My apologies to anyone who faded my picks last week, I actually had a winning week going 4-3. While I need better than that to get back to .500, a winning week is a winning week. We’ve got another seven game Saturday to try to do just that.
In what figures to be a marquee game on the ACC slate, Miami travels to Duke. I think the Blue Devils are coming into their own, but Miami is still one of the better teams in the ACC. If you were to tell me Duke blows them out, I’d believe you. If you told me Miami goes into Cameron Indoor and handles the Devils, I’d believe you. In other words, I have no idea how this goes. However the total looks deceiving. Miami is a team who’s been capable of scoring well over a 100, and Duke is always ready to run. But I think this game ends up a little tighter. Both teams will look to slow the pace on the defensive end and the total will be close to this, but I don’t see it getting too out of hand.
Pick: Under 148.5
Georgia Tech comes into this one on a four game losing streak and losers of six of their last seven. Their only win came in a six point win over Miami. Unfortunately, they haven’t even been relatively competitive losing by double digits in all but one of those losses. So naturally, the play is on Syracuse. Coming off a tough loss to Miami, the Orange are 5-3 on the year in conference and should win this one going away. So that being said, let’s take the Jackets and the points.
Pick: Georgia Tech +3
What is going on with Virginia? Is this, dare I say it, an offensive team? Now they run into a Demon Deacon team who isn’t really looking to slow a team down. Easy over, right? Nope, we’re going back to our bread and butter. I loved this line closer to the KenPom prediction, but I think Wake Forest hits a brick wall against Virginia and we get a gift of a total here at 136.
Pick: Under 136.5
It’s been a rough year for Notre Dame and now with news that Mike Brey is stepping down at the end of the season, you wonder how they’ll respond. For at least one week, I like them to look sharp. The Eagles took this game in Chestnut Hill by seven earlier in the season, but I think Notre Dame gives an inspiring effort this time at home. I think they focus on finishing the season strong and start that with a big (enough) win over Boston College.
Pick: Notre Dame -5
Here’s another case of loving the KenPom line, but not loving the actual line. And in contrast to the Wake Forest/Virginia game, I’m going against the line movement. Give me the total on this game over. At home, Pitt will look to push the pace and Florida State will be happy to oblige. While their pace hasn’t changed year over year, the Seminole defense is just atrocious. While usually a hallmark of a Leonard Hamilton program, Florida State just can’t stop anybody. About 44% of Pitt’s field goal attempts come from long range and if they’re hitting anywhere near their season-long clip, this total is within reach.
Pick: Over 144
Going back to 2017, these two teams have gone over this total in 12 of 13 matchups. However, the Wolfpack haven’t gone over 153 in regulation in any of their eight conference games on the year. While I hate to step in front of a generally high scoring game, these two teams are both playing differently this year. I could look really silly when it’s 85-83, but I think there is value on a pretty lofty total.
Pick: Under 153.5
It’s feeling like a bet the under kind of weekend. Virginia Tech played really well on Wednesday in Charlottesville, but ran into a Virginia team that reminded me of the one we saw in Las Vegas earlier in the year. The Tigers are coming into the game after their first conference loss of the season, giving up 87 points at Wake Forest. I expect them to tighten up on offense and foresee a game much like the one we saw in Blacksburg a couple weeks ago. Virginia Tech likes to play slow, and Clemson won’t look to speed them up at home.
Pick: Under 141
Season Total: ATS (6-9-0), O/U (13-14-0), Total (19-23-0)