March 1, 2018
There is one pick today.
Take Georgia Tech +3 spread (buy the half point) against NC State for 3% of the bankroll.
The NC State Wolfpack comes into this matchup riding a 4-game winning streak and features a the 30th most efficient offense in the country. They are a lock for the NCAA Tournament this season and are still looking to improve their seeding. Tonight, they should have what is a perceived, favorable matchup as they have not only dominated the recent series meetings with Georgia Tech, but now face a Yellow Jackets team that has lost 7 straight and 11 of their last 12.
What we find interesting is that despite all the advantages that NC State appears to have ahead of this matchup, the oddsmakers had listed them as just 4-point favorites on the road. The betting public had taken notice of this perceived advantage and have been jumping all over the Wolfpack, yet the line has shifted in favor of the Yellow Jackets and we believe that speaks volumes.
At this point in the season, the end of the year can be an interesting place. Teams like Georgia Tech, truly have nothing to play for other than pride; and that makes them incredibly dangerous. NC State has a lot to be confident about, however, this is a quintessential trap game for them. It would be very easy for them to overlook the Yellow Jackets in this contest, given their recent form and there is no question that they have been pre-occupied with the standings, looking at situations to where they can improve their seeding come tournament time. This is a perfect lookahead spot for the Wolfpack and we believe it could cost them tonight.
Let's not forget, as efficient as NC State has been, on the road they have been something completely different. They are ranked 211th in field goal percentage and 163rd in 3-point percentage away from home this season, which is staggering. On defense, they haven't been much better, ranking 83rd in efficiency. On the road they rank 238th in field goal percentage, 65th in 3-point defense and 152nd in rebounds per game. With their style of play they sacrifice more offense with less defense and that style can be costly if their shots are not falling.
This matchup will likely be decided by whichever team can dictate the pace. NC State is a team that likes to run and gun, while Georgia Tech plays at a much slower, more methodical pace with a focus on the defensive side of the ball. Streaks don't last forever and part of what we do is ultimately try to predict when exactly those streaks are going to end. We believe this is one of those matchups. While people are riding high on NC State, this is the perfect opportunity for them to stumble a bit, and when they do, it presents an even more ideal opportunity for the Yellow Jackets to end their lengthy losing streak, which they are certainly desperate to do.
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