February 1, 2017
There are two pick tonight.
#1: Take Miami Florida -4 spread against Florida State for 3% of the bankroll.
Florida State may have run out of gas from an intense six-game stretch which featured matchups against all ranked opponents. The Noles won five and reached as high as No. 6 in the polls, however, in their first game after that stretch, FSU was hammered at unranked Georgia Tech 78-56 last Wednesday. Then on Saturday, the Noles were handled at Syracuse 82-72. There is no question that FSU has had their share of road woes and have proven to be a different team on the highway. The Seminoles are just 1-4 away from home, a mark which includes all three conference losses. In four conference road games, the Seminoles have trailed at halftime by an average of 15 points, which includes deficits of 26 and 18 points at Georgia Tech and Syracuse, respectively.
The Miami Hurricanes are coming off a huge win over number 9 ranked North Carolina 77-62 in their last contest. It was an impressive display by the Hurricane defense as they held UNC to its lowest point total (22) in a half this season. The Hurricanes were the first team since Duke, on March 9, 2013, to lead the Tar Heels by 15 or more points heading into the locker room. UM held North Carolina to shoot 20.7 percent (6-29) from the field and 22.2 percent (2-9) from beyond the arc in the opening half. The Canes did not allow a field goal in the closing 8:36 of the half. UNC entered the game as the No. 1 rebounding team in the nation, averaging 45.9 rebounds per game but only had 36. The Hurricanes countered North Carolina’s inside presence with a 2-3 zone defense that turned last Saturday’s game completely around and may to rely on a similar game plan in this contest.
While Florida State has owned the Miami Hurricanes on the football field, the same cannot be said for the basketball court. Miami has dominated this rivalry recently. Since beating Miami in the ACC tournament in 2012, the Seminoles are just 2-6 against Miami. The Hurricanes also aren't a team that loses at home very often. They have a huge home court advantage and is a big reason they have won 24 of their last 25 home games. There is a reason the Number 15th ranked team in the country in are listed as the underdogs in this contest. This will also be Hurricane's coach, Jim Larranaga’s 1000th collegiate game which is a huge milestone. There is no question that his players will do everything they can to ensure this milestone is capped off with a victory. This game may be close in the early going, but the Miami defense should be able to clamp down in the second half which will allow the offense to create separation on the scoreboard and come away with a big win and cover over their in-state rivals.
#2: Take Providence +10 spread against Villanova for 3% of the bankroll.
It's only been 10 days since these teams first faced off which resulted in a 10-point win by the Wildcats on their home floor. Since that victory however, Villanova has been entangled in some dramatic battles, with a 2-point loss to Marquette and a victory by the same margin over Virginia. With this rematch being played in Providence, we expect the Friars to have a much better showing as they look to avoid a regular season sweep.
Since the last meeting, Villanova has really struggled on the court. Josh Hart has been held below his scoring average in 4 out of the team's last 5 games. They allowed Marquette to perform somewhat of an improbable comeback in their matchup and followed up that performance by going down by 12 to Virginia before rallying in the second half and coming away with the narrow victory. The Wildcats haven't played like their normal, dominant selves as of late and that's going to make it difficult for them to pull off the cover in this contest.
Meanwhile, the Friars continue to get improved play out of Kyron Cartwright, who has averaged 17 points on 13 of 22 from the field in the last two games and has recorded 11 assists in that span. Rodney Bullock, who averages a team-high 17.3 points, is coming off one of his worst performances of the season as he shot 2-of-7 for eight points and failed to make a 3-pointer for the first time in three weeks. We expect this to be an opportunity for Bullock to have a bounce-back performance against a highly-ranked Villanova team. Jalen Lindsey has also been on quite a tear recently as he recorded 14 points versus Marquette and has scored 13 or 14 in four straight games while shooting a blistering 22-of-38 from 3-point range over his last seven contests.
Providence is a solid team and we don't believe they are getting the respect that they deserve in this contest. They are coming off a huge road win over a strong Marquette team in their latest action and we expect the momentum from that victory to carry over into this contest tonight. As a team, Providence shoots the three ball extremely well and that was evident against Villanova, going 13 for 26 from three-point territory. Their ability to shoot the 3-ball could be key in this contest to the Friars keeping pace with the Wildcats. Playing in Providence is never an easy feat and given the way Villanova has played recently, we wouldn't be surprised if the Friars had an opportunity to win this game at the end. The Friars only lost by ten points at Villanova ten days ago, now playing at home we expect this to be a much closer game that could come down to the final few possessions.
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