February 25, 2017
There are three picks today.
#1: Take Clemson +2 spread against Florida State for 3% of the bankroll.
This is a very interesting matchup. These two teams met just three weeks ago in Tallahassee and it was Florida State who came away with an emphatic 109-61 victory. With the 48 point victory just a short time ago, we find it incredibly interesting that the oddsmakers had opened this game up as a pick'em, however there is good reason for it.
Florida State has been a good team this season, however their struggles on the road have been highly publicized. They are just 2-5 in true road games this season and have dropped 4 of their last 5 road games in convincing fashion to the likes of Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh, respectively. They have struggled mightily on the road this season and given how the oddsmakers opened the line on this game, it's likely they believe Florida State will once again stumble this afternoon.
A lot has been said about the Florida State offense and rightfully so. They are explosive on the offensive end, however a majority of their impressive offensive performances this season have come on their home floor. They scoring out has really taken a dip when they head out on the highway and we believe that will be the case in this contest today.
There is no question that Clemson was absolutely embarrassed in the first meeting between these two teams and you can bet that the players have had this matchup circled since that night. The public perception will likely be skewed heading into this matchup given how the first meeting went, however like Florida St is a different team on the road, Clemson is a much different team on their home floor this season. They average nearly 7 more points per game on offense and hold their opponents to two-fewer points on defense. We expect them to come out in this contest and get their much-deserved revenge.
While we don't believe Clemson will put a 48-point beating on Florida State in this contest, we do believe they will be much more competitive and aggressive in all areas of the game. It is certainly easy to forget how bad the Seminoles have been on the road, however, the holes in their game will become apparent once again in this contest. There is a reason the oddsmakers opened this game at the number they did as Clemson comes away with the outright victory.
#2: Take St. John's +1 spread against Georgetown for 3% of the bankroll.
The Georgetown Hoyas chances of making the NCAA Tournament are just about over barring nothing short of a miracle. they would need to win out for the remainder of the season and also win the Big East Tournament and even then, that may not be enough to get the committee to take notice.
The Hoyas two game losing streak was exemplified with their recent loss to DePaul and likely sealed their fate. DePaul has been one of the worst teams in the Big East and it's not only the fact that Georgetown lost to sub-par competition, but the way they lost that game had to be extremely tough to swallow. The Hoyas had a chance to seal the game in the final seconds with a game-winning three, however the shot fell short and the Hoyas committed an unnecessary foul with 0.2 seconds left. DePaul cashed in on their two free throws and the game was over. Now that the realization that the Hoyas likely have nothing to play for has set it, we expect it will be extremely difficult for them to get motivated for this contest.
The St. John's Red Storm hasn't had an awe inspiring season this year, however they are a young team and are much improved from a season ago. The Red Storm are coming off a rough road trip in which they fell to both Butler and Marquette, which wasn't really much of a surprise. That being said, the Red Storm are back in the Big Apple, a place where they have played much better this season and now have a chance to take out a big-named opponent in Georgetown who is likely not coming into this contest with the right frame of mind.
This is also a chance for the Red Storm to gain a manner of revenge in this contest. These two teams met back on January 9th and it was the Hoyas who managed to come away with an 83-55 victory. It was a pretty embarrassing performance from the Red Storm and now on their home court in front of their hometown fans, we expect them to have a much better showing and repay the favor to an emotionally depleted Georgetown team. This game will likely be close, but St. John's homecourt will be the difference maker in this contest as the pull off the outright win.
#3: Take Tennessee +7 spread (buy the half point) against South Carolina for 3% of the bankroll.
Some people may be experiencing a bit of deja vu in South Carolina as once again this season the South Carolina Gamecocks are unravelling at the most inopportune time. Just a season ago, the Gamecocks went on a losing streak at the end of the season and that caused them to ultimately miss out on the NCAA Tournament. Coming into this contest, South Carolina has dropped three straight and people are once again starting to talk. Once known as a team that prided themselves on the defensive side of the ball, it's been their defense that has let them down in their most recent contests. Over their last 6 games, the defense has allowed an average of 78.8 points and that is something that we just aren't used to seeing from this team. With the pressure to perform starting to mount, it will be interesting to see whether the Gamecocks can right the ship or whether they continue to unravel at the seams.
The Tennessee Volunteers have been one of the more up and down teams this season, both at home and on the road. That being said, they are a talented team who has the ability to put points on the board in a hurry. They are also a very strong rebounding team and will actually hold the rebounding edge in this contest. On the defensive side of the ball, the Vols have been a decent team and have been holding their opponents to just 42% shooting from the field. Given that the Gamecocks are a lower scoring team and often struggle to put points on the board, points may be hard to come by in this contest.
At this point, it is simply hard to trust South Carolina at the moment. They are on a rough losing streak and have been an unreliable 0-6 ATS in their last 6 contest. If the Tennessee team shows up that beat the likes of Kentucky, then they should have a chance to pull off the outright upset. While they will likely fall short in the end, we do expect that with their offense, that they can keep things competitive and stay well within this generous point spread.
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