The Citadel Bulldogs take on the North Carolina Tar Heels. Check out our college basketball odds series for our The Citadel North Carolina prediction and pick.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are not finding answers to their problems. They have lost four of their last five games. They are 6-4 on the season through 10 games. They have started the season in sluggish fashion, much as they did one year ago under head coach Hubert Davis. It’s a weird outcome and not what most people expected. Last year’s slow start was predictable, but Davis got his team turned around in time to make a big run in the NCAA Tournament, all the way to the national championship game. The Tar Heels had a double-digit lead over Kansas at halftime before running out of gas against the deeper Jayhawks. That larger experience figured to make a veteran UNC team ready to thrive from Day 1 of the new season. Players who struggled for multiple months one season ago figured to be ready to perform in November and carry their 2022 March standard through this entire campaign. That’s why North Carolina was ranked No. 1 in preseason polls.

This veteran lineup, with Armando Bacot in the paint and Caleb Love on the perimeter (among others), was supposed to mesh from the start … but it simply hasn’t happened. North Carolina lost to Iowa State and Alabama in late November in Portland, and has since lost to Indiana and Virginia Tech in subsequent games. North Carolina doesn’t have a high-quality win on its resume. The Tar Heels are not an NCAA Tournament team right now, unlike teams such as Alabama and Virginia and Purdue, which have already loaded up on quality wins and have built enough of a cushion with their portfolios that if they do lose a few games in the future, it won’t hurt their chances of being included in the NCAA Tournament. Their seeding might be hurt, but not their inclusion status.

North Carolina is not at that point. The Tar Heels have to accumulate good wins, and they have to avoid bad losses. Losing to The Citadel at home would certainly be a bad loss. Hubert Davis has to be able to engineer a much quicker turnaround than what he achieved last season. He can’t afford to wait until February to get this team going. He ought to expect this seasoned, tested group to round into form much earlier. Lessons which were learned last March have been forgotten in the first month of the new season. Davis has to find a way to reach his players and generate the on-court cohesion at both ends of the floor which marked North Carolina’s run to the national title game in New Orleans last spring.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are The Citadel-North Carolina College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Odds: The Citadel-North Carolina Odds

The Citadel Bulldogs: +26.5 (-110)

North Carolina Tar Heels: -26.5 (-110)

Over: 145.5 (-114)

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Under: 145.5 (-106)

Why The Citadel Could Cover the Spread

North Carolina has struggled to cover the large spreads it has been given this season. The Citadel doesn’t have to play great; it just needs to be solid in order to cover this spread.

Why North Carolina Could Cover the Spread

The Tar Heels are going to get angry at some point. They’re going to eventually play well. Surely, this funk isn’t going to last throughout the entire season. Surely, UNC will eventually remember what it is capable of, much like last season.

Final The Citadel-North Carolina Prediction & Pick

North Carolina’s lack of reliability makes this a game you should stay away from. If you insist on a pick, lean to The Citadel.

Final The Citadel-North Carolina Prediction & Pick: The Citadel +26.5