North Carolina

March Madness: North Carolina vs. Wisconsin odds, picks and prediction

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The 9-seed Wisconsin Badgers (17-12) square off against the 8-seed North Carolina Tar Heels (18-10) in the first round of the South Regional at 7:10 p.m. ET in Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. Below, we analyze the Wisconsin-North Carolina odds and lines, with March Madness NCAA Tournament picks and predictions.

North Carolina wrapped up its regular season 4-2 SU and ATS in the last six games. The Tar Heels then won and covered two ACC Tournament games before losing to East Regional 4-seed Florida State in the conference tourney semifinals.

Wisconsin struggled at the end of its season, losing seven of the previous 10 games (3-6-1 ATS) and is entering the Big Dance unranked after being in the Top 25 for a majority of the season.

The Badgers’ last three wins have come against sub-.500 teams including narrowly beating Penn State 75-74 as 6.5-point favorites in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

North Carolina vs. Wisconsin: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Thursday at 11:45 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Wisconsin -105 (bet $105 to win $100) | North Carolina -115 (bet $115 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Wisconsin +1 (-110) | North Carolina -1 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 137.5 (O: -115 | U: -105)

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North Carolina vs. Wisconsin: Odds, lines, predictions and picks


North Carolina 73, Wisconsin 68

Money line (ML)

These teams have similar identities, but NORTH CAROLINA (-115) is bigger, more physical and is playing its best basketball entering the tournament.

Aside from Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams has the most postseason experience in the field. North Carolina has advanced to the Sweet 16 or further in four of its past five NCAA Tournament appearances.

Also, the Tar Heels are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games as favorites and the Badgers are 0-3-1 ATS in their previous games in neutral venues.

Essentially, Williams does a better job getting his guys prepped for high-profile games. GIMME NORTH CAROLINA (-115) to advance.

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Against the spread (ATS)

PASS on the spread since North Carolina -1 (-110) is only 5 cents cheaper on the dollar than its money line.

Over/Under (O/U)

North Carolina’s offense is 24th in average possession length and 1st in offensive rebounding rate (according to Ken Pom), which tells me the Tar Heels will score fast and get easy putbacks.

Even though Wisconsin plays at a snail’s pace, the Badgers have the 4th-best turnover rate and are one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the country. So, if North Carolina pushes the pace, I like Wisconsin to hang around by knocking down 3’s.

According to, more than 95% of the money is on the Under and that has steamed the total down from the 139-point opener. Typically, you’ll win money as a sports gambler if you blindly fade betting markets this one-sided.

lean OVER 137.5 (-115) for a half unit and wait until closer to tip-off to perhaps get a cheaper total.

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