One More Time for St. Peter's?

Basketball Mar 27, 2022

St. Peter's vs. North Carolina – Who wins and which team covers?

Cinderella No. 15 seed St. Peter's and No. 8 seed North Carolina will face off on Sunday afternoon in an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight round game.

The game is scheduled for 4:05 pm ET.

So, who will win the game and advance to the Final Four?

North Carolina is an 8-point favorite in the game.

It is -370 on the money line and Saint Peter's is +280.

The over/under for the game is set at 136.5 points, according to SPREADS.CA:

College basketball powerhouse North Carolina is favoured for obvious reasons. The Tar Heels should win this game.

However, at some point the betting markets have to stop underestimating the Saint Peter's Peacocks, a gutsy team that’s beaten three excellent opponents to reach this point.

One opponent Kentucky is loaded with NBA talent, Murray State was easily the best mid-major in the field, and Purdue has NBA prospects and one of the best offenses in the country.  Yet, St. Peter’s beat them all.

So, why not North Carolina?  What makes them so special?

Well, like the Peacocks, North Carolina has covered all three of its NCAA Tournament games, including a 7-point overtime win as a 5.5-point underdog vs. top-seeded Baylor.  UNC is 19-16-1 against the spread (ATS) this season.

Why North Carolina can cover
North Carolina has the better offense in this matchup, both in terms of raw talent and statistical profile. The Tar Heels rank in the top 20 of the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, and four players are averaging in double figures for North Carolina. Two-time All-ACC big man Armando Bacot leads the way with 16.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game, and he is flanked by Sweet 16 hero Caleb Love on the perimeter. Love is the team's lead guard, averaging 15.7 points per game, and he scored 27 points in the second half of the win over UCLA.

Sure, St. Peter’s has been a covering monster all season, which is the only thing we should care about.  Many bettors will be riding the money train until the tickets stop cashing.  However, this is the point where it's rare to see a truly elite team like North Carolina offer some betting value.  So, let's go contrarian and be the fans in the party no one wants to hang out with – by backing the Tar Heels to win and cover and advance to the Final Four.

Oh, and great run – St. Peters.

OUR PICK:  North Carolina -8