Expect Thanksgiving treats for UNC at Portland

Portland is the unlucky team that has the unenviable task of facing the Tar Heels on Thanksgiving day, so here we look at their chances and find the best value bets in our latest NCAAB betting picks.

Both sides last played at the weekend. The Pilots lost to Seattle, while UNC beat James Madison with a bit to spare. So will this Thanksgiving day serve up a shock result? Or will it be UNC who are feasting on easy pickings when the action gets underway?

Betting To Win the 2023 NCAA Basketball Championship

If the latest betting to win the NCAA basketball championship is anything to go by, Portland are going to have their work cut out. The Tar Heels are currently in the top three favorites to win the title with the top college basketball betting sites.

BetOnline currently have the Tar Heels at +1100, that’s just behind Houston and Gonzaga, who are both at +900. These odds vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but in general, it’s still these three leading the betting odds along with Kentucky (+1200) and Duke (+1200).

It’s best to shop around for the best odds. This is because with matches being played daily, the odds are constantly shifting, and different sportsbooks have different favorites. So if you believe Gonzaga will win the title this year, try and find the sportsbook currently offering the best odds on them.

NCAAB Tournament Winner Betting 2023BetOnline ReviewMyBookie ReviewBovada Review
Houston Cougars+900+800+800
Kentucky Wildcats+1200+1300+1150

At the moment, +900 is the best we’ve found. That’s based on the odds from the sportsbooks in our table below. For the benefit of this article, we’ve used the prices from BetOnline for the above odds. You can read more about this bookie and their latest betting offers in our BetOnline sportsbook review.

Portland vs UNC (1)

The Tar Heels are 4-0 this season, while the Pilots are 4-2. It’s going to be an uphill task for the Pilots, and it’s a Thanksgiving primetime slot, so no pressure here.

  • What; Portland Pilots vs North Carolina Tar Heels
  • Where; Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
  • When; Thursday, November 24th, 2022
  • Time; 1 pm ET

The Pilots are co-hosts of the Phil Knight Invitational and Phil Knight Legacy tournaments this week. This is why this match has been switched from Portland’s usual Chiles Center home, to the Moda Center. The bigger capacity for Thanksgiving Day also played a part.

Portland’s home form has been good this season

So far at the Chiles Center this season, Portland has played four times, winning three of their matches. On the road, they’ve won one and lost one.

The home fixtures started off with back-to-back wins over Lewis & Clark (89-62), and Florida A&M (91-54). They then won their third consecutive home fixture, beating their local rival, Portland State Vikings 98-91. This was the Vikings’ first match of the season, so they might have been a touch underprepared.

In their most recent match, the Pilots lost 68-80 at the Chiles Center to Seattle. Portland were 42-36 up at the halfway stage, but a blistering second period from the Redhawks saw them outscore the Pilots 44 points to 26 in the second period.

Tar Heels off to a flying start

The Tar Heels – seemingly determined to put last season’s final disappointment record straight – have started this season on fire, winning four from four. The Tar Heels are ranked one, and they have underpinned this ranking with a 100% winning start.

The wins haven’t all been totally plane sailing though. They started off with comfortable home wins over UNCW (69-56), and Charleston (102-86). They then had a closer encounter than they might have anticipated against Gardner-Webb, only winning a tight contest 72-66.

In their most recent outing, they defeated James Madison 80-64 last weekend.

All of these wins have been at home though, and Thursday will be the first time they are tested on the road.

Portland vs UNC Picks

Now onto our college basketball betting picks, and with Portland getting a 28 points start, it’s going to take a big ask for the Tar Heels to beat that handicap spread.

So far this season, UNC has won by 13, 16, 6, and 16 points respectively. Both of Portland’s defeats have been by 12 points, but neither opponent the Pilots lost too was in the class of the Tar Heels.

Starting from -28, the Tar Heels are -110. While with a +28 start, Portland is also -110. The total points spread is 161.5. Over 161.5 is -110, and under 161.5 is also -110.

Both sides have only topped that spread once this season, and both times they smashed it. But on this occasion, I’m going to leave it.

I’m always a bit reluctant to go against the favorites on the handicap spread, and for this reason, I’m going to go for the Tar Heels to beat the 28 points for my betting pick. I just think it is a big occasion, and Tar Heels will want to put on a show. We haven’t seen the show stopping performance from them so far this season. But maybe today is the day!

North Carolina Tar Heels (-28) To beat Portland
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Dean Etheridge

Hailing from Coventry, England, Dean brings his British wit to every piece he pens. A true lover of a good wager, Dean's passion for both sports and writing has merged into the world of sports betting. Dean is the mastermind behind his very own soccer and cricket betting platforms. As the owner and editor of a renowned football betting website, Dean has established himself as a force within the industry. His expertise as a freelance content writer is centered in the realms of football, cricket and Formula 1. From breaking down odds to unraveling strategies, Dean's writing radiates an unmatched love for sports. When he’s not immersed in sports betting, Dean enjoyes exploring new culinary delights, conquering the latest car racing video games, or getting lost in the pages of a novel.