Went 4-3 over the weekend to move to 15-10 on the week last week.
FLORIDA STATE (+4) over North Carolina
Carolina is 0-2 in true road games this year with losses to Northern Iowa and Texas. They weren’t all that impressive in their first two games of ACC play, failing to cover at home against Clemson and Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are a young, talented team that is still inconsistent and they tend to play to their level of competition. But they can absolutely play with anybody and I like them getting this many points at home.
West Virginia (-9.5) over TCU
There are two major stats that make me like this game, even though it’s quite a few points to lay for a road team in a conference game, admittedly. First, if you don’t know anything about West Virginia, they turn teams over at a higher rate than anyone in the country. TCU ranks 320th in offensive turnover percentage, meaning they turn the ball over frequently. Secondly, the best way to take advantage of WVU’s aggressiveness is by making your free throws. The Mountaineers’ defense has the second highest free throw rate in the country, meaning they send teams to the line much more frequently than the average team. If you can make free throws against them, you have a chance to stay in it as an inferior team. TCU is a below average team in terms of free throw percentage.
DETROIT (-8) over Cleveland State
Detroit is 7-0 at home – including 4-1 ATS – and 0-5 on the road. Cleveland State is 1-6 on the road, 2-5 ATS. Detroit will force them to play at a faster pace than they’re comfortable with. The Titans don’t do a great job of defending the three, but they shoot it well from outside and the Vikings are absolutely dreadful themselves from distance. Detroit has beat some quality competition this year and expect them to take care of this young Cleveland State bunch rather easily.
VIRGINIA TECH (+13) over Virginia
Virginia is clearly a much better basketball team, but the Hokies have easily covered this matchup in the past three meetings. The last two times they’ve hosted the Cavaliers, they’ve lost by a total of seven points. This year’s Virginia Tech team is actually better than they have been over the last couple of seasons. The reason I think VT does well against UVA is because they’re actually better against teams that want to slow it down. They can’t keep pace with Iowa State or West Virginia, but they can grind out games with teams like Northwestern and NC State. The Hokies get to the line at a very high rate and it’s going to be crucial that they make free throws, something they haven’t done particularly well.
HEAT (-2) over Pacers
A quick search will tell you the Pacers have covered the past five times these two teams have matched up. But four of those games were at Indiana and the the only home game for Miami was still a win. I point that out because the Pacers are 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games. The only team they’ve beat is Minnesota, who’s been terrible at home all year.
UPDATE: Hassan Whiteside and George Hill were late scratches from this game. Whiteside is a bigger deal for Miami, so I wouldn’t have near the confidence to play this anymore. I’m already locked in though, so I’ll have to live with it.
PISTONS (-4) over Magic
Detroit has been great at home, going 11-4-1 ATS and 11-5 SU. Orlando has been a good team ATS all year, but they may be reverting back to the mean because they’re only 1-4 ATS in their last five. The Pistons have won the last three games in this series by double digits. The Magic are on their last leg of a three game road trip and the first two games were a 12 point loss to Washington and a 25 point loss to Cleveland.
TRAIL BLAZERS (+1) over Grizzlies
Portland has been playing better recently, going 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five, all without Dame Lillard. Memphis is 1-5-1 ATS and 1-6 SU in their last seven on the road. The Blazers are 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings between these two. They took down Memphis 115-96 earlier this year in Portland. Oh, and Lillard will be returning tonight.