A week after almost quitting the betting game, the I went 4-2 last Saturday giving a modicum of hope that I can finish the year in the black. Seven more games highlighted by Duke/UNC and we inch ever close to that .500 mark. As always, lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Despite laying an egg against Syracuse last weekend, the Demon Deacons have continued to impress. This week they travel to Tallahassee to face Florida State who after seeming to get things figured out (winning eight of nine) have dropped their last three. That one loss during the hot streak was a drubbing at the hands of these Deacs in Winston Salem. I expect a much different game this time around as Florida State should have most of their players healthy. However laying three points is still a big ask. The Seminoles will make Wake work for points so give me the under.
Pick: Under 146.5
What a rough week for the Cardinals. They were in it against Duke and then they got absolutely hosed against North Carolina. Fortunately for Louisville, Syracuse, New York is about as far from Tobacco Road as it gets in the ACC. They’ve battled in their two games since Chris Mack was let go and I don’t like the Orange laying this many points. Even at home, Syracuse is hard to trust in this spot.
Pick: Louisville +7.5
All season, I’ve wanted to like Georgia Tech more than I probably should. Then, while watching them lose by double digits twice this week, I remembered they’re coached by Josh Pastner. Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher are the real deal, but it’s just not enough. Clemson is solid, yet unspectacular. They’re three-point shooting has held up and I like them to be able to cover a small number, even on the road.
Pick: Clemson -2.5
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ N.C. State Wolfpack
KP: N.C. State +1; Over/Under 145
DraftKings Sportsbook: N.C. State +1; Over/Under 144
Perhaps it’s the fact that they beat Virginia and I was at UVA in the Pete Gillen era, but I always seem to think N.C. State is better than they are. Looking back however, that win over the Hoos was their only victory in their last six games. All those losses came against good teams including the Fighting Irish team they host on Saturday. The Irish meanwhile, have quietly established themselves as one of the better teams in the ACC losing only three times since early December. I was really impressed with their road victory on Wednesday at Miami. It was their third game in five days with the previous two coming against UVA and Duke. Perhaps it was adrenaline, but they’ve now had three days to rest and I’m OK laying a point with Notre Dame (note: the line on this game has been hovering anywhere from N.C. State -1.5 to Notre Dame -1, so perhaps it swings back to plus money on the Irish)
Pick: Notre Dame -1
I was very excited to bet Miami this week when they hosted Notre Dame who was playing their third game in five (as mentioned above). It was going to be one of the first times all season, I was actually rooting for the Hurricanes to cover a spread. They lost (which should come as no surprise to readers of this column). Now they come to Charlottesville and clearly the play is take the points with the Canes who’ve broken my betting heart and can now break my actual heart by beating Virginia. But I’m going to spare myself that heartbreak and take the total. The Hurricanes have the guards who can penetrate the pack line and get the game sped up. If Virginia wants to win, they’re going to have to try to keep up the pace which means this game should get into the 60s.
Pick: Over 128
It’s Coach K’s final trip to Chapel Hill and just like every other year in this rivalry, who knows what to expect? Historically, it’s been a high scoring game and taking the points with the underdog is generally a good strategy. Duke has been playing quite a few low scoring games this year, and UNC hasn’t been playing at their usual frenetic pace. But, I expect the game to be close and North Carolina will be able to hang with the Devils. Therefore, while I do like the points with the home dog, I’m looking at taking the over (though like the ND/NC State game, this total is creeping up and around the 154 mark, the under has value).
Pick: Over 152
Just when I think I can fade the Hokies, they go and pick up two double-digit wins this week. So, we’re going back to thinking VaTech might be good. Regardless, Pittsburgh is not good. Even at home, they just don’t bring much to the table this season. In a crazy Covid scheduling quirk, these two teams face each other twice in the next three days. I like VaTech to be able to handle the Panther’s in both, and I’m laying the 6.5 in the first.
Pick: VaTech -6.5
Season Total: ATS (8-12), O/U (5-9), Total (13-21)