Normally, I wouldn’t start the ACC basketball betting preview until after the end of the college football season, but given the horrific tragedy on Sunday night, I’m not too interesting in following the action on Saturday.
However, basketball is giving us a slate of good early season highlighted by the Hoos taking on the Baylor Bears in Las Vegas. Early season college basketball can be a lot of fun because we don’t know much about many of these teams, but there can be edges to be had, so we might as well take advantage of them. So, if you’re up for it, head over to Draftkings Sportsbook and settle in for a solid night of college basketball.
Virginia Cavaliers vs. Baylor Bears
KP: Virginia +1, O/U 137
Draftkings: Baylor -5, O/U 130.5
This year, the big question mark for Virginia was whether or not their defense could return to its normal form. Games against North Carolina Central and Monmouth weren’t going to answer those questions, but it was better. The real test as the Hoos travel to Las Vegas to play the Baylor Bears, but the defense at least looks better. You know who else plays stifling D? Yeah, Baylor. The teams have the makeup to be very efficient offensively and they’ll have to be if this game goes over. I think a little rust from Virginia as well as the neutral environment leads me to believe this game will lower scoring. The total seems really low for teams this good, but I like Virginia to get back to playing most of their games under.
Pick: Under 130.5
Delaware Blue Hens @ Duke Blue Devils
KP: Duke -20, O/U 144
Draftkings: Duke -23, O/U 144
Coming into the year, I’ve been really intrigued as to how the Blue Devils will change, if at all, under John Scheyer. And, so far the biggest change appears to be on the defensive end. It’s not that the Blue Devils didn’t play good defense in recent years, it just wasn’t a hallmark of the program like it had been 10+ years ago. I think they’ve regained that focus and are suffocating teams. To get to this implied total, the Blue Hens will to eclipse 60, something I just don’t see happening.
Pick: Under 142
Lipscomb Bisons @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish
KP: Notre Dame -14, O/U 150
Draftkings: Notre Dame -13, O/U 152
So far this season the Irish have been lighting up the scoreboard, but I look at Notre Dame’s offensive tempo as the key to this game. They’re very efficient, but rank close to the bottom of the country in offensive pace. They’ll control the pace and force Lipscomb to take advantage of every possession they have. The number is just a little high for a game that should feature a possession total in the 60’s
Pick: Under 152
Bellarmine Knights @ Clemson Tigers
KP: Clemson-14, O/U 134
Draftkings: Clemson -11.5, O/U 133
It’s not too often we can look at a team in 200’s in KenPom’s ranking and feel they can give an ACC team a game. But after Bellarmine defeated Louisville on opening night, Clemson better be ready. The Knights won’t sneak up on anyone anymore, so I like Clemson to take care of business. While I do expect them to win by close to double-digits, I think the over is the play. After missing the opener against The Citadel, PJ Hall is back in the lineup which should be enough to pace a solid Clemson offense.
Pick: Over 133
George Mason Patriots vs. Boston College Eagles
KP: Boston College +1, O/U 135
Draftkings: Boston College +3, O/U 131.5
In his second season at the helm of George Mason, head coach Kim English has things in pretty solid shape in Fairfax. Here in the opener of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, the Patriots will take on the Boston College Eagles. Surprisingly, George Mason is the favorite. I don't feel comfortable laying the points with the Patriots, but I don’t think Boston College is very good. Neither team does anything that stands out. They’ll play fast but leave a lot of empty possessions. In the first game of a multi-team environment (MTE) style tournament, I like under, so that’s my lean here.
Pick: Under 131.5
What is going on with Florida State? Last year was a rough season, though I expected them to be improved this season. It hasn’t happened yet, but I still like them to be competitive here. Crazy things happen in this rivalry so I wouldn’t be shocked to see them pull out the upset. We’re getting some depressed value on the Seminoles given their start, so give me the points.
Pick: Florida State +7
Season Total: ATS (0-0-0), O/U (0-0-0), Total (0-0-0)