North Carolina vs. Virginia odds: College basketball picks from proven computer model

College hoops fans get a Saturday afternoon treat when the North Carolina Tar Heels travel to face the Virginia Cavaliers at 1 p.m. ET in a nationally-televised showdown on ESPN. Virginia is favored by five points, up one-and-a-half points from the open.

In this huge ACC basketball showdown that could have major implications on tournament seeding come March, you need to see what SportsLine's Projection Model has to say.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, completely crushed its top-rated college basketball picks last season, returning a profit of almost $6,600 on $100 bets for anybody who followed them.

Now it has simulated UNC vs. Virginia 10,000 times and came up with some surprising results.

We can tell you Nigel Johnson and Kyle Guy are projected to be the leading scorers for the Cavaliers with over 11 points each, and Joel Berry II will pace the Tar Heels with 11 points in 32 minutes.

The model also has a strong pick for which side of the spread you take, and you can only see that over at SportsLine.

The model has taken into account Virginia's strong recent performances. The eighth-ranked Cavaliers have won five straight, including a dominant 26-point road victory over in-state rival Virginia Tech.

They've done it thanks to an elite defense. The Cavaliers, who have held each of their opponents to their season low or second-lowest point total, lead the country in scoring defense at 52.7 points per game.

However, the Cavaliers defense will be tested against North Carolina's top-25 scoring offense. The Tar Heels average 84.9 points and 13.07 offensive rebounds.

The Tar Heels are led by former walk-on Luke Maye, who's averaging 18.1 points and 10.5 rebounds.

But just because North Carolina's offense has been explosive thus far this season doesn't mean they can stay within the five-point spread, especially on the road.

UNC has lost four straight games to Virginia in Charlottesville, while the Cavaliers are a perfect 9-0 at home this season.

Will North Carolina go on the road and make a statement, or at least stay within the spread, or will Virginia protect its home court with a big conference victory and cover? The SportsLine Projection Model's picks are in. Visit SportsLine now to see the strong point-spread pick for UNC-Virginia, all from the model that has absolutely crushed college hoops, and find out.

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