We got another winning week, and if I had only stuck with the “bet the over” narrative it could have been even better. Alas, we head into the final week of the regular season with .500 still in sight. It will take an almost perfect week, but it’s possible. Let’s get to it.
I’d love nothing more than to be wrong about this pick, but I just don’t see Virginia being able to cover this spread. The Clemson win was exactly what this team needed and I think Virginia will be fine heading into the postseason. But this is just too many points, even against a bad Louisville team. I see the under being in play as well and unfortunately there may not be enough possessions for the Hoos to really pull away. I also worry about laying a big number with the way Virginia has been shooting from the free throw line. I think they win and hope we aren’t sweating the final minutes, but 18.5 is a lot.
Pick: Louisville +18.5
I’ve been somewhat impressed with Boston College this year. No, I don’t think they’re a good team, but after the non-conference wrapped up, I thought the Eagles would be battling to stay out of the ACC cellar. They’ve won seven of their last 11 with wins over Virginia, Clemson, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech and a trip to Chestnut Hill is no longer a gimme. Georgia Tech has played better of late to stay out of last place in the conference winning four of their last six ACC games. But, only one of those wins came away from home and only one was against a team in the top 125 in KenPom. I think the Eagles can control the game from the outset and come up with enough to cover the number.
Pick: Boston College -4
I can’t wait until 4:45 this afternoon when I tune into this game and see the score 38-37 with two minutes left in the first half. But I’m going to take my chances with the under. Florida State isn’t stopping anyone and Virginia Tech can play an uptempo game. But if the Hokies can get enough of their pace early, Florida State has shown an inability to light up the scoreboard being held to below 70 points in five of their last six losses. If the Hokies win, I think it’s in low scoring fashion.
Pick: Under 149.5
Wake Forest Demon Deacons @ Syracuse Orange
KP: Syracuse +1, O/U 159
Draftkings: Syracuse -1, O/U 156.5
Will there be any defense played in this game? I’m inclined to take the over, but 156 points is a tall task. If either team goes cold for even a couple possessions, I could see this one staying under. Wake Forest has been really good this season, but are different away from home. They’ve been able to pick up wins on the road against Notre Dame, BC, and Louisville but Syracuse should prove a tougher test. As is always the case, you should probably fade this pick since Syracuse is involved, but I like that all they need to do is win.
Pick: Syracuse -1
The last time these two teams got together, they didn’t break 140. That won’t be the case this week. With at least a share of the ACC Regular Season Championship on the line and the winner getting the number one seed in next week’s ACC Tournament, I think these two teams will fire on all cylinders. Miami is a much different team at home scoring at least 81 points in every home game of the calendar year. Pittsburgh can score with the Canes, so I like this game over.
Pick: Over 154.5
I looked foolish taking the over the last time these two teams got together and neither team plays as uptempo as we’ve grown accustomed to. But I’m going to play the long term trend and take this one over once again. Last week, North Carolina and UVA combined for 134 points with Virginia playing really poorly. I think North Carolina will play at a similar pace as that one and Duke will want to press the issue. North Carolina will feel the energy in a game they must win to have any shot at the NCAA Tournament and this one should feature plenty of scoring.
Pick: Over 143
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Clemson Tigers
KP: Clemson -11, O/U 145
Draftkings: Clemson -9.5, O/U 144.5
This season can’t end soon enough for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They got the obligatory win for Mike Brey in their last home game of the year, but that’s after dropping seven games in a row. Clemson is looking to solidify they’re ACC standing, so I expect a solid effort from the Tigers. But…while they’ve been losing games, Notre Dame has been able to cover an eight point spread in eight of their nine conference road games this season. Clemson has had success winning by double digits at home against the dregs of the ACC, but I think the Irish can at least keep this one close.
Pick: Notre Dame +9.5
Season Total: ATS (9-12-0), O/U (24-25-0), Total (33-37-0)