What a day. Gameday is in Charlottesville. The Top-16 will be announced. And there’s this little rematch between two top-three teams in the country. The only thing better is making money off a seven game ACC slate. Strap yourself in, because here we go.
Duke @ Virginia
KP: Virginia -5 , O/U 135
Vegas: Virginia -1, O/U 135
In the highly anticipated rematch of Duke’s 72-70 win over our Hoos three weeks ago, could it be that the home team is again without their starting point guard? I actually think Duke constructed the perfect game plan without Tre Jones in the last one (switching everything defensively, and letting Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett play in isolation offensively), a game plan I don’t think they will replicate with Jones in the lineup. On the flipside, I don’t think Virginia can hang with Duke if Ty Jerome can’t go. That being said, I expect him to play. I expect Virginia to shoot better than 3-17 from three. I expect Virginia to get the W.
Pick: Virginia -1
Miami @ North Carolina
KP: North Carolina -18, O/U 156
Vegas: North Carolina -16.5, O/U 157
I’m such a masochist. Spoiler alert, I’m taking the under in this one despite just watching UNC put up 113 on NC State Tuesday night. Miami is no NC State when it comes to scoring the basketball (although they almost tripled NC State’s output while facing the Hokies), and North Carolina will be content to let the Hurricanes use clock to run their offense. Despite these two teams scoring 161 when they met January 3rd, I don’t think Miami has the horses offensively to hang with the Tar Heels. For this to go over, I think UNC has to score over 90, which they are more than capable of doing, but at the end of the day I just don’t think this one gets enough possessions.
Pick: Under 157
Virginia Tech @ Clemson
KP: Clemson +2, O/U 132
Vegas: Clemson -3, O/U 129
It’s not often a Vegas line and a KenPom projection differ by this much. Furthermore, this line opened at Clemson -1 and has moved to -3, however 59% of the money is on VaTech. That’s what they call reverse line movement. A signal that despite more money coming in one side, the bookies are willing to change the line to get even more money on that side. That gives me a lot of pause as the bettor in me says to take the Tigers, but as someone who actually watches college basketball, I want to take the Hokies. Either way, it’s not a game I’m going to be too exposed to. The case for Clemson is...well, Justin Robinson probably isn’t playing and they’re at home. Other than that I don’t see a lot to like. Clemson has beaten the teams they’re supposed to beat (Georgia Tech, Pitt, and Wake Forest) and lost to the team they’re supposed to (Duke, Syracuse, Virginia, Florida State, and NC State). VaTech is a team they’re supposed to lose to.
Pick: VaTech +3 (Money line for the juice)
NC State @ Pittsburgh
KP: Pittsburgh +1, O/U 143
Vegas: Pittsburgh +3, O/U 148
In my latest bracket analysis (coming this week), I have NC State as a ten seed. That’s a far cry from the number three seed they earned just one month ago. But in that time they’ve lost six of nine and sent basketball backwards in their 24-47 loss to VaTech a week ago. Tuesday night against UNC was not a reasonable bounce-back opportunity, but Saturday against Pitt is. Pitt is getting a little too much credit here, even at home. They’ve lost six straight and last weekend lost by nine at home to Syracuse. NC State is better than Syracuse.
Pick: NC State -3
Boston College @ Syracuse
KP: Syracuse -11, O/U 139
Vegas: Syracuse +10.5, O/U 138
Last week, I said despite the Orange being 7-2 in conference, that I still expected them to finish closer to the middle of the ACC than the top. Then right on cue, they lost by 18 at home to Florida State. I don’t think Syracuse is in danger of losing this game, but I do think Boston College can keep it within ten. Call it irrational hate of Syracuse and irrational love of Boston College, but at least I stay on brand
Pick: Boston College +10.5
Louisville @ Florida State
KP: Florida State -1, O/U 143
Vegas: Florida State -3, O/U 143
Welcome to the season Florida State. After dropping four of their first five ACC games, the Seminoles have reeled off four wins in a row culminating in Tuesday’s 80-62 shellacking of Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Louisville meanwhile is 8-2 and just a game out of first in the ACC. Louisville has scored at least 69 points in all but one of their ACC games this season while Florida State has scored at least 68 points in six of their last eight ACC games. That said a 73-70 implied total seems completely within reach.
Pick: Over 143
Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame
KP: Notre Dame -4, O/U 126
I just looked it up and Georgia Tech is 12th in the country in defensive efficiency. For a team that isn’t very good, that’s some legit defense. They’ve held opponents to well under their season averages and add to that their 284th ranked offense, their totals end up pretty low. I look for that trend to continue, and considering Notre Dame isn’t an offensive juggernaut, this game should be played in the sixties if not even lower.
Pick: Under 126
Season Total: ATS (26-13), O/U (18-12), Total (44-25)