Analyzing Monday’s North Carolina vs. Kansas NCAA Championship odds and lines, with college basketball expert picks, predictions and best bets.
The No. 8 seed North Carolina Tar Heels (29-9) and No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks (33-6) clash in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game Monday. Tip-off from Caesars Superdome in New Orleans is slated for 9:20 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the North Carolina vs. Kansas odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
North Carolina is unranked nationally and has made the title game as the No. 8 seed from the tournament’s East Region. The Tar Heels eliminated defending champ and East Region No. 1-seed Baylor 93-86 in overtime in the second round.
They advanced to this game after an 81-77 victory over No. 2-seed Duke Saturday. The Tar Heels have averaged 77.8 points per game in going 11-1 since Feb. 19. UNC has out-rebounded foes in all 12 of those games.
Kansas knocked off Villanova 81-65 in Saturday’s semifinal. The Jayhawks — ranked No. 3 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports — came from the Midwest Region and were the only No. 1 seed to make the tournament’s Final Four. A sharp Kansas defense has held foes to 60.8 PPG on a 35.0% mark from the floor across five games in the tourney.
North Carolina vs. Kansas odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11 a.m. ET.
- Money line: North Carolina +155 (bet $100 to win $155) | Kansas -190 (bet $190 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): North Carolina +4.5 (-120) | Kansas -4.5 (-105)
- Over/Under (O/U): 151.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
North Carolina vs. Kansas odds, lines, picks and predictions
Kansas 79, North Carolina 73
North Carolina is a fast team that tends to work advantages against teams that play in a slower lane. While that perhaps benefited UNC against moderately-paced Duke in the Final Four, that’s not the match-up here.
Kansas, which plays at a pace near that of the Tar Heels, has really ramped up its defense — a plenty-good defense to begin with — in the tournament. The Jayhawks have the big veteran bodies to hang with UNC inside, and veteran KU Head Coach Bill Self is no stranger to coaching in big games.
The Jayhawks have done well to display an uptick in forced turnovers and avoiding opponents’ free throws of late. Those factors loom large in perhaps getting this game to the finish line with a 5-to-7-point cushion. I peg KU as a near-70% proposition for the straight win.
TAKE KANSAS (-190).
UNC is perhaps overcooked in the fatigue department after Saturday’s emotional triumph over rival Duke. The Tar Heels’ surge has them also being overcooked a bit in the eyes of the betting public.
Consider some partial-unit action in a mix with the above: TAKE KANSAS -4.5 (-105).
PASS on a well-made number for a game featuring two up-tempo squads.
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