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January 31, 2015 (Posted at 3:00 PM ET)

A legendary month is coming to an end today and this is only the beginning! SPS will go on to break records in 2015 and enjoy a truly wonderful year! Those who treat this as a long-term investment, will reap the full rewards as in all previous years.

#1: Take Georgia Tech at +1 spread against NC State risking 3%

The NC State Wolfpack travel to Hank McCarmish Pavilion to face the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech are 10-10 and had lost 7 straight games prior to putting on their best performance of the season as they upset the 23rd ranked Miami Hurricanes. In that game Marcus Georges-Hunt led three players in double figures with 24 points in the win. Chris Bolden chipped in 13 points and Demarco Cox finished with 10 points. Georgia Tech shot 56.8 percent from the floor despite missing eight of ten 3-point attempts! A big difference in that contest was the Yellow Jackets ability to get to the charity stripe as they knocked down 18 of 22 from the line. After struggling so much prior to their win over Miami, we expect the momentum and confidence the Yellow Jackets gained in that game to carry over into this one against a struggling NC State team. 

North Carolina State comes into this contest having lost 3 straight games and 4 of their last 5 with their most recent being a 68-57 home loss to Clemson on Wednesday night. NC State has been a team that has shown their struggles on the road this season. They are 1-4 away from home on the season and their offensive output declines by 9 points per game. They are currently averaging just 62.6 points per game on the highway, while their defense has given up an average of 67. 

Georgia Tech has matchuped well with NC State over the years and has covered the spread or pushed in 8 of the last 10 meetings! Neither team has been incredibly impressive this season, but the Yellow Jackets win over the Hurricane's will likely have sparked something that has been lacking from this team. They have been dangerous at home and should feed off the energy of their fans. People expected a lot from this Wolfpack team this season and they have consistently disappointed with lackluster efforts. NC State is an entirely different team on the road and while this game is likely to be a closely contested one, home court advantage will likely be the deciding factor.

The Yellow Jackets clawed their way to a .500 mark by defeating a ranked opponent and will give everything they have to avoid dropping back to a losing record. If they use the same gameplan that they used against the Hurricanes which involved pounding it inside and getting to the foul line, it will be tough for the NC State interior to stop them. The Yellow Jackets played a fundamentally sound game last time out and will concentrate on a similar strategy today. With this being a virtual pick'em, the Yellowjackets should do enough to pick up the victory in front of their passionate fans.  

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Georgia Tech is 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings!
  • Georgia Tech is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after a win. 
  • Georgia Tech is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against ACC opponents!
  • Georgia Tech is 5-1 ATS in their last six against teams with a winning record. 

#2: Take St. Joseph's at +3.5 spread against Davidson risking 3%

The Davidson Wildcats will head out on the road by travelling to Hagan Arena to take on the Saint Joseph's Hawks this afternoon.

Looking at the side by side statistical comparison of these two squads, you will see a 14-4 Davidson Wildcat team taking on an 8-11 St. Joseph one. Davidson likes to play at a high tempo pace and scores an average of over 80 points per game which includes draining approximately 10 three pointers per game! St. Joes on the other hand prefers to slow the game down and scores only an average of 61 points and does not rely on the 3-ball much. It would be easy for someone, simply looking at the surface of this matchup to make a case for the Wildcats but when analyzing it at a deeper level, it is a different matter The fact that the linemakers have only made Davidson a 3.5 point favorite in this contest, is another enticing bit of information as we believe this is an extremely short and telling line given the huge statistical advantage Davidson has enjoyed. It would be reasonable to believe that Davidson could be favored by much more in this contest, however that was not the case and we believe there are good reasons for that.   

The Wildcats have no doubt been the more impressive team of the two; however there are a number of individual matchups that favor St Joes today. First off, the Wildcats lost their most versatile offensive player in Jack Gibbs indefinitely. Gibbs was the orchestrator of this offense and while Tyler Kalinoski has stepped up to take a bulk of the load, the loss of Gibbs is a huge blow! We saw how his absence impacted this squad in their last game against a very mediocre George Mason team which took the Wildcats to overtime! George Mason was leading for a majority of the game but could not close the game out. They arguably should have won that game and Davidson was fortunate to escape with a victory. St. Joes is a better team and this is a much tougher venue for the Wildcats. If they have another poor performance, we don’t believe the Hawks will be as kind.

Davidson is a team that relies heavily on the 3 point shot and when their threes are not falling, they struggle on the offensive end. With their run and gun style of play, it doesn't take much for Davidson to attempt a difficult 3 point shot in transition. St Joes on the other hand is one of the more deliberate and slower paced teams in the country. They like to dictate the pace of the game and  look for the most efficient shot while taking transition basketball away from opponents. We have seen what happens to Davidson when they are forced to play a different style of game this season, especially on the road as the Richmond Spiders did a great job at neutralizing their high octane offense. The Spiders laid the blueprint on how to beat Davidson a couple of weeks ago and we expect St Joes to follow it this afternoon. 

The Wildcats often rely on their prolific offense because their defense has been terrible this season! They are allowing opponents to score an average of 69.7 points per game on 43.9% shooting. They aren't a team that forces a lot of turnovers either as they average only 5 per game and tend to send teams to the charity stripe as they commit over 20 fouls per game! The Hawks offense isn't as explosive as Davidson's but they do have talent on their roster. The Hawks are led by DeAndre Bembry who averages 17.6 points, 6.5 rebound, and 3 assists per game. Isaiah Miles is the other star and averages 10.5 points and 5 rebounds per game. The defensive end has been where this team has been most successful this season as they are holding their opponents to an average of just 63.9 points per game. At home the Hawks have been even more impressive as they are 6-2 and have been holding their opponents to just over 57 points per game on 39% shooting! They also average nearly 5 blocks per game. 

Davidson has posted attractive stats this season but St Joes is an incredibly tough place to play. They are not listed as home underdogs very often and for good reasons. They have only been a home underdog once this season and managed to cover that spread. Coming off a loss to conference rival LaSalle will serve as added motivation in this contest. St. Joes is 13-5 ATS when coming off a conference loss over the last 3 seasons and this is a chance for them to rebound as well as play the role of spoiler by defending their home court and knocking off an impressive opponent like Davidson. This line is short for a reason. We believe that St Joes could win this game outright but if they don't, it will be close. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • St. Joseph's is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games! 
  • St. Joseph's is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games.
  • St. Joseph's is 10-3 ATS in home games where the total is between 140 to 144.5 points!

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