Wednesday was just what the doctor ordered with the favorites holding serve for two ATS wins and the “Noon Under” coming through. We’ve got four games for today, with our beloved Hoos taking the court. Can we now say the tourney has begun?
What happens when two narratives collide? Not only is this a Noon game, but Virginia is involved so the under is a no-brainer right? Well, maybe, if you look at it this way (yes, the answer is yes). It took overtime for these two teams to get to 131 in their meeting earlier in the season in Raleigh. NC States struggles to score in the half court requiring turnovers and offensive rebounds to generate points. They won’t be able to get those against the Hoos. Once again the only thing that keeps this from going under is a points barrage from UVA. But given the nature of the tournament, if this gets out of hand, look for the Hoos to take the pedal off the gas and save something for the weekend.
Pick: Under 132
Virginia Tech had to feel like they let one get away last week at Florida State. They were the better team in Tallahassee and you have to think they’ll take that into their matchup in Charlotte. Nickeil Alexander-Walker finally feels like he has settled into playing more on the ball with Justin Robinson still out. While Florida State has only lost once since early January, they haven’t exactly passed the eye test over the last two weeks by squeaking by Notre Dame, NC State, VT (ot), and Wake Forest. I think that continues and the Hokies move on.
Pick: Virginia Tech -1
Maybe Louisville has turned a corner. They played well against UVA and dismantled a Notre Dame team who looked good on Tuesday against Georgia Tech. But the Tar Heels are rolling. I’m going to look at these two teams’ matchup in Chapel Hill as an outlier and think that the Tar Heels’ 79-69 win in Louisville was more indicative of these two teams’ abilities. While I’m certainly pulling for the upset, I don’t see it happening, and it’s not even close.
Pick: North Carolina -6
This all comes down to if you think Zion Williamson plays or not. When these two teams played in the Carrier Dome a few weeks ago, the line was Duke -6. It was an easy cover as I felt the talent on Duke even without Williamson would be too much for the Orange. I think the same holds true here, but you’re actually getting value on if Williamson plays, which I think he will. If you figure he’s worth 6-7 points to the line, and we took Duke -6 at Syracuse, then with Williamson this line could be as high as -12 to -13. However, If you don’t think he’s going to play, the value right now is on Syracuse. If it’s announced that he isn’t going to play, you could argue the line could fall to around -4, which you’re now getting six points of value if you want to take that shot. I’ll be on Duke since I think he plays, and once it’s announced, the line may go up a few ticks.
Pick: Duke -10.5
Season Total: ATS (36-26-2), O/U (27-19), Total (63-45-2)