North Carolina vs Virginia Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will the Tar Heels end their road woes?

Eddie Griffin

After recording home wins over Wake Forest and Notre Dame last week, North Carolina will hit the road twice this week, with UNC set to take on #13 Virginia tonight before facing struggling Louisville Saturday.

Tonight’s matchup in Charlottesville between the Tar Heels (11-5, 3-2 ACC) and Cavaliers (11-3, 3-2 ACC) is set for a 9:00 pm ET tip from John Paul Jones Arena and will be televised by ESPN.

The Tar Heels did what they needed to in their two wins last week, defeating Wake Forest 88-79 last Wednesday and Notre Dame 81-64 on Saturday, but that was at home, where they are undefeated thus far this season.

On the road, however, they are winless, and the odds are not favorable that they will end that drought tonight against the Cavaliers, who defeated Syracuse 73-66 on Saturday.

Read on for our UNC vs Virginia basketball prediction, as well as our picks for this ACC clash.

UNC vs Virginia Odds

Odds are via FanDuel as of Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 3:50 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.


  • UNC +4.5 (-110)
  • Virginia -4.5 (-110)


  • Over 132.5 (-115)
  • Under 132.5 (-105)


  • UNC +160
  • Virginia -194

Will UNC Finally Get It Done on the Road?

The Tar Heels have started the new year well, but they are undefeated at home, so that is ultimately no major surprise.

Now they have to translate that into picking up their first true road win of the season. They have neutral site wins over Portland, Ohio State, and Michigan, but in their true road games, they are 0-3 with losses to Indiana, Virginia Tech, and Pitt.

None of that is overly encouraging for tonight’s matchup, and home wins over Wake Forest and Notre Dame aren’t needle-movers at all, even if they scored 88 and 81 points.

But what is encouraging is that they shot 42.1% (8 of 19) from three in Saturday’s win over the Irish. That was the just the third time this season that UNC has shot 40% or better from outside and the first conference game in which they did so.

In the win, Caleb Love was 3 of 6 from three, while R.J. Davis was 2 of 4. If the Tar Heels are to be the team that they were expected to be at the start of the season, Love and Davis will need to keep this up and not let it be a rare sight.

In their road losses to the Hoosiers, Hokies, and Panthers, UNC shot a combined 15 of 57 (26.3%) from three and 41.1% (69 of 168) from the field.

For the season, the Heels are averaging 81.4 PPG while shooting only 31.9% from three and 46.2% from the field overall.

Of the 32 teams who entered today averaging at least 80.0 PPG, no one else is shooting worse than 32.0% from three, and only seven teams–Bryant, Alabama, UT Martin, Iowa, Baylor, College of Charleston, and UConn–are shooting equal or worse from the field.

UNC vs Virginia Prediction and Picks

UNC vs Virginia Prediction: UNC to win

UNC vs Virginia Picks: UNC team total over 64.5 (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook) & UNC +4.5

Do those shooting percentages automatically spell trouble for the Tar Heels in Charlottesville?

If there is one weak spot defensively for Virginia, it’s on the perimeter. The Cavaliers rank 259th in the country in opponents’ three-point percentage (34.8%), so if UNC can find some success from outside, it could really open things up for them.

Outside shooting helped Syracuse make things respectable after trailing by as many as 23 in the second half, as the Orange went 6 of 9 from in the final 20 minutes.

The flip side to Virginia not defending the three all that well is the fact that they are one of the nation’s better teams in that department on the other end, ranking 38th with a 38.0% shooting percentage. And defending the three is a weak point for the Tar Heels, who rank 270th in opponents’ three-point percentage (34.9%).

But the Tar Heels are too talented of a team to not show up in these kinds of games all season long, and after an encouraging perimeter performance against Notre Dame, there is a foundation and an opportunity to build on that tonight.

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Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade. He joined the ranks of Betting News as a content manager. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade. He joined the ranks of Betting News as a content manager. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.