Louisville vs North Carolina Picks and Predictions: Cards Can Cover Against ACC Rivals

Louisville is mired in a difficult season that has already resulted in the dismissal of a head coach. North Carolina should win tonight against the Cardinals, but we expect Louisville to keep it within the 10.5-point spread in our betting picks.

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2022 8:38 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
El Ellis Louisville Cardinals College Basketball
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The Louisville Cardinals have had a season to forget, but they’ll look to find a way to compete when they head to Chapel Hill for a meeting with the North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina isn’t currently a Top-25 team in the country, but this is still a good squad. 

Will the Tar Heels take care of business in their second-to-last home game of the season? You’ll want to keep reading out college basketball betting picks and predictions for Louisville vs. UNC to find out.

Louisville vs North Carolina odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Tar Heels opened as 10-point favorites in this ACC showdown against the Cardinals, but Louisville is now getting either 10 or 10.5 points across all books. The total, which opened at 145, is up to 145.5 and 146 at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Louisville vs North Carolina predictions

Predictions made on 2/20/2022 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Louisville vs North Carolina game info

Location: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Date: Monday, February 21, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Louisville at North Carolina betting preview

Injuries

Louisville: Gabe Wiznitzer C (Out).
North Carolina: Justin McKoy F (Questionable), Dawson Garcia F (Out), Anthony Harris G (Out), Puff Johnson G (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

North Carolina is 1-4 against the spread in its last five games coming off an ATS win. Find more NCAA betting trends for Louisville vs. North Carolina.

Louisville vs North Carolina picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

This season has been really rough on the Cardinals program. The team's struggles ultimately led to the dismissal of head coach Chris Mack in late January. Since then, things haven’t exactly gotten any easier for Louisville, however, it is coming off of a solid win over the Clemson Tigers, and there’s still some decent talent in place. These two also played a very close game on February 1 when the Tar Heels beat the Cardinals by seven in overtime.

One thing to keep an eye on is the play of El Ellis. The junior has seen a major increase in minutes recently, and he’s averaging 12.7 points per game over the last six contests. In that timeframe, we saw Ellis score 25 points against this very Tar Heels team, so his eyes should light up in this meeting with a North Carolina team that is just 88th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency (all efficiency stats from KenPom.com). The Tar Heels are also 37th in the country in tempo, which means all of Louisville’s guards will get chances on the offensive end. It would be massive for the Cardinals if senior Noah Locke can hold his own in a matchup with Caleb Love. Love has been inconsistent this season, but he’s an experienced player and has a good feel for the game. 

The most important thing for Louisville will be finding a way to contain Armando Bacot. The junior had 19 points and 22 rebounds the last time these teams met, and he’s averaging 16.1 points and 12.2 rebounds per game this season. There’s nothing the Cardinals can do to completely keep Bacot in line, but they have to try to get some extra bodies on him. If they aren’t aware of where he is when shots go up, he’s going to completely dominate the glass. 

It should also be noted that Louisville hasn’t been blown out very often this season. It's been a bad season, but the Cardinals have only lost five games by more than 10 points. 

Prediction: Louisville +10.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

There’s no way to really commend the way Louisville has played on the offensive end this season, but the Cardinals have some solid players capable of holding their own in shootouts. These teams combined to score 173 points when they met a few weeks ago, and Louisville didn’t look uncomfortable playing at North Carolina’s accelerated pace. The Tar Heels will similarly be looking to get up and down the floor, so expect much of the same when it comes to the end result. North Carolina’s games have gone Over in six of the team’s last seven. 

The Over is also 19-5 when the Tar Heels are playing at home against ACC opponents over the last three seasons. The average total points scored in those games is 153.1. On top of that, the Over is oddly 9-1 in February home games for North Carolina over the last three years. This team clearly likes playing in this building heading into March. 

Prediction: Over 145.5 (-110)

Best bet

While North Carolina is clearly the better team, the Tar Heels are just 6-15 ATS when favored by 10 or more points over the last three seasons. That record goes to 3-7 ATS when you only count this season, and the Tar Heels are also just 3-5 ATS when coming off a road game this year. In a game that should feature a juiced-up crowd, it isn’t hard to envision the Heels having some issues settling their nerves early. 

Overall, the Tar Heels should go on to win this game outright and it wouldn’t be surprising if it was somewhat comfortable for them. However, it’s not easy to ask a team like this to go and blow out a squad that possesses some decent talent. 

Pick: Louisville +10.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Louisville vs. North Carolina picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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