Miami vs North Carolina Odds, Picks and Predictions: Bacot Dominates Down Low

Armando Bacot hasn't been bad on the road by any means, but his numbers inside the Dean Dome are much better. With the Canes unlikely to do anything to slow down the Tar Heels' big man, our college basketball picks expect Bacot to dominate.

Feb 26, 2024 • 17:55 ET • 4 min read
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Armando Bacot UNC Tar Heels NCAAB
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A trip to Chapel Hill isn’t the best way to break out of a six-game losing funk, but that’s what the ACC schedule has put in front of Jim Larranaga and the Miami Hurricanes.

Miami is a hefty road underdog visiting the No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels tonight — a task made even more difficult with standout guard Nijel Pack sitting out his fourth straight game due to a lower body injury.

The Hurricanes need all the firepower they can muster to counter a talent-rich Tar Heels rotation. UNC hopes a three-game home stand can keep cultivate consistency after an up-and-down February. Tonight is just the second time the Tar Heels played at home since February 10.

I break down the college basketball odds for this encounter and give my free college basketball picks for Miami vs. North Carolina on February 26.

Miami vs North Carolina best odds

Miami vs North Carolina picks and predictions

A road heavy sked has impacted the scoring numbers of Armando Bacot

North Carolina’s senior center posted away efforts of 10, 10, and 14 points in three of the last four games, which is on par with his road scoring rate of just over 11 points per contest on the season. 

In the lone home stand of that stretch, however, Bacot blasted Virginia Tech for 25 points on 11 of 16 shooting. In fact, the 6-foot-11 big has posted 25, 25, and 24 points in his last four games in front of the powder blue faithful. 

Bacot, who sees a major spike in his scoring splits in the “Dean Dome” (17.1 ppg on 59.2% shooting vs. 50.5% on the road), has a player prop of 14.5 points O/U for tonight’s tilt with Miami.

He managed only 10 points along with 15 rebounds on the road when UNC edged the Hurricanes 75-72 on February 10, going 5-for-8 from the floor in 36 minutes of action. But with this swap in venue tonight and the Canes running very small inside, player models for Bacot are calling for more than 16 points.

Miami primarily runs a four-guard rotation and has only three true “frontcourt” players with just one big man running taller than 6-foot-8, and that’s a 6-foot-10 freshman. 

The Hurricanes sit near the bottom of the ACC in defensive measurements and struggled to defend the interior in the half court, ranked 336th in points allowed per play to post-up plays according to ShotQualityBets.

Bacot not only can put up points in the block, but his rebounding prowess will also lead to easy put-back buckets against this diminutive Hurricanes team. He pulls down almost 11 boards per home game with 3.4 of those on the offensive end. Bacot had four offensive rebounds in the first meeting with Miami.

The Hurricanes have really been beaten up on the boards in recent games, owning a rebound rate of just 43.4% over the last three contests and giving up 31 total offensive rebounds in that stretch. Duke grabbed 14 offensive boards in its blowout of the Canes last Wednesday.

Given Bacot’s wild splits between home/away and that road-centric schedule skewing his scoring prop, I like UNC’s tower of power to hang at least 15 points on the Hurricanes at home tonight.

My best bet: Armando Bacot Over 14.5 points (-115 at bet365)

Miami vs North Carolina same-game parlay

Armando Bacot Over 14.5 points

Bacot Over 10.5 rebounds

North Carolina moneyline

Bacot does his best work inside Dean E. Smith Center and should bully an undersized and struggling Miami team in the paint.

Bacot is a beast on the boards and his player projections call for at least a dozen rebounds tonight.

With the Canes stumbling and missing a key guard, UNC’s defense should tip off this three-game home stand with an easy win.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Miami vs North Carolina spread and Over/Under analysis

The Tar Heels opened as 14-point favorites and we’ve seen this line bounce between -13.5 and -14.5 before noon ET on Monday. Covers Consensus shows 61% of early picks taking all those the points with the Hurricanes.

North Carolina seems to be straightening out with back-to-back wins following an inconsistent start to February. The Heels are among the defensive elite, ranked eighth in the KenPom defensive efficiency rating, while the offense sits inside the Top 25 in the offensive flip on that advanced stat.

At home, UNC boasts an 11-1 SU record which has produced a 7-5 mark against the spread in those home stands. The Tar Heels have covered in their last two outings, which followed a chilly 1-4-1 ATS run in the six previous games.

Miami limps into Chapel Hill on a six-game slide, going 1-5 ATS on that skid. The Hurricanes’ defense has struggled all year but has been wretched the last three games, allowing an average of 83 points against. The Canes are 2-7 SU in true road games along with a 3-5-1 ATS mark in those visiting spots.

The Over/Under total opened at 154 points and has ticked up to 154.5 at some shops. Covers Consensus shows 59% of picks siding with the Under.

North Carolina is 13-14 O/U overall, with a 7-4-1 O/U record inside the “Dean Dome”. The Heels have played Over in four of their last six games heading into Monday’s matchup with Miami.

The Hurricanes own a 13-15 O/U record on the season, including a 3-6 O/U count as visitors. Miami has gone Under in four of its last six, including the 75-72 loss to UNC finishing below the closing total of 161 points.

Miami vs North Carolina betting trend to know

North Carolina has gone Over the first-half total in 12 of its last 17 home games for +6.15 units of profit. Find more college basketball betting trends for Miami vs. North Carolina.

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Miami vs North Carolina game info

Location: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Date: Monday, February 26, 2024
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

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