North Carolina vs. Saint Peter’s Odds, Spread, Pick and Predictions for 2022 NCAA Tournament

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North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks Game Info

North Carolina Tar Heels (27-9, 15-5 ACC) vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks (22-11, 14-6 MAAC)

  • Date: Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022
  • Start Time: 5:05 p.m. ET
  • Location: Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, PA
  • Coverage: CBS
  • Last Meeting: First-ever meeting between the schools

North Carolina vs. Saint Peter’s Betting Odds

Odds courtesy of BetMGM

  • Moneyline: UNC: (-375) | SPU: (+295)
  • Point Spread: UNC: -8 (-110) | SPU: +8 (-110)
  • Total: 137 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

Betting Trends

  • North Carolina 2021-22 Betting Trends: 19-16-1 ATS; 21-15 to the Over
  • Saint Peter’s 2021-22 Betting Trends: 23-9 ATS; 13-19 to the Over
  • North Carolina is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games
  • North Carolina is 2-5 ATS in its last seven NCAA Tournament games as favorites
  • Saint Peter’s is 8-0 ATS in its last eight neutral site games as underdogs
  • Saint Peter’s is 20-5-1 ATS in its last 26 games overall
  • The over is 4-1 in North Carolina’s last five NCAA Tournament games
  • The over is 6-2 in Saint Peter’s last eight games as underdogs

Overview

We are witnessing the most improbable NCAA Tournament run in history. The Saint Peter’s Peacocks are the first-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight, and one would expect a big Jersey City, NJ contingent to pack the seats and root them on in Philadelphia on Sunday. Before this year’s Peacocks team, the lowest seed ever to make an Elite Eight was a No. 12 seed (2002 Missouri, 2021 Oregon State). Conversely, the North Carolina Tar Heels are making their 27th Elite Eight appearance and first since 2017.

North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Preview

North Carolina advanced to the Elite Eight with a 73-66 win over UCLA. The victory was UNC’s 17th straight over Pac-12 teams. While not as improbable as Saint Peter’s run, North Carolina had to win two of three tournament games as underdogs to be in this position. The Tar Heels improved to 10-4 SU all-time as a No. 8 seed and reached the Final Four as a No. 8 seed in 2000. Hubert Davis is now the fifth head coach to make an Elite Eight appearance in his first season as a D-I head coach, and first since Stan Heath in 2002.

Saint Peter’s Peacocks Betting Preview

Saint Peter’s entered the NCAA Tournament as the best ATS team of any in the 68-team field, and now three straight wins and covers have improved its ATS record to 23-9. At most sportsbooks, Saint Peter’s was 10,000:1 to win the national championship before the tournament. The Peacocks are the only team to win multiple games as a double-digit underdog in an NCAA Tournament since the tournament expanded in 1985.

From 1985-2021, double-digit favorites in the Sweet 16 went 35-2 SU but went 0-2 this year after Saint Peter’s win over Purdue and Arkansas’ win over Gonzaga. Saint Peter’s outright win over Purdue as +13 point underdogs was the biggest Sweet 16 upset since 1978. The Peacocks surpassed 2002 Indiana’s mark of beating Duke as +12 point underdogs in 1997, and Arizona’s win over Kansas as +10.5 point underdogs in 1997. Both the 2002 Hoosiers and 1997 Wildcats made the National Championship Game that year.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks Betting Pick and Prediction

Saint Peter’s ten-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the country. The Peacocks have shown they can beat any team in the country to this point, so how can we pick against them now?

Saint Peter’s nine-game winning streak leading up to the Purdue game was primarily fueled by its dominant defense. During the streak, the Peacocks allowed 56 points per game, held opponents to a 33% field goal percentage (including 28% from 3-point range), and averaged six blocks per game. Nothing fazes this team, and they will certainly not be intimidated by the Tar Heels. The Peacocks’ mettle showed in their Sweet 16 win, as they iced the game by shooting 19-for-21 from the free-throw line.

Purdue came into the Sweet 16 as the fourth-best 3-point shooting team in the country. However, Saint Peter’s held them to 5-for-21 from deep, turned Purdue over 15 times, and forced two separate five-minute scoring droughts.

North Carolina’s offense did not look overly impressive against UCLA, except for Caleb Love’s 30-point effort on 11-for-24 shooting.

The Peacocks are surprisingly deep for a No. 15 seed and at one point swapped out all five starters against Purdue with a “hockey line shift” with five new players off the bench. That depth will come in handy against a North Carolina team that relies on big minutes from its five starters. In addition, the Peacocks’ preparation for defending Purdue’s Trevion Williams and Zach Edey will serve them well in game-planning for North Carolina’s Armando Bacot. At the very least, Saint Peter’s will have a lot of fouls to use on him.

On January 23, Saint Peter’s lost to a Canisius team that finished 11-21. Then, on February 20, the Peacocks lost by 14 points to a Siena team that finished 15-14. Both of those losses seem like eons ago, and we are certainly not going to fade Saint Peter’s now amid an NCAA Tournament run we may never see again.

Pick: Saint Peter’s +8 (-110 at BetMGM)

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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