With the Bye week upon us, I knew I had to do things differently to shake it up a little. So like Braxton Key chucking up three pointers with his girlfriend there to rebound, I too enlisted the help of my wife and fired off as many bets as I could with her there to rebound each of my misses. With each shot I got better from the encouragement she gave me to keep going, despite what it meant for our kids’ college funds. Fortunately, I exaggerate. Given my track record this season, I wouldn’t have made it past the first night. Two weeks ago was “better,” but I’ve still got a long way to go to get back on the right side of even. It starts this week.
Florida State is easily entrenched in the top three of the ACC. Miami, is in the bottom three. But, Florida State is just not one of those teams that blows teams out. And especially the Hurricanes. Earlier in the year, the Seminoles needed to mount a big second half comeback just to tie the game before winning in overtime. They shouldn’t have trouble winning the game, but covering 14 is a tall ask.
Pick: Miami +13.5
After upsetting Michigan State in Maui and early ACC wins over Syracuse, NC State, and North Carolina, it looked like VaTech under new head coach Mike Young might be a surprise of the ACC. But four straight losses have the Hokies going to wrong direction in the ACC. Now they host Boston College, the team that started that four game losing streak. The Eagles come in as a team I’m terrible at trying to figure out. What I do know is they’re not very good on the offensive end. However that hasn’t necessarily translated to low scoring games. It will Saturday as Virginia Tech will keep the pace slow and make Boston College be efficient to score, something I don’t think they can do.
Pick: Under 131.5
It seems like Vegas, in the face of two pretty equal teams has gone the way of a default three points to the home team. Ultimately, this just comes down to which team I think is better and that’s the Jackets. Even though they’re on the road, I think they keep it close, if not come away with the outright win.
Pick: Georgia Tech +2.5
For the first time since their unbelievable Elite Eight win over Purdue, the Hoos return to the Yum! Center, a building they’ve had much success in beyond just the NCAA Tournament. Virginia hasn’t lost to the Cardinals in Louisville since 2015. While I don’t expect that winning streak to go to five, I do think the Hoos can acquit themselves favorably. Ultimately it will come down their ability to contain Louisville on defense. If Virginia’s defense is solid, they can stay close and work the ball inside. However if Louisville starts to pull away, the Cardinals pack line will force the Hoos into taking more threes than Virginia would like which is not a recipe for success. Either way, I don’t expect a lot of scoring.
Pick: Under 114
While it’s not the top-ten showdown we’re used to when these two teams square off, it’s still Duke/North Carolina. You can’t call yourself a fan of ACC Basketball and at least be drawn to this game in some capacity (even if it’s to hope the building collapses after everyone is able to escape safely). Normally a 150 O/U would be easy to eclipse for these two teams, but this year is a bit different. North Carolina has Cole Anthony back for this one which would seem like it would give an uptick to the Tar Heels anemic offense. But as I’ve contended all season, Anthony will be great and get his, but it will be to the detriment of the rest of his teammates. Duke should win this and Anthony will star, but it won’t be the shootout we’ve come to expect.
Pick: Under 150
Perhaps it’s been years of watching Virginia basketball. Maybe there’s an edge to be had. Or could it be that I’m just a masocist? Regardless of the reason, I have no issue betting an under in a game. There are few totals that scare me. But after betting three unders up to this point, let’s have some fun. Let’s see some points. The 17th rated offense against the 147th rated defense. In the dome. Yup, sign me up.
Pick: Over 148
In games against the top half of the ACC, the Fighting Irish are 1-4. In games against the bottom half, they’re 4-2. Clemson is in the bottom half. Coming into the year, I liked the Irish to be a top level ACC team and dare I say they might be starting to play like it. Since the calendar turned, they’re 5-4 though their four losses have come by an average of under 3 points and came against the likes of Florida State, Louisville, Syracuse, and NC State. They’re on a three game winning streak against against teams that profile much like the Tigers.
Pick: Notre Dame +1
Season Total: ATS (16-19), O/U (5-8), Total (21-27)