The North Carolina Tar Heels are bringing back most of their key contributors on a team that went to the national championship game last season, and North Carolina’s odds to make the Final Four are good, as a result.
The Tar Heels are historically one of the best programs of all time. This season is shaping up to be a special one in Chapel Hill. Can North Carolina make another run to the Final Four? Can the Tar Heels win a national championship? How about winning the ACC Championship — something they did not do last season?
The regular season begins Monday, Nov. 7, with a home game against UNC-Wilmington.
North Carolina Final Four Odds
PointsBet has the Tar Heels tied with three other teams at +325 to make the Final Four. Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Houston are the other three. It is interesting as North Carolina and Kentucky are traditional longtime powers in basketball. At the same time, Gonzaga and Houston are in non-power five conferences that have had a good run of success in the last decade or so.
Here are the top teams in the odds listed at DraftKings and FanDuel:
- North Carolina +330
- Kentucky +330
- Gonzaga +330
- Houston +330
- Kansas +450
- UCLA +500
- Duke +500
- Baylor +500
- Arkansas +500
- Gonzaga +200
- Houston +200
- North Carolina +230
- Kentucky +270
- Baylor +330
- Kansas +330
- UCLA +330
- Duke +350
- Arkansas +390
- Arizona +440
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North Carolina National Championship Odds
|Tar Heels Odds||+900||+1000||+900||+1000|
The Tar Heels are in the same pole position for national championship odds. They are the favorite or tied as the favorite to win the national title at most sportsbooks. There are one or two sportsbooks that have Gonzaga as their favorite. Still, the top four, whether it is for final four odds or national championship odds, remain the same, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Houston.
As far as odds go, they range from +900 to +1000, with the best value coming at FanDuel and PointsBet. These odds will fluctuate throughout the season. If Carolina slips up and loses a game or two early, that may be the best time to make a wager because their odds elevate slightly.
A different shade of blue: Duke Blue Devils Final Four Odds
North Carolina ACC Championship Odds
North Carolina is the favorite to win the conference title at four online sportsbooks. Here is a look at the preseason odds at PointsBet and Caesars.
- North Carolina +135
- Duke +300
- Virginia +650
- Notre Dame +1200
- Virginia Tech +1400
- North Carolina +130
- Duke +290
- Virginia +500
- Florida State +850
- Louisville +1500
- Miami +1500
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Tar Heel Team Preview
The Tar Heels return four out of five starters from a group that played more minutes together than any other five players in the country last season. Brady Manek, who is out of eligibility, is the one guy the Tar Heels have to replace. Carolina is replacing Manek, who transferred to UNC last season, with another transfer — Northwestern’s Pete Nance.
The other four returners, Caleb Love, R.J. Davis, Leaky Black, and Armando Bacot, are about as good as it gets. All four guys should have a chance to earn all ACC honors. Bacot was second in voting for ACC Player of the Year last season and is in contention for National Player of the Year this season.
Key reserves include Puff Johnson, Seth Trimble, Dontrez Styles, Jalen Washington, and Tyler Nickel. At least two or three of these guys will need to play important roles, as Carolina’s one weakness last season was its depth. Look for Johnson to be a breakout player this season, and if he is the better shooter come season’s end, don’t be surprised if he takes Nance’s spot in the starting lineup or is on the floor to close games out.
Notable Early Season Games:
- Nov. 24-27: Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Ore. — The Heels will face Villanova or Iowa State in the second round. Their final game will be against UConn, Michigan State, Alabama, or Oregon.
- Nov. 30: at Indiana (Big Ten/ACC challenge)
- Dec. 17: vs. Ohio State (CBS Sports Classic in New York)
- Dec. 21: vs. Michigan (Jumpman Invitational in Charlotte)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip