Stanford had a strong conference showing last year, nearly doubling their win total in the Pac-12, but still missed the NCAA Tournament and now they’ve lost three of their top four scorers. They’ve got a solid recruiting class, but is that enough against a smaller, but faster than normal UNC team? We’re about to find out and get our first real look at Nassir Little on the big stage.
This Tar Heel team has as much talent as they’ve had in a while. We’ll have to see if Stanford can keep up. For those looking to get a piece of the action, BookMaker.eu is the place for the latest odds.
Stanford Cardinal vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
Date and Time: Monday, November 12, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Dean H. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
College Basketball Odds: Check Back Later
Cardinal vs. Tar Heels TV Coverage: ESPN2
This is a rebuilding year for the Stanford Cardinal after an 11-win Pac-12 schedule last year. Despite the successful season as a whole, Stanford still failed to make the NCAA Tournament, settling for the NIT where they lost in the first round.
The season ended in a disappointing way, but Stanford was a solid team last year, but Reid Travis, Dorian Pickens and Michael Humphrey are all gone. That puts Jerod Haase’s team in a challenging spot. The trio combined for 44 PPG and were three of the team’s top four scorers.
Stanford did retain two starters from last year’s team, both now sophomores. Daejon Davis and KZ Okpala both averaged north of 10 PPG, though just barely. They’ll offer a bit of experience on the court, Davis playing on the outside and Okpala playing inside on the paint.
The two looked good in their season opener against Seattle. Okpala led the way with 29 points and 10 rebounds. He also had five assists and three blocks as he stole the show. He’ll have a much more difficult matchup against the UNC front court that features the ACC Preseason Player of the Year in Luke Maye, a senior with plenty of experience. He broke out last year to the tune of 16.9 PPG and performed well in this season’s opener, scoring 24 with seven rebounds and four assists. Garrison Brooks and Cameron Johnson combined for 37 points as UNC relied on experience to start the year.
Nessir Little played 20 minutes off the bench, showing flashes during that time.
Roy William’s UNC teams have been consistently good for a long time, but they don’t often feature five-star freshmen. William’s is great at building teams, but leans on some of his upper-class talent to lead the way.
This year, Williams can lean on the upperclassman while also featuring the extremely talented youngsters. Little is one of those youngsters and was one of the top recruits in the country. He’s got the talent to take control of a game. We’ll see how long it takes us to see that.
Another one of the top talents brought in this year is Coby White who did get the start in the opener. White’s got the dubious job of replacing Joel Berry. He was okay, but it was the front court that led the team to victory. The backcourt is still a bit vulnerable.
UNC needs to find a replacement for Joel Berry in the point guard position. Until they have a solid answer there, the Tar Heels will be a bit vulnerable on the outside. Stanford could take advantage, particularly with Cormac Ryan hitting the ground running.
Inside the paint, UNC has a nice edge. Luke Maye, Cameron Johnson and top recruit Nessir Little give the team plenty of talent. Keep an eye on Seventh Woods and Coby While on the outside alongside Kenny Williams. If the Tar Heels get one hot hand between the two, they could cruise to an easy win in the college basketball live betting. If not, fade UNC against the spread although the Tar Heels should get the win SU either way.
Player to Watch
Keep an eye on Nassir Little in this game. The freshman was one of the biggest prospects coming into the season and ranked as the No.3 overall recruit.
UNC wasn’t overly impressive in their season opener and Little was part of that. He showed some flashes with a couple blocks, a few assists and seven points in his 20-minutes of play, but only got five shots and didn’t get to the line. He’ll play a bigger role—at least offensively—going forward. He showed well on the other side of the floor.
The Tar Heels can get by without too much from Little early, but with each game, he should get more and more comfortable and will need to be a big part of this team to help cover for the loss of Joel Berry as the point guard position won’t yield as dominant of results as last year. They’ll need to make up for the production somewhere.
Cardinal vs. Tar Heels Live Betting Free Pick
Joel Berry is gone, leaving a bit of a hole at the point guard position. Cody White and Seventh Woods are the guys to fill that role, but the results weren’t exactly there in the team’s first game against Wofford. Still, Luke Maye stepped up after his breakout campaign a year ago and Garrison Brooks and Cameron Johnson each played well.
As a whole, while this team is a bit smaller than years past, they’re fast and overall very good. Little didn’t show too much in his debut, but will play a bigger role in this game.
Meanwhile, this Stanford team is still finding itself. They played well against Seattle, but this is a real test on Monday. In the end, the Cardinal school doesn’t have enough talent to compete head-to-head with a team like UNC. They lost by 24 a year ago at home.
Check out all the live betting at BookMaker.eu for this week’s college basketball matchups.
Stanford vs. UNC ATS Pick: The Tar Heels aren’t getting the attention of some of the other big college hoops programs in the country and that could lead to them being a bit overlooked early and some favorable odds. While UNC didn’t light the world on fire in their season opener, they’ve well positioned for a solid win over Stanford.
Keep close tabs on the college hoops spread at the online sportsbooks as you back the Tar Heels for a solid home victory, but don’t look for a blowout.
Stanford vs. UNC Score Prediction: UNC 81, Stanford 68
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