Menu Close

Wagner vs. North Carolina Expert Pick and Prediction – March 21, 2024

Wagner vs. North Carolina Expert Pick and Prediction – March 21, 2024 

WAGNER VS. NORTH CAROLINA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 21, 2024 — By all accounts, Wagner’s win over Howard on Tuesday shouldn’t have happened. The Seahawks normally don’t shoot the ball well at all, hitting just 38.6% from the field. They’re even worse from deep, hitting 31.3%. And they have just seven healthy players, meaning they haven’t held a full-contact practice since December.

But Wagner forgot itself in the first half and got hot, shooting 52.7% from the field and 47.1% from behind the arc. And that’s why the Seahawks are still here and now face a no-lose situation against top-seed North Carolina.

Related: Michigan State vs. Mississippi State Pick and Prediction

Of course, this is the absolute wrong top seed for Wagner to face. OK, Connecticut would be an even worse matchup based on talent, but none of the other top seeds run the way North Carolina does. The Tar Heels play with speed and defend a heck of a lot better than Howard does.

It goes beyond that. North Carolina won’t be bothered by a slowdown game. The Tar Heels share a conference with Virginia, so they’re quite comfortable taking it slow when another team forces them to do so. Wagner also doesn’t play defense nearly as well as the Cavaliers usually do.

Add it up, and this looks like one-way traffic. Of course, last year’s Northeast Conference champion Fairleigh Dickinson looked overmatched too after Dayton and ended up toppling Purdue. But the NEC is 1-37 in the main draw for a reason. This isn’t a league big on talent or resources, and Wagner struggled with most of its opponents. In front of a partisan crowd in Charlotte, don’t expect Wagner to stay in this game very long.

The Odds 







(17-15 SU, 15-15 ATS) 





North Carolina

(27-7 SU, 18-51-1 ATS) 






When: Thursday, March 21 at 2:50 p.m. EST 

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, N.C.


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 20th, 2024

Wagner vs. North Carolina In-Season Trends 

While the Heels had been winning until the loss to N.C. State in the ACC title game, they hadn’t been covering all that well. They failed to cover in the semifinals against Pittsburgh and couldn’t cover against State, Miami, Syracuse or Clemson down the stretch.

The Heels managed to go just 5-7 ATS over their final 12 games, even as they went 9-3 SU in that stretch. Carolina also closed the year playing out more overs; the Heels played over in three of their final four games.

Related: Long Beach State vs. Arizona Pick and Prediction

The win over Howard marked Wagner’s first time topping 70 against a non-NEC opponent all season. Usually, the Seahawks’ shots don’t go in, and they take so much of the shot clock that they can’t put up a lot of points.

The only team slower paced than Wagner is Virginia. If you caught the second game of the Tuesday doubleheader in Dayton, you have a good idea of what Wagner’s offense usually looks like.

The Difference-Makers 

To succeed, Howard needed to take Melvin Council Jr. out of the game. The Bison did not do that, as Council played every minute and led all scorers with 21 points. Council was one of three players to play every minute against Howard, and he’s easily the most important for coach Donald Copeland.

Related: Nevada vs. Dayton Pick and Prediction

R.J. Davis has had too many bad days shooting the ball for the Tar Heels. When he’s on, North Carolina is very difficult to defeat. When he’s not hitting, the Heels are vulnerable. Against State, Davis shot just 38% from the field. That’s not going to matter for the result against Wagner, but it might for the cover.

The Pick 

Wagner did very well to get past Howard. But this will not be a repeat of what happened to Purdue last season. The Seahawks do not have enough bodies or enough talent to hang with North Carolina for 40 minutes and probably can’t do it for 20 minutes.

Against a slower-paced team, Wagner might have been able to make this a little interesting. Against this play style, the score will be whatever Carolina wants it to be.

Dan’s Picks 

 North Carolina -24.5  

 Over 133.5 


1 Comment

  1. Pingback:Drake vs. Washington State Expert Pick - March 21, 2024 - GODZILLA WINS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *