Iona Vs. North Carolina Betting Picks | March Madness Round 1 Betting
16 Iona Gaels vs. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Preview
Don’t tell the Iona Gaels they have not shot at beating the North Carolina Tar Heels. After Virginia was eliminated in the first round as a number one seed in last year’s March Madness, every underdog jump on the court thinking there is a chance. MyBookie.ag has Iona at +60000 to win the tournament. I know I’m getting really ahead of myself, but I just needed it to put out there. The Gaels have a 0.17% probability of winning the title. But they are not thinking about that. They just want to shock the world as UMBC did over Virginia last season.
The good news the Gaels are in good spirit as they have won ten games in a row entering the dance. They just earned their 4th straight MAAC title by beating Monmouth 81-60 in the final. Iona averages 76.8 points per game this season, which could be a potential problem for North Carolina. But where I don’t trust Iona is on defense. They ranked 278th in points allows this season. That number comes without having even played against one ranked team all year. North Carolina has no business losing this game. They would have to play a beyond terrible game to give Iona even a puncher’s chance. The Tar Heels are my favorite team to win the entire thing.
MyBookie has NC at +550 to win it all, and I’m jumping on that number right from the start. That’s a 15% implied probability to collect with the Tar Heels at the end of the dance. I just think everybody is praising Zion and Duke way too much. We seem to be forgetting other programs with solid rosters. Before losing to the Blue Devils by one point in the ACC tournament semifinals, North Carolina had an 8 winning streak. The Tar Heels offense is too good for the Gaels to have an answer. NC has 3 players who average double-digits this season. No one better than Cameron Johnson, who was outstanding during the regular season averaging 16.9 points per game while shooting 46.5% from three-point land. He led the ACC in 3 point percentage and ranked 5th in the nation.
I get that covering 22.5-points in college basketball is a tough ask. The long possessions make it hard to separate, even when there is a clearly better side. But North Carolina has shown all season they are one of the best teams in the nation, both offensively and defensively. I would be shocked If they don’t like the games in the ’50s and they reached way over 80 points in this first matchup. They just have a collective advantage in talent and coaching. This is just a huge mismatch for the Gaels’ weak defense.
What’s the play? North Carolina.
Spread: North Carolina -22.5
Money line: -110
Game total: 166
Date: Friday, March 22, 2019
Game time: 8:20 PM ET
Venue: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
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