Michigan vs. North Carolina is a marquee matchup in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. But after a few weeks of the season, the buzz would be based more on reputation and history than results.
Michigan came into the season with national title hopes. North Carolina was hoping for a strong first season with new coach Hubert Davis. And yet, they're each 0-2 against teams that are in KenPom's top 80. The best win for either team is Michigan beating Buffalo (No. 82 in KenPom as of Tuesday night).
The season is still very young and each team could exceed expectations by the time March rolls around, and a win on Tuesday would be a nice start. Michigan is a 1.5-point favorite at BetMGM.
Michigan hasn't scored a good win, losing at home to Seton Hall and on a neutral court to Arizona. Losing to either team isn't bad. But a home loss isn't great, and Arizona blasted Michigan by 18. The Wolverines are turning the ball over too much and have been ice cold from 3.
North Carolina had a scare in its second game of the season, when they were 24-point favorites but led by just 3 points at home with two minutes left. UNC pulled away for a 94-87 win. Then the Heels lost to Purdue and Tennessee and neither game was all that competitive. It has been a disappointing start, especially defensively, for an inexperienced Tar Heels team.
One of these teams will get a quality win on Wednesday night. The other will be facing a lot more questions about where their season is heading.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
What about some other Big Ten/ACC games?
The Big Ten/ACC Challenge is one of the highlights of the non-conference schedule, and there are six games to finish it on Wednesday.
Here are the games: Louisville at Michigan State (-4.5), Nebraska at NC State (-6.5), Virginia Tech at Maryland (-1.5), Miami at Penn State (-3.5), and Wisconsin (-3.5) at Georgia Tech.
The best college hoops matchup that isn't a part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge is Florida at Oklahoma. Florida is off to a 6-0 start and Oklahoma is 6-1. That game is a pick 'em at BetMGM.
How is the NBA schedule?
There's nothing like Golden State vs. Phoenix, but there are nine games. The 76ers at Celtics is the top option. The Celtics are 4.5-point favorites and that seems high. There's also a fun matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Washington Wizards. Both teams are off to solid starts with interesting rosters. Washington is a 3.5-point favorite and the Timberwolves are a fine pick getting those points.
What else is on the schedule?
There are six English Premier League games, a rarity for a Wednesday. There are also six NHL games, including the Colorado Avalanche at the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers.
What's the best bet?
I'll go with Michigan's talent winning out against North Carolina, though it's hard to take road favorites in college basketball. The Timberwolves, who have won seven of eight, also stand out as a solid play.