North Carolina vs UCLA Preview Betting Analysis

North Carolina vs UCLA betting is one of the hottest matchups on the gambling market in the 2022 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

#8 UNC has already beaten #9 Marquette and #1 Baylor, although the latter nearly came with a record-tying comeback loss if it were not for the Tar Heels steadying the ship in overtime. UCLA, meanwhile, has quietly put itself in a position to repeat its Final Four glory from last year after beating #13 Akron and #5 Saint Mary’s.

Here is an in-depth look at the March Madness odds, past trends, and how the two squads stack up against one another.

North Carolina Meets UCLA in the Sweet 16

The North Carolina Tar Heels are led by first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference performer Armando Bacot, a junior center that is averaging 16 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks per game in the tournament. Bacot is the most physical player left in the tournament and couples this with decent free-throw shooting for a man his size. UNC also has long and athletic guards, each with the ability to dominate from the outside and play airtight defense on the other end.

UCLA’s two main players, Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr., will be familiar to fans who watched last year’s tournament; the pair stole the show for a majority of the 2021 bracket and had Gonzaga locked into a battle before Jalen Suggs nailed a near-half-court buzzer-beater to eliminate them. Now, Juzang and Jaquez are back, averaging nearly 30 points between them. Tyger Campbell has also played very well in the tournament and helped get the Bruins over the line in a surprisingly close battle with Akron in the first round.

UCLA is a much more disciplined team than UNC, although they cannot match Bacot’s brute physicality or the Tar Heels’ guards’ length and athleticism. Juzang is still dealing with lingering effects from an ankle problem and has not been the same superstar that he was in last year’s event, and if he does not elevate his play, the Bruins could be doomed.

The Betting Numbers

As interesting as the NCAAB odds would be for such a matchup, the North Carolina vs UCLA betting lines present an interesting proposition for bettors; on one hand, they could take the reliability and consistency of UCLA, while on the other, they have the high-ceiling low-floor option in UNC.

UNC is 18-16-1 against the spread and 4-5 ATS an underdog, which they are in the impending clash. They are also 3-4 ATS at neutral sites but have easily covered the point spreads in both of their tournament games.

UCLA, meanwhile, is a close 18-15-1 ATS but also 17-12-1 ATS as the favorite. Like the Tar Heels, they are 3-4 ATS at neutral sites but missed out on covering the spread in their first game against Akron.

Most betting picks in North Carolina vs UCLA are probably going to favor the Bruins, as suggested by the point spread, but UNC is on a run and is not a good matchup for this UCLA team; it is a huge risk taking a team as on-and-off as the Tar Heels, but spotting them two-and-a-half points is a bad idea.

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