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What's Wright

Best ACC Bets For Tuesday, Nov. 23: Virginia, North Carolina

by Johnathan Wright
Updated On: November 23, 2021, 2:06 pm ET

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College Basketball continues tonight with a full slate of games, including four ACC schools taking the floor.

This year's freshman class is the best group of talent on elite teams since the Duke trio of RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Zion Williamson in the 2018-19 season. Of the 25 five-star recruits from 247Sports in college basketball, 14 are averaging double-digit points, and most of them will be playing with their teams come tournament time.  

With that said, let's jump into my favorite ACC College Basketball bets for Tuesday's slate. All odds are from PointsBet and are reflective at the time of writing. 

Best Bet #1 - Virginia Cavaliers +2.5 

We cashed backing Virginia on the spread yesterday, and we will go right back to them today. The Cavaliers will be up against the Providence Friars for the 2021 Legends Classic championship. Both teams played last night, and so fatigue could become a factor in the second half. Virginia defeated Georgia 65-55 while Providence defeated Northwestern 77-72. 

Despite Virginia having new faces on their roster this season, head coach Tony Bennett is staying true to the Cavaliers' style of play — slow pace and aggressive defense. Virginia is allowing teams to shoot just 39.8% from the field and play the third slowest pace in all of College Basketball, averaging 63.4 possessions per game.

Providence, on the other hand, also play at a slow pace averaging 68.9 possession per game. However, rather than relying on defense, the Friars win games with their offense. They average 76.2 PPG on 50% shooting compared to Virginia, who averages 62.2 PPG on 40.2% shooting.

This is a classic battle of offense vs. defense, and every possession will matter. While I believe the Cavaliers will shoot the ball better than they have to start the season and positive regression is on the horizon, I am relying on Virginia to win the turnover battle. Virginia is averaging 14 takeaways per game and will take advantage of Providence, who has been sloppy with the ball this season. The Friars have had double-digit turnovers in all but one game this season. 

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Best Bet #2 - North Carolina Tar Heels -23 (-110)

The North Carolina Tar Heels will host the UNC Asheville Bulldogs on their home court, the Dean Smith Center. It can be a sweat backing a spread this big. However, North Carolina is looking to prove themselves after being knocked out of the AP top-25 poll last week due to losing both of their games in the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament. And there is no better way to do that than blowing out an in-state opponent in front of your home crowd. 

The Tar Heels know how to score, especially in front of their fans, and should have a field day against the Bulldogs, who rank 299th in defensive efficiency via kenpom.com. When playing at home this season, the Tar Heels are averaging 88.5 points while shooting 52.1%from the floor. 

The fear of this line being so high is North Carolina's defensive issues to start the season. They are giving up an average of 83.8 points per game. That said, UNC-Asheville is only slightly better on the offensive side of the ball than they are on defense. The Bulldogs are ranked 263rd in offensive efficiency, averaging 95.6 points per 100 possessions, so North Carolina's defensive struggle will not be a factor tonight.

Moreover, the Bulldogs have already been blown out twice this season. They lost 102-77 against UAB and then 75-45 to the Chattanooga Mocs, two opponents nowhere near North Carolina's level. Also, both of those blowout losses for the Bulldogs came on the road.

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Johnathan Wright

Johnathan Wright is a betting content creator for NBC Sports EDGE. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Sport Analytics and also writes for ClutchPoints and FanSided. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @JwrightOfficial.