CBB Picks: Take North Carolina in bounce-back spot at home on Monday

North Carolina resides in one of the most ideal bounce-back spots of the week in college basketball.

The Tar Heels just went through a bad week in which they were played out of the arena by Miami and Wake Forest.

Hubert Davis' team is back at home, where it plays much better, on Monday to face Virginia Tech, who has not been great on the road recently.

North Carolina has a pair of double-digit ACC victories inside the Smith Center already and it could add to that tally as it tries to get right ahead of the first clash with Duke on February 5.

Monday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 114-149-1

Boston College at Wake Forest (-10.5) (6 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

Wake Forest quietly put together a strong start to ACC play.

Steve Forbes is turning out to be the perfect hire for the Demon Deacons. The former ETSU coach has them at 16-4 overall and 6-3 in conference play in an ACC that seems way more wide open than previous seasons.

Wake Forest beat Virginia by eight points and then defeated Georgia Tech and North Carolina by double figures in its last three games.

Wake has the No. 2 two-point offense and its two-point and three-point defense are both inside the Top 75 on KenPom.

Boston College averages 12 fewer points per game than the Demon Deacons and it plays at a much slower pace, which is not a great sign for a road matchup with an offense that ranks 62nd in adjusted tempo.

Belmont at Eastern Illinois (Over 138.5) (6 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

The last time I mentioned Eastern Illinois in this column, it hit the over for the first time this season.

Eastern Illinois is now 2-0 to the over in its last two games and it is set to take a drubbing from Belmont on Monday.

The Bruins suffered their second loss in OVC play to Morehead State on Saturday and they should look to take all of their frustration out on Eastern Illinois.

Belmont averages 80.8 points per game and it faces an Eastern Illinois defense that gave up 91 and 87 points in its last two games.

All I need is for Eastern Illinois to score in the mid 50s, like it has in the last four games, and for Belmont to comfortably hit 80 points for the over to hit.

Towson at Delaware (Over 140) (7 p.m. ET)

Towson and Delaware square off Monday in the first of two vital head-to-head clashes at the top of the CAA.

Both teams sit at 5-2 in conference play, and if a team sweeps the series this week, it will be the clear contender to UNC-Wilmington in the regular-season title race.

Delaware is averaging 76 points per game and giving up 71.3 points per contest. The over hit in the last five Blue Hens games and it is 6-1 in the last seven.

The Blue Hens and Tigers both rank in the Top 55 in offensive three-point percentage on KenPom. Delaware is shooting a fantastic 47.7 percent from the field for the season.

UNC Wilmington (+120) at Northeastern (7 p.m. ET)

Speaking of UNC-Wilmington.

The Seahawks face Northeastern in a matchup of first-versus-worst in the CAA and the line seems wrong.

UNCW is only eight spots ahead of Northeastern on the KenPom rankings, so that has something to do with the spread being the way it is.

Northeastern is 0-7 in conference play and it scored 70 points once in the last five games. UNCW hit the 70-point mark in all of its conference wins, two of which came against Towson and Delaware.

I'll take the cheese on the rat line and run with the program in much better form.

Virginia Tech at North Carolina (-4.5) (8 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

It's time for the North Carolina bounce-back spot.

The Tar Heels struggled mightily last week against Miami and Wake Forest. They return home with motivation to erase the awful week from their memory with a favorable opponent.

Virginia Tech has been dreadful on the road. The Hokies just lost by five points at Boston College on Saturday. They are 1-4 outright and against the spread in their last five road games.

That is why I'm willing to take the hard-to-trust Tar Heels in this spot.

Eastern Washington (-4.5) at Idaho State (9 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Eastern Washington averages 16 more points per game than Idaho State.

EWU needs a bounce-back win after a weekend loss to Northern Colorado and it should get in Pocatello.

Idaho State lost by 12 or more points in each of its last three games against Southern Utah and Weber State, two of the top programs in the Big Sky.

EWU has a massive advantage in some major offensive metrics and that should be the difference-maker in a potential double-digit victory.

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