UNC a Slight Underdog to Oregon in the Battle 4 Atlantis 3rd-Place Game

Ducks mascot on the court
The Oregon Ducks basketball mascot. Photo by Quintin Soloviev (wikimedia commons) CC License.
  • The North Carolina Tar Heels are a slight underdogs against the Oregon Ducks in the Battle 4 Atlantis 3rd-place game
  • The No. 6 Tar Heels lost 73-64 to Michigan, while the No. 11 Ducks fell 73-72 in OT to No. 8 Gonzaga
  • Every North Carolina game has been under the betting total this season

The North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1) are a slight 1.5-point underdog to the Oregon Ducks (6-1) in the Battle 4 Atlantis 3rd-place game that tips off at 11:30 a.m. ET Friday.

The No. 6 Tar Heels were upset 73-64 by the Michigan Wolverines Thursday in the Bahamas, while the No. 11 Ducks fell 73-72 in overtime to No. 8 Gonzaga. And if you’re looking for trends, every North Carolina game has been under the betting total this season.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Oregon Ducks Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under at BetOnline
North Carolina OFF +1.5 (-110) O 136.5 (-110)
Oregon OFF -1.5 (-110) U 136.5 (-110)

Odds taken Nov. 28

Many may have expected a 2017 National Championship-game rematch between UNC and Gonzaga in the Battle 4 Atlantis final, Alas, it’ll be a rematch of the 2017 NCAA Tournament National Semifinal between North Carolina and Oregon.

Both of these programs have entered the top ten of the 2020 NCAA Tournament Odds thanks to plenty of early-season upsets in college hoops (and Oregon handing Memphis its only loss). Let’s analyze this intriguing consolation final from Paradise Island and make a prediction.

How They Got Here

Roy Williams’ team was dominated on Thanksgiving by a Michigan squad that is now 6-0 under first-year head coach Juwan Howard. The Wolverines were up by as many as 24 points in the second half. The Heels chipped away to make it 69-61 with 1:30 to play before eventually losing by nine.

As for the Ducks, Dana Altman’s squad was coming off an emotional 71-69 victory over No. 13 Seton Hall Wednesday and came out sluggish. Oregon was down 24-7 to the Zags, but rallied in the second half. Filip Petrusev had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Gonzaga and the Bulldogs had to survive UO guard Payton Prichard’s shot for the win in OT to advance.

All four games these two teams have played in Nassau have ended up being relatively tight at some point. I expect a similar close game Friday.  KenPom.com does too. The site has UNC-UO topping it’s “Thrill Score,” which means it’s expected to be the most exciting game in college basketball Friday. In other words, it’s too close to call a winner.

With that said, let’s look at the projected total.

Under My Thumb

The Heels have been one of the more efficient offensive units in college basketball recently, finishing in the top ten in offensive efficiency according to KenPom.com the last four seasons. But UNC is only 26th so far in 2019-20. That relative inefficiency has been reflected in game totals, with all six of the Tar Heels’ games going under the total.

Meanwhile, Oregon is 4-2-1 with the over coming out on top. The Ducks are ranked 14th in offensive efficiency according to KenPom.com, but they play at a slow pace.

With the total at 136.5, I like the under.

2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Odds Tracker

Ready For Home

The reason I like the under in this spot is due to several factors noted above. First, these teams are tired. They’re ready for return trips to Chapel Hill and Eugene respectively after emotionally draining games. Imagine playing back-to-back-to-back against teams ranked in the top 15?

That’s what Oregon is doing this week in the Bahamas. There’s no load management in college hoops, especially in these early season tourneys featuring delicious matchups. And UNC’s lack of efficiency is real. At least, so far. The trend is your friend. Gimme the under.

Pick: Under 136.5

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