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Alabama vs. North Carolina Expert Pick and Prediction – March 28, 2024

Alabama vs. North Carolina Expert Pick and Prediction – March 28, 2024 

ALABAMA VS. NORTH CAROLINA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 28, 2024 — Can the books actually find a number that Alabama can’t reach? They’re certainly going to try, as the totals have now reached an insane 173.5 at DraftKings. There’s signs that might go even higher, so if you want the under, you’ll want to wait until five minutes before the tip.

Of course, if you do want the under, you’ve got guts. Alabama keeps putting up crazy numbers every time it takes the floor. The Tide have only played to the under nine times in 34 games this season, and two of their three postseason games have seen at least one team reach triple digits. Alabama plays fast, shoots faster, doesn’t play great defense outside of forcing turnovers and fouls like nobody’s business.

And against North Carolina, that could be a real worry. The Tar Heels have long made a living at the free throw line, going back to the days of Dean Smith. Hubert Davis is, of course, a Smith disciple, and he coaches like he played in that aspect. North Carolina always emphasizes rebounding and getting to the stripe, and the Heels knock down their foul shots when they get there.

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The problem for Alabama is that Carolina plays defense better than it scores. The Heels don’t actually shoot the ball all that well, but they’re outstanding at getting stops. And with the Tide not likely to end too many possessions without giving up a shot to a ball-handling team, triple digits aren’t out of the question here either.

The Odds 







(23-11 SU, 18-15 ATS) 





North Carolina

(29-7 SU, 20-15-1 ATS) 






When: Thursday, March 28 at 9:40 p.m. EST 

Where: Arena, Los Angeles


Public Bets: 92% on North Carolina 

Public Money: 94% on North Carolina

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 27th, 2024

Alabama vs. North Carolina In-Season Trends 

There’s a reason this total is so high beyond Alabama: North Carolina is perfectly willing to run. The Tar Heels have played over in five of their past six games, and most of the time, they’ve been the reason the game went over by themselves. North Carolina has topped 80 points in five of its past seven games, with the exceptions being the game with Pittsburgh that went under and their loss to N.C. State in the ACC final.

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Otherwise, the Heels have hit overs despite playing good defense. Only State and Duke managed to get over 71 points in the Heels’ past 10 games; they cashed the over against Wagner and Florida State by hitting 90 points in those games.

If you’re the scoreboard operator for an Alabama game, you’re earning your paycheck. Prior to the uncharacteristic low score against Grand Canyon, the Crimson Tide had allowed 96, 88, 88 and 93 in their past four wins. In their defeats, they’d given up 102, 105, 81 (Tennessee refuses to let Alabama run) and 117. The Tide are 2-0 ATS in the NCAA tournament, but they’d covered just once in their previous seven games before the tournament began.

The Difference-Makers 

RJ Davis has to make better decisions with the basketball than he did against Michigan State. The Heels only had five turnovers in the win over the Spartans, but Davis had three of them. He also was under 50% from deep, but only shot seven times from the arc. He’s either got to make his 3-pointers or find a teammate, because someone will be open.

Mark Sears made a living at the foul line against Charleston. He’s probably not going to find things that easy against Carolina. He has to make his shots when they come, which he’s done so far in this tournament. Alabama’s had a bit of a charmed life shooting the basketball so far; good looks might be harder to come by here.

The Pick 

It’s hard to pick against Alabama as this spread continues to grow, because the Tide absolutely has the talent to hang with the Heels. But Alabama commits way too many fouls to really handle this kind of game. North Carolina plays excellent defense and will spend most of the game getting to the stripe.

Grand Canyon took 37 free throws against the Crimson Tide; it only scored 61 points because it couldn’t hit anything from deep and shot 62% from the free throw line. But Carolina doesn’t just get to the line; it makes its foul shots.

That’s not going to end well for Alabama. The Tar Heels should outrun them here.

Dan’s Picks 

 North Carolina -5  

 Over 173.5



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