North Carolina vs Notre Dame Basketball Prediction & Picks: Heels face must-win matchup against Irish
If North Carolina wants to be a part of the March Madness field without having to win the ACC Tournament, the quest to land on the right side of the bubble starts tonight in a must-win game at Notre Dame (9:00 pm ET, ESPN).
The Tar Heels (16-11, 8-8 ACC) have dropped out of the field by losing five of their last six games, and with a resume without even a single win against a team likely to be in the NCAA Tournament, things are looking rather dicey for UNC.
But there are four games remaining to right the ship, and with two of them being home games against Virginia and Duke, winning them all might be enough to enter the ACC tourney in a positive position, depending on what happens around the country.
Winning their road games against sub-.500 Notre Dame (10-17, 2-14 ACC) and Florida State (8-20, 6-11 ACC) teams is a non-negotiable part of UNC’s mission, so tonight shapes up as the biggest game of the season to date.
Will the Tar Heels take care of business tonight, or will they push themselves further away from the bubble? Read on for our North Carolina vs Notre Dame basketball prediction and picks.
North Carolina vs Notre Dame Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at 12:40 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- North Carolina -6.5 (-110)
- Notre Dame +6.5 (-110)
- Over 148.5 (-110)
- Under 148.5 (-110)
- North Carolina -280
- Notre Dame +225
Will Notre Dame Finally Win a Close Game?
With four games remaining, Mike Brey’s final season in South Bend is set to end in sadness, barring the unexpected.
Since starting 5-0 this season, the Irish have lost 17 of 22 games, and they enter tonight’s matchup with North Carolina with five straight losses.
But with a few points here and there, Notre Dame could be in a much better position. They have lost eight games by six or fewer points, including each of their last four games.
Most recently, they went to Charlottesville and gave Virginia all they could handle, but Dane Goodwin was off the mark on what would have been a game-winning three at the horn in a 57-55 loss.
The Tuesday prior, the Irish had also put forth a valiant effort at Duke, rallying from 14 down in the second half to draw within one in the final minute before falling 68-64.
Where to Bet on North Carolina vs Notre Dame
AZ, CO, IN, IA, IL, KS, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, WV, VA
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AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NY, PA, WV, VA
AZ, IL, LA, MD, NJ, OH, PA, MI, WV, IN, IA, TN, VA, CO
So, even though results aren’t going their way, Notre Dame is playing hard. That could spell trouble for North Carolina, whose well-documented road struggles continued on Sunday with a 77-69 loss at NC State.
As has been the case many times this season, poor shooting cost the Tar Heels in Raleigh. They were just 7 of 21 (33.3%) from three, and they shot 35.5% from the field overall.
Caleb Love had his fourth straight 20-point game, and it was one of his better showings of the season, as he made 4 of 8 from three and 7 of 17 from the field overall in a 23-point performance.
But R.J. Davis was only 2 of 13 from the field and scored only seven points, and the only other double-figure scorer for UNC was Armando Bacot.
But even Bacot (6 of 14 FG, 16 points, 14 rebounds) had an off day, shooting under 50% in a game for just the sixth time this season.
North Carolina vs Notre Dame Prediction and Picks
Tar Heels vs Fighting Irish Prediction: Notre Dame to win
Tar Heels vs Fighting Irish Picks: Notre Dame +6.5 (Best Value: FanDuel/Caesars Sportsbook/BetRivers) & Notre Dame team total over (Best Value: BetRivers)
Sunday’s loss at NC State dropped UNC to 2-6 on the road in ACC play, and while there is nothing shameful about losing on the road against a team who will be in the NCAA Tournament, it’s the big picture that is an issue.
This month, the Tar Heels’ only win in six games is a home win against Clemson, a team who is in a similar funk.
It’s pretty hard to trust this team to do anything right now other than frustrate, and a road game against a team that hasn’t given up despite taking a number of close losses in a tough season is just the kind of game that this team seems likely to struggle in at present.
As close as Notre Dame came to two big upsets last week, even if they don’t win tonight, this game will be a lot closer than North Carolina’s 81-64 win in Chapel Hill on January 7. I feel pretty good about backing the Irish to cover here, and I will be sprinkling a little extra on them to win straight up.
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