February 15, 2016 (12:04 AM ET)
Take NC State at +12 spread against Virginia for 3% of the bankroll.
The Virginia Cavaliers, while undoubtedly one of the top teams in the country, suffered one of the more heartbreaking losses of the season on Saturday night as they fell in dramatic fashion to the Duke Blue Devils. The Cavaliers went into Cameron Indoor Stadium facing a 21 year losing streak in that venue and with seconds remaining on the clock, took a one-point lead into the final seconds of the game before Duke Guard, Grayson Allen , threw up a miracle shot at the buzzer to snatch the 63-62 victory right out of the Cavaliers hand. To make matters worse, it appeared that Allen had travelled on the play that was not called by the officials, which left the Virginia players visibly frustrated and emotional. It was an incredibly deflating moment for the Cavaliers and for it to end the way that it did, could play a factor in their performance in this quick turnaround game tonight.
This matchup has a very similar angle to our play last night with Minnesota. The Cavaliers had their 7 game win streak broken in dramatic fashion and now are back home against what is perceived to be a "lesser" opponent. Their motivation and ability to "get up" for this game could come into question and that would be a dangerous mindset against a team who has shown the ability to play closely contested games this season. While the Wolfpack have not been winning many games as of late, they are coming off a convincing win over Wake Forrest in their last contest. We believe that victory could have ignited a late season spark and allowed the team to build momentum heading into this high profile contest. Virginia is one of the top teams in the conference and we expect the Wolfpack to give them everything that they can handle tonight. NC State has also been kind to their backers having cashed the winning ticket in their last 4 contests.
Virginia is a team that is known for their hard-nosed defensive play as they rank third in the nation in scoring defense Duke was able to capitalize on second chance opportunities and were able to grab 10 offensive boards in their win over the Cavaliers, which is an area we expect NC State to exploit in this contest. The Wolfpack players have been solid on the glass all season long, averaging 42 boards per game on the road this season, with 13 of them being on the offensive glass. Virginia is a team that plays at an extremely slow pace; in fact they are the slowest in the country in terms of tempo and rely heavily on their defense allowing just a single shot per possession. If the Pack can create second chance opportunities, they could make this contest extremely interesting, especially considering the Cavaliers lack of offensive firepower.
We expect the Cavaliers to come into his contest just a bit flat, which will make creating any kind of significant separation on the scoreboard extremely difficult. The Wolfpack have elevated their play recently picking up wins over both Wake Forrest and a quality Miami team. Even in their losses on the road they have shown to be competitive, falling just short at both Duke and Florida State. NC State has only one loss on their resume which is more than the spread listed in this contest and that happened to come in the very first game of the season. Given Virginia's lack of offensive firepower, we expect the Wolfpack players to create enough offense to cover this generous number.
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