When the Collge Basketball season started, the North Carolina Tar Heels had the best odds to reach the Final Four at many sportsbooks. At worst, the Tar Heels were in the top five of best final four odds at most major online sportsbooks.
The reigning National Runners-up Tar Heels started with a good record, going 5-0 to start the season. It was against primarily inferior competition, though, and Carolina only covered the spread in one of those games. That should have been a warning sign that the Tar Heels may not be what many thought.
North Carolina is 9-4 overall and will return to the court on Friday, Dec. 30, with a road game against Pittsburgh.
UNC Tar Heels Final Four Odds Update
The Tar Heels started the season with almost even odds to make the Final Four. Most sportsbooks had Carolina with odds right around +130. The Tar Heels’ odds have shot way up to between +600 and +700 across most sportsbooks.
The best value bet is +700 odds to make the Final Four available at DraftKings and FanDuel. At DraftKings, there are 14 teams with better odds to make the Final Four than North Carolina, including ACC foes Duke and Virginia. PointsBet lists the Heels’ odds to make the Final Four at +600.
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The Four-Game Losing Streak: Why UNC Final Four Odds Have Tanked
It is not hard to see why the Tar Heel’s odds have gotten so much worse. North Carolina, after the sluggish 5-0 start, lost four straight games. The first loss of the season came to Iowa State 70-65. The Tar Heels shot 17% from three and lost the turnover margin by four.
The Tar Heels lost the next three to Alabama, Indiana, and Virginia Tech. The terrible three-point shooting continued in these three games. The only game during the four-game losing streak UNC shot above 30% from three was the Alabama game (30.4%). In that matchup, though, the Tark Heels had 18 turnovers and were uncharacteristically outrebounded by Alabama.
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North Carolina Team Futures Odds
|Win National Championship||+2500||+2000||+3000|
The Tar Heel’s other odds have also dropped significantly due to the losing streak. Carolina started the season with odds of +1000 or better to win the National Championship. While the Tar Heels’ odds to win the regular season ACC Championship were around +130.
Since then, the Tar Heels have seen their National Championship odds fall between +2000 and +3000. The best value for a UNC National Championship bet is +3000 at FanDuel. While the Tar Heels’ ACC odds now sit around +375. The best value bet for a UNC ACC Championship is +430 at FanDuel.
The Tar Heels have two players with listed odds for the Wooden Award. The Wooden Award is annually given to the nation’s best player. Armando Bacot has odds to win it around +3000, which is in the top 15 in the country, while Tar Heel point guard Caleb Love has odds in the top 25 between +5000 and +12,000.
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Is There Hope for Carolina?
After the Tar Heels’ four-game losing streak, they have turned it around with four straight wins. Also, the four straight wins were unlike their five straight wins to start the season. Three of UNC’s four wins came against Power Five opponents. The Tar Heels also covered the spread in three of those four games. The only game in which they didn’t cover the spread was against Michigan when Michigan hit three at the buzzer with the game already in hand.
What has changed for North Carolina in the last four games? First, Carolina has returned to dominant rebounding and has won the rebounding battle in the last four games. Much of that is due to Bacot, who has played like a legit Wooden Award contender in the last two games.
Against two big-time Power Five opponents in Ohio State and Michigan, Bacot dominated. The Tar Heel center had 28 points and 15 rebounds against Ohio State, and he scored 26 points against Michigan while holding Hunter Dickinson to nine points on 3-9 shooting.
The Tar Heels figured some things out over the last four games, and it would not be a shock to see UNC turn its season around. Now is the time to get any Tar Heel future bets in because the odds stand to keep improving if Carolina extends its current win streak.
AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman