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A spot in the Elite Eight will be on the line when the North Carolina Tar Heels and Alabama Crimson Tide square off on Thursday in a Sweet 16 matchup of the 2024 NCAA Tournament in Los Angeles. The top-seeded Tar Heels (29-7) are making their 31st appearance in the Sweet 16, which is the most of any program. They are coming off an 85-69 victory over Michigan State in the second round. Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded Crimson Tide (23-11) are in the Sweet 16 for the 10th time in program history. They enter Thursday’s game off a 72-61 victory over Grand Canyon.

Tipoff from Crypto.com Arena is set for 9:39 p.m. ET. The Tar Heels are favored by 4.5 points in the latest North Carolina vs. Alabama odds via SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 173.5. Before making any Alabama vs. North Carolina picks or NCAA Tournament predictions, you need to check out the college basketball predictions from SportsLine expert Thomas Casale.

A frequent guest on national radio and TV shows to discuss college sports, Casale started playing football sheets at 8 years old when his dad was the local bookie. He’s been betting — and winning — for more than 30 years. Over the last three college basketball seasons (through Jan. 31, 2024), Thomas is 305-179-7 (63%). He also is on a 22-4-1 roll with his last 27 against-the-spread picks, for a profit of $1,743 for $100 bettors. Anyone who has consistently followed him is way up.

Now, Casale has set his sights on North Carolina vs. Alabama and made his picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Alabama vs. North Carolina:

  • North Carolina vs. Alabama spread: Tar Heels -4.5
  • North Carolina vs. Alabama over/under: 173.5 points
  • North Carolina vs. Alabama money line: Tar Heels -201, Crimson Tide +166
  • UNC: The Tar Heels rank eighth in the country in rebounds per game (40.9).
  • ALA: The Crimson Tide lead the nation in scoring (90.7 points per game).
  • North Carolina vs. Alabama picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why North Carolina can cover

North Carolina has one of the best players in the country in RJ Davis. The senior guard from White Plains, N.Y., is averaging 21.3 points per game, which ranks 13th in the nation. He’s also knocking down 41.1% of his 3-pointers. For his efforts this season, Davis was named the ACC Player of the Year and has received first-team All-American honors from the Associated Press and Sporting News.

Davis and the Tar Heels will face an Alabama team that has one of the worst defenses in Div. I. The Crimson Tide give up 80.9 points per game; just six teams in the country allow more. In Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, Alabama gives up 102.3 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 101st in the nation. See which team to pick here.

Why Alabama can cover

Alabama has arguably the most prolific offense in the country. The Crimson Tide lead the nation in scoring (90.7 points per game) and, according to Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive efficiency metric, score 125.1 points per 100 possessions, which ranks fourth in the Div. I. In its first-round victory over Charleston, Alabama racked up a tournament-best 109 points.

That offense is led by one of the best players in the SEC, Mark Sears. The 6-foot-1 senior guard and first-team all-conference selection leads the SEC and ranks 11th in the country in scoring (21.5 points per game). In the second-round victory over Grand Canyon, he had his first double-double of the season (26 points and 12 rebounds) along with six assists and three steals. See which team to pick here.

How to make North Carolina vs. Alabama picks

Casale has analyzed this matchup from every possible angle. He is leaning Over on the point total and has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He’s sharing what it is, and which side to back, only at SportsLine.

Who wins Alabama vs. UNC, and which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the UNC vs. Alabama spread hits, all from the expert who’s 305-179-7 over the last three college basketball seasons, and find out.



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