NC State vs. North Carolina prediction ATS and odds for Saturday, March 2, ACC matchup

No. 9 North Carolina hosts in-state rival NC State in ACC play at the Dean Dome on Saturday. The game will tip at 4 p.m. ET with live coverage on ESPN.  

UNC (22-6 SU, 16-12 ATS) leads the ACC with a record of 14-3. The Wolfpack (17-11 SU, 12-15-1 ATS) are seventh in the ACC with a 9-8 record.

Here we examine NC State vs. North Carolina odds and predictions for a game the Wolfpack needs to win to keep any NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

Can I bet on NC State vs. UNC in North Carolina on Saturday?

That’s a good question, and the answer is no. Legal online sports betting in North Carolina begins at noon ET on March 11. While you can’t legally wager in the state until then, bettors can claim pre-launch bonuses at the best North Carolina sports betting sites right now and up until the go-live date. 

Prepare for NC launch: North Carolina sports betting launch – timeline, key details and pre-live offers | How to bet on Tar Heels basketball odds at NC Sportsbooks | How to bet on Blue Devils basketball odds at NC sportsbooks 

NC State vs. North Carolina betting line: Point spread, moneyline, total

Check out live odds for NC State vs. UNC on the best sportsbook apps:

North Carolina defeated NC State 67-54 in Raleigh back in January. The Tar Heels are 12-1 on their home court this season.

NC State Wolfpack betting news and analysis

It might be time to push the panic button in Raleigh after NC State dropped a must-win game at Florida State on Tuesday. It marked the Wolfpack’s sixth straight loss at Tallahassee. In his seventh season at NC State, head coach Kevin Keatts is winless against the Seminoles on their home floor.  

DJ Burns, who had scored in double figures in five straight games entering that contest, produced zero points and no rebounds against the Seminoles. That’s hard to do, but Burns somehow managed it.

Keatts is on the hot seat as the regular season winds down. His team has made the NCAA Tournament just twice in the past six years.

It will take a miracle — back-to-back wins over UNC and Duke in the next two games — for NC State to get back into bubble consideration this time around. The Wolfpack’s only other pathway to March Madness is winning the ACC Tournament.

NC State relies too heavily on guard DJ Horne, the Wolfpack’s most consistent player and leading scorer at 17.5 points per game. Horne extended his double-digit scoring streak to nine games with 15 points in the 90-83 loss at FSU.

The Wolfpack have yet to beat a ranked team this season. NC State’s record against Quad 1 teams is 2-7 including losses to UNC, Virginia, and Wake Forest in conference play.  

Related: March Madness betting sites and promos | Best sports betting bonuses | Latest college basketball betting odds

UNC Tar Heels betting news and analysis    

North Carolina’s R.J. Davis went off for a career-high 42 points in Monday’s 75-71 win over Miami. It marked the most points scored by any UNC player at the Dean Dome, which is impressive considering Michael Jordan and so many other UNC greats played in that building during their collegiate careers.   

Davis is making a strong case for ACC Player of the Year as the conference’s leading scorer. As important, his veteran leadership at point guard gives the Tar Heels a significant advantage come tournament time.

North Carolina would love to put some distance between itself and Duke in the ACC standings with a win over NC State. The second-place Blue Devils, just a game back at 13-4, have three games remaining to close the gap.

  • Virginia at Duke
  • Duke at NC State
  • UNC at Duke

The finale against the Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 9 could very well decide the ACC’s regular season champion.

In the first game against NC State, UNC benefitted from a monster game on the glass by Stanford transfer Harrison Ingram. Ingram pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds, the most ever recorded against NC State.

Davis scored 16 points and freshman backcourt mate Elliot Cadeau added 11 points along with six assists for the Tar Heels. As has been the case several times this season, though, Armando Bacot got into early foul trouble and was limited to nine points and five rebounds.   

Saturday’s game could likely be the last for Davis and Bacot against the Wolfpack. Duke is unquestionably UNC’s biggest rival, but NC State owns sole possession of second place in that pecking order by a wide margin.

NC State vs. North Carolina prediction ATS

Will the Wolfpack come out and compete for Keatts in what could be his final game in Chapel Hill? The stinging loss at Florida State lingers, but expect NC State’s best effort against its hated rival and big brother. This is a large number for UNC to lay in a rivalry game.

Pick: Wolfpack

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