Well that was a rough weekend. Louisville was up three with under a minute, but couldn’t even get to the foul line to ice the game, and didn’t cover the 3.5. North Carolina led Clemson by 10 with under two minutes to go before losing the lead and the game in OT. And finally in the game that hurt both my heart and my wallet, Virginia and Syracuse stood 29.5 points under the Total at the end of regulation before exploding for 32 points combined in the five minute extra period. To put that in perspective, they were so far below the total, that despite the barrage of points, one less three-pointer by either team and that game still goes under. Oh well, what are you going to do?
Syracuse Orange @ Virginia Tech Hokies
KP: Virginia Tech -4, O/U 134
Vegas: Virginia Tech -4, O/U 131
Considering the Hokies were able to travel to Syracuse just 11 days ago and escape the Carrier Dome with a win, you’d think coming home they should be favored by a couple more points than four. And...you’d be right. Despite the earlier noted three-point barrage the Orange put on Virginia in overtime last Saturday, Syracuse isn’t a very good offensive team. The Hokies only shot 27% from three in the first meeting with Landers Nolley going a cool 1-11. That won’t happen again.
Pick: VaTech -4
North Carolina Tar Heels @ Pittsburgh Panthers
KP: Pittsburgh -5, O/U 135
Vegas: Pittsburgh -3.5, O/U 136
It feels like a Miami football redux for me. No matter how bad the Hurricanes played, I just couldn’t bring myself to think they were playing that badly. It didn’t work out for me in the fall, so why not double down with the Tar Heels in the winter? The only difference is I wasn’t keen on North Carolina coming into the year, but the hate has gone too far. Even though they lost to the Panthers just ten days ago in Chapel Hill, I like for them to keep this close or even win it outright.
Pick: North Carolina +3.5
Florida State Seminoles @ Miami-Florida Hurricanes
KP: Miami +6, O/U 144
Vegas: Miami +6 O/U 142.4
Miami made me look really bad last Sunday night in their eight point win over Pitt and Florida State struggled to put away our Hoos. Neither of those results changed my opinion of these teams, though the line may be affected by those results. Even on the road, in a rivalry game, the Seminoles shouldn’t have a problem with the Canes.
Pick: Florida State -6
Clemson Tigers @ North Carolina State Wolfpack
KP: NC State -7, O/U 139
Vegas: NC State -6.5, O/U 139.5
In the third matchup of teams that played just weeks ago, Clemson, off their upset over Duke heads to Raleigh to take on the Wolfpack. I’m looking at a let-down for Clemson, however 7.5 points is a lot. Both these teams can score and the Tigers don’t take care of the ball as well as some teams in the ACC, so the Wolfpack will get some extra points in transition. They scored 151 at Littlejohn, so 140 is doable.
Pick: Over 139.5
Louisville Cardinals @ Duke Blue Devils
KP: Duke -8, O/U 136
Vegas: Duke -8, O/U 137.5
Back in December, this game looked like an ACC heavyweight fight. However the Cardinals lost to Kentucky and Florida State while the Blue Devils were upset by Clemson. Duke is still the class of this league and getting Louisville at home should be enough. It’s a lot of points for teams of their stature, but Duke will bounce back and show that it’s them and everyone else this season.
Pick: Duke -8
Virginia Cavaliers @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
KP: Georgia Tech -1, O/U 107
Vegas: PICK, O/U 111.5
I have a sneaky feeling that Virginia either wins this game going away or Georgia Tech gets the close victory. Let’s not forget that the Hoos went on the road and hung with a top-ten team and probably should have won the game. As much as this season has been disappointing, it’s not like Virginia is far from being good. A three here, one or two fewer turnovers there and we’re talking about how great a job Tony Bennett is doing given what his team lost. Georgia Tech has played really well this season despite not overwhelming anyone with stats. Look for Virginia to get a couple more turnovers of their own and to push the pace in transition. Seeing as we only need a Virginia win, give me the Hoos, and unlike my brand (and Virginia’s) perhaps the over as well.
Pick: Virginia Pick
Boston College Eagles @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons
KP: Wake Forest -8; O/U 140
Why is Wake Forest laying eight points? Why is Boston College 268th in Offensive Efficiency? Both of those don’t add up, but they’re probably related. Derryck Thornton is back after his two game absence and Boston College is a much better team with him. Given the Eagles scoring woes, the total looks appealing, but I’d rather bank on getting value on Boston College based on those advanced stats and take the points.
Pick: Boston College +8
Season Total: ATS (13-12), O/U (3-6), Total (16-18)