The No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels will try to remain unbeaten when they face the Portland Pilots in the 2022 Phil Knight Invitational on Thursday afternoon. UNC has won all four of its games this season, including an 80-64 win against James Madison on Sunday. Portland has lost two of its last three games, falling to Seattle in an 80-68 setback on Saturday.
Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. The Tar Heels are favored by 15 points in the latest Portland vs. North Carolina odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under is set at 152.5. Before entering any North Carolina vs. Portland picks, you'll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated more than $1,400 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen profitable returns.
- Portland vs. North Carolina spread: UNC -15
- Portland vs. North Carolina over/under: 152.5 points
- Portland vs. North Carolina money line: Portland +850, UNC -1600
- Portland vs. North Carolina picks: See picks here
Why Portland can cover
North Carolina has been one of the most talked about teams in college basketball heading into the season after its surprise run in March. The Tar Heels have not lived up to the hype from a betting perspective, covering the spread just once in their first four games. They are now leaving Chapel Hill for the first time this season, and Portland is playing just five miles away from home.
The Pilots are playing in their second season under head coach Shantay Legans, who led them to wins in eight of their first 11 games last year. Tyler Robertson scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out eight assists in the team's most recent outing, and he leads the team in scoring with 17.5 points per game. Portland is going to be motivated for this opportunity in front of their fans, while North Carolina might be caught looking ahead to some bigger matchups.
Why North Carolina can cover
North Carolina might be having some trouble covering the spread early in the season, but it still has way more talent than Portland in this matchup. The Tar Heels led wire-to-wire in their 80-64 win over James Madison on Sunday, winning the rebounding battle 50-34. Big man Armando Bacot pulled down a career-high 23 rebounds and also scored 19 points.
Bacot, who was named the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, leads North Carolina with 18.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Puff Johnson missed the first three games of the season with knee pain, but he made his debut on Sunday, scoring six points in 13 minutes. The Tar Heels are 11-4 against the spread dating back to last season, so they should find a way to cover this number on Thursday.
How to make Portland vs. North Carolina picks
The model has simulated North Carolina vs. Portland 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning Under, and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in over 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Portland vs. North Carolina? And which side of the spread hits over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine to see which side of the North Carolina vs. Portland spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $1,400 on its college basketball picks the last six years, and find out.