It’s our final full slate Saturday. It’s been a good run and I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. There’s plenty to like about the games today with Syracuse/Clemson and Duke/UNC having major NCAA Tournament implications. Let’s finish strong before the league goes to Charlotte.
Louisville @ Virginia
KP: Virginia -14, O/U 124
Vegas: Virginia -13 , O/U 126
Since their loss to Duke back on February 12th, the Cardinals have only scored more than 59 points once in a 75-61 win over Notre Dame last week. I don’t expect that to change when Louisville visits JPJ on Saturday. Whether this game goes over will depend on the Hoos. And because I love what UVA has been doing on the offensive end, I can’t take the risk on the under. Therefore, I’m talking Virginia and the points.
Pick: Virginia -13
Florida State @ Wake Forest
KP: Wake Forest +11, O/U
Vegas: Wake Forest +11, O/U 142
Wake Forest gave all they could give in a near upset over Duke on Tuesday night. Even at home, I don’t think can come close to replicating that performance. Florida State has lost once in the last month and a half and while they have been somewhat inconsistent, I think they get this one done with relative ease.
Pick: Florida State -11
Syracuse @ Clemson
KP: Clemson -5, O/U 127
Vegas: Clemson -5, O/U 129
Clemson has to win this. It’s at home. I hate Syracuse and take great satisfaction in betting against them. But I just can't lay five points with the Tigers. Both these teams play very solid defense and neither is really inspiring on the offensive end. Therefore I like for this game to go under and I’d be surprised if either of these teams get to 65.
Pick: Under 129
Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh
KP: Pittsburgh -3, O/U 133
Vegas: Pittsburgh -2, O/U 134
How did this team beat Louisville and Florida State? Since defeating the Seminoles on January 14th, the Panthers have lost 13 games in a row. 13 games! Notre Dame is riding a six game losing streak of their own, but they’ve at least been competitive in their losses. I hope for their sake the Panthers prove me wrong, but I can’t take Pitt until I see them win a game.
Pick: Notre Dame +2
NC State @ Boston College
KP: Boston College +2, O/U 150
Vegas: Boston College +2.5, O/U 152
Just like the Clemson/Syracuse game, this one is a study in contradictions. NC State has to win, but they’re on the road. I like betting Boston College (for some strange reason and if you’re still reading despite that, well...thanks and it’s your money). If this line creeps up through the day, I may lean the Eagles, but otherwise I like this game under. NC State is the epitome of a fast tempo team that just isn’t very good offensively. Sort of the antithesis to Virginia who is slow but very good scoring the basketball. Which one would you rather have? I know my answer. But I digress. The Wolfpack are actually closer to the team that can be limited to 24 points than the team that can regularly cover 150+. Therefore I see this as a low scoring (relative) affair.
Pick: Under 152
Duke @ North Carolina
KP: North Carolina -1, O/U 167
Vegas: North Carolina -4, O/U 166
Last week, I was adamant that UNC -4.5 over Clemson was a stone-cold-lock. As they say, that’s why they’re building casinos in Vegas. Regardless, UNC had no business having that game that close, and I’d make that bet again, no questions asked. On to the marquee matchup of the weekend. This game obviously loses some juice without Zion Williamson. There is nothing official yet, as Coach Krzyzewski has said Williamson is doubtful, but not yet ruled out. Coach Williams has said his team has been planning as if Williamson will play. And while that’s the prudent thing to do, it’s really even more of a no-brainer than it seems. The reason being, if Williamson doesn’t play, UNC can just play the way it’s most comfortable. Only if Williamson plays do the Tar Heels have to do something that’s out of their comfort zone. I don’t expect Williamson to play, so expect a heavy dose of Luke Maye down low with lots of offensive rebounding. I also don’t foresee UNC shooting 2-20 from three. Call me crazy, but I love the Heels and if you want to take an alternate line to avoid the juice, I’m good with four, five, six?
Pick: North Carolina -4
Season Total: ATS (33-21-2), O/U (24-17), Total (57-38-2)