It’s the last weekend before our beloved Hoos break for exams. Some ACC teams are already taking the week off, but that still leaves us four ACC teams facing off against KenPom top 50 teams. We made it through the ACC/Big Ten Challenge 8-6 and while that’s not ideal, it’s still in the black. Christmas is right around the corner, so let’s get back on the train and win some games.
Pittsburgh @ West Virginia
KP: Pittsburgh +12, O/U 146
Vegas: Pittsburgh +11, O/U 148.5
Don’t look now, but Pitt might be “good?” OK, maybe we won’t go that far, but there is no reason why they can’t hang with West Virginia, even in Morgantown. Just a week ago, they went into Iowa City and lost to the Hawkeyes by only a point. West Virginia will be ready to go and right the ship on their season, but 11 is a lot of points. Give me the Panthers in the hardcourt edition of the Backyard Brawl.
Pick: Pittsburgh +11
Louisville @ Indiana
KP: Louisville +6, O/U 148
Vegas: Louisville +6.5, O/U 147.5
Louisville really impressed me in their win over Michigan State, but that game was at home. Here, they travel to Bloomington for a match up with the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana is better than the team that got blown out of the building at Duke, but I am having hard time seeing them covering this number. That being said, I have a hard time backing the Cardinals here as well. So, I like the over in this one. While both teams sport solid defenses, I think both will be fine with getting up and down the court.
Pick: Over 147.5
Clemson vs. Mississippi State (Never Forget Tribute Classic - Newark, NJ
KP: Clemson +1, O/U 137
Vegas: Clemson +3, O/U 136
I was high on the Clemson Tigers coming into the season, but so far they’ve let me down falling in their only two contests against Top-30 competition. Mississippi State has a neutral win over St. Mary’s and a road win against a pesky Dayton team, but fell to Arizona State in their only game against a KenPom top-50 team. These two teams are both very balanced and play at a similar tempo. Marquise Reed is questionable for the Tigers, and even if he plays, Quinndary Weatherspoon for the Bulldogs is probably the best player on the floor. So, in a close one, give me Weatherspoon and Mississippi State.
Pick: Mississippi State -3
Notre Dame @ UCLA
KP: Notre Dame +5, O/U 151
Vegas: Notre Dame +6.5, O/U 151
I’m going to be on the “fade Notre Dame” train until they do something to impress me. UCLA hasn’t fared well in their only games against quality competition (losses to Michigan State and UNC), but the Fighting Irish aren’t those teams. In Los Angeles, the Bruins get it done
Pick: UCLA -6.5
VCU @ Virginia
KP: Virginia -16, O/U 122
I wish there was just an auto-bet function I could set up for as soon lines come out. I’m going back to well here and looking at the under. I’d be surprised if this line is less than the 122 KenPom projects by the time the action opens, so I’ll be looking at the under, whatever that is. Initially I thought about giving the Rams the 16 points as that’s a lot of points for this in-state rivalry. Plus, I hope the Hoos blow VCU out of the gym, so giving the points won’t jive with my emotional state come Sunday. But that also gives me confidence in the Under. I don’t see UVA winning by 16, and I have a hard time seeing VCU scoring more than their 53 implied point total. So, naturally, that screams under. Something else to consider is looking to a correlation play. If you think like me that UVA doesn’t cover and the under is attractive, parlay the two bets. Same goes for the over. If you think UVA covers the 16, the over may be your play, so why not put em together.
Pick: Under 122
Season Total: ATS (7-4), O/U (5-3), Total (12-7)