-point percentage.

The Hokies can shoot from deep, the team is shooting north of 38% in ACC play on the second highest rate with the likes of Cattoor along the perimeter, and I believe the team can do its part to help send this game over the total.

PICK: OVER 153.5

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.