The North Carolina Tarheels and Kansas Jayhawks meet in a few hours to decide this year’s NCAA National Championship. With the young UNC squad less than 48-hours removed from the most important victory in the school’s history, many wonder if the team left anything in the tank.
North Carolina pulled out a close win over the Duke Blue Devils Saturday night as 4 point underdogs, and while the team proved its ability to topple giants, oddsmakers are once again handing the Heels a 4 point line.
Current NCAA Basketball odds are offering the Kansas Jayhawks as -4 favorites, with the game’s over-under set at 152. The line has hit 5 points at a few shops, but most have settled in the 4 and 4.5 range as we near tipoff.
According to BetOnline.ag sportsbook manager Adam Burns, Kansas is seeing the majority of the money tonight.
“Even though Kansas is big winner for the book from a futures perspective that is not the case on the game itself tonight. Two thirds of the money is currently on the Jayhawks which toggling between -4 & -4.5″
North Carolina vs. Kansas Jayhawks Point Spread
North Carolina vs. Kansas Jayhawks Total
Overall fatigue seems to be the concern here for Heels backers, as the young squad is less than 48-hours removed from what could have been the most hyped college hoops game of all time. The back and forth battle saw numerous lead changes, and the team was forced to play at 100% for the entire game to secure the victory.
UNC big man Armando Bacot was vital to the UNC effort, but he did suffer an ankle injury near the end of the game that saw him sidelined momentarily. He did return to action, but the injury could prove to be more limiting now that the adrenaline has worn off. Bacot is expected to take to the court, but I expect that Kansas could attack him early and test his mobility.
Considering that UNC recorded 17 offensive rebounds against Duke, a limited Bacot would severely limit the team’s second effort opportunities and swing things in favor of the Jayhawks.
North Carolina has relied on this offensive rebounding advantage and their fast pace of play all season long, and if Kansas is able to limit this approach, the Heels could be in for a long night.
The Jayhawks are more than capable of matching the North Carolina pace, but smart coaching has seen them slow the tempo of the game when needed. While we have seen a few less than convincing wins by the Jayhawks (close games against Providence and Creighton), there is something to be said about a team who is able to change their approach mid-game and pull off the victory in a slugfest.
While North Carolina is getting production from all of its key players, fatigue and the pressure the young team faced Saturday night could mean this team has peaked one game too early.
Kansas has both covered and taken the “W” in their last three matchup with the Heels, and the team is 10-1 straight up against ACC competition. Betting trends also support a wager on a high scoring affair, but I am sticking with the spread and riding with the Jayhawks -4. Favorites have gone an astounding 14-7 against the spread in the National Championship game since 2000, taking the outright victory in 15-6 of these matchups.
The Tarheels fans will walk away with a historic win over the Blue Devils and eternal bragging rights, but ultimately the Jayhawks get to cut down the nets as the dance comes to its conclusion.
Bet Kansas -4