Syracuse vs North Carolina Picks and Predictions: Orange You Glad to Pick UNC?

While North Carolina and Syracuse have similarly effective offenses this season, the Tar Heels have the explicit advantage on the defensive end. UNC -7 is the easy betting pick and it's the right one tonight at Chapel Hill.

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2022 9:33 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Caleb Love UNC Tar Heels College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be looking to win their final home game of the year when they host the Syracuse Orange on Monday. These teams are going in opposite directions heading into the ACC tournament, but Syracuse will be hoping to change that with a big road win. 

Will the Orange find a way to spoil the party on Senior Night in Chapel Hill? Keep reading our college basketball betting picks and predictions for Syracuse vs. UNC to find out. 

Syracuse vs North Carolina odds

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

North Carolina was a 7-point favorite when the line on the team’s home finale became available, but the Tar Heels are favored by 7.5 on most sportsbooks at the time of this writing. The total opened at 157 and while it can still be had at that number, it could also be found a tick down at 156.5.

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.

Syracuse vs North Carolina predictions

Predictions made on 2/28/2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Syracuse vs North Carolina game info

Location: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Date: Monday, February 28, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Syracuse at North Carolina betting preview

Injuries

Syracuse: John Bol Ajak C (Out), Jesse Edwards C (Out), Niko Ruffin G (Out).
North Carolina: Justin McKoy F (Questionable), Leaky Black G (Questionable), Dawson Garcia F (Out), Anthony Harris G (Out), Puff Johnson G (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Syracuse is 1-4 against the spread in its last five games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Syracuse vs. North Carolina.

Syracuse 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

Syracuse has the 17th-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency in college basketball (all efficiency stats from KenPom.com) and North Carolina is 25th in the nation in that regard. The difference between these two, however, is the fact that the Tar Heels are better on the defensive end. Syracuse’s 2-3 zone has just been completely ineffective this season, with the Orange being 221st in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Caleb Love should be able to pick this defense apart by either finding ways to score or by setting up R.J. Davis and Brady Manek for open shots. Armando Bacot should also be able to feast in the paint, where Syracuse hasn't been very strong. Bacot is a threat to have 20 points and 20 rebounds in this one, as he’s a huge body with a non-stop motor. The Orange don’t even have Jesse Edwards to battle him on the inside, as the big man is out for the year. 

The Tar Heels also happen to be 8-1 against the spread when playing at home against teams that shoot 45% from the field or better over the last two seasons. North Carolina has won those games by an average of 13.5 points per game, and the team should be feeling good about its chances of slowing down Syracuse’s offense. The Tar Heels might be only 87th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency this season, but the Orange are averaging only 67 points per game in their last three road games. Syracuse is also somewhat simple to slow down as long as Buddy Boeheim is accounted for at all times. North Carolina just needs to be disciplined about guarding the three-point line. 

The home team is also 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings between these teams. 

Prediction: North Carolina -7 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

These are two of the best offensive teams in the ACC and they should end up playing a high-scoring game. Each of the last three meetings between these teams in Chapel Hill has gone Over the total, and that streak should continue. The Tar Heels will especially be a threat to put up a big number as the Orange have been lousy defensively all season long. The Over has hit in each of Syracuse’s last three games, and the team just gave up 97 in a loss to Duke. Meanwhile, the Over is 7-2 in North Carolina’s last nine games, with the Tar Heels scoring 84 or more in four of those. 

The Over is 24-11 in the games in which Syracuse has played as an underdog throughout the last three seasons, and it’s also 21-9 in road games in that same span. On top of that, the Over is 7-0 when the Orange are on the road against teams with winning percentages between 60% and 80% after 15 games over the last three seasons. When you combine that with the fact that the Over is 6-0 when North Carolina plays teams with winning percentages between 51% and 60%, it’s hard to expect anything but a shootout here. 

Prediction: Over 156.5 (-110)

Best bet

Not only are the Tar Heels the better team — with a massive advantage in the paint — but North Carolina is 11-2 ATS in home games against teams with winning records since the start of last season. The Tar Heels have won those games by an average of 13.4 points, and they should be able to win relatively easily tonight. Syracuse has failed to cover in four of its last five games, while North Carolina is 9-2 SU and 6-4-1 ATS in its last 11. 

The Tar Heels are also 13-5 SU and 10-7-1 ATS in conference games this season, while also being 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS when favored at home by between 6.5 and 12 points. 

There’s too much working against the Orange and it doesn’t help that it’s Senior Night in Chapel Hill. The fans should be extremely fired up and the upperclassmen will be playing hard to go out on a positive note. 

Pick: North Carolina -7 (-110)

College basketball parlays

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