The 16th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (1-0) face the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (0-1) on Monday night in a pandemic-altered version of the 2020 Maui Invitational in Asheville, N.C. The Tar Heels opened last week with a 79-60 victory against College of Charleston. UNC lost several players from the team that went 14-19 last year, but star forward Garrison Brooks is back and will lead a group of elite freshmen like guards Caleb Love and R.J. Davis. The Runnin’ Rebels, led by All-Mountain West guard Bryce Hamilton, struggled mightily on defense in a 91-78 loss to Montana State in their opener.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET at Harrah’s Cherokee Center. The Tar Heels are 12.5-point favorites in the latest North Carolina vs. UNLV odds at William Hill Sportsbook, and the over-under for total points scored is 151. Before making any UNLV vs. North Carolina picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $ 2,400 for $ 100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- North Carolina vs. UNLV: Tar Heels -12.5
- North Carolina vs. UNLV over-under: 151
- UNC: F Garrison Brooks 20 or more points in seven of his final eight games last season.
- UNLV: G Bryce Hamilton averaged 22.8 points over his final 13 games of the 2019-20 campaign.
Why North Carolina can cover
UNC is 5-2 against the spread in its last seven overall, and Brooks and sophomore center Armando Bacot give the team a solid foundation. Brooks scored 16.8 points and pulled down 8.5 rebounds for the Heels last season, and Bacot scored 9.6 points and added 8.3 rebounds and more than a block per game. Brooks had just six points in the opener but had 11 rebounds, and Bacot scored 12 and had eight boards. Love was the top scorer against Charleston with 17
The Heels are 43-38-2 ATS as a favorite since 2017, and Love also had a team-high four assists. He wasn’t the only freshman to make an impact, as forward Day’Ron Sharpe had a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, and Davis scored 11. Forward Walker Kessler was limited after missing time due to COVID protocols, but he scored six and had four rebounds in five minutes.
Why UNLV can cover
UNLV is 5-0 against the spread in its last five Monday games, and there is optimism with Hamilton teaming with transfer David Jenkins. Hamilton averaged 16 points and 5.5 rebounds last season and scored 27 in the opener, while Jenkins excelled under UNLV coach TJ Otzelberger for two seasons at South Dakota State. Guard Nick Blake is a four-star recruit out of Florida’s IMG Academy who was named Mountain West preseason Freshman of the Year.
The Runnin’ Rebels are 5-2 ATS in their last five overall, and Blake and Jenkins can shoot from outside. Blake made four of six 3-point attempts in the opener on his way to 16 points, and Jenkins averaged 19.7 points as a sophomore with the Jackrabbits. He made 45.3 percent from beyond the arc and was named to the All-Summit League first team. Center Cheikh Mbacke Diong holds down the middle and averaged 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots last year.
How to make North Carolina vs. UNLV picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, suggesting that no individual player scores more than 15 points. It also says one side of the spread is hitting over 60 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins UNLV vs. UNC? And which side of the spread cashes in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the UNC vs. UNLV spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up $ 2,400 on its top-rated college basketball spread picks over the last four years, and find out.