Virginia Tech vs. Clemson Pick NCAA Basketball – January 22nd

We grabbed two winners last night with Baylor pulling away late at TCU and Utah never being challenged at Washington to move the season mark on The Sports Geek to 5-2 ATS for the week and a whopping 49-27-1 ATS for the entire season.  We will look to keep it going this week with some more winners.

The biggest winner yesterday might have been the Duke Blue Devils who experienced an Awakening in the second half of their home game against Miami.  They trailed by a dozen at halftime, looking listless and failing to connect on a single three point field goal attempt.  My mind was already writing the “wow, I guess it really is time to look at Duke as an ‘also-ran’ rather than a title contender.”  Then, they came out of the locker room possessed.  The run that ensued was reminiscent of the early 2000’s Duke teams that could take a game from “close” to “over” with a 15-point spurt in a matter of minutes.

I’m not quite ready to go as far as to say “Duke is back” but I would strongly caution against removing them from the cluster of eight or nine teams that could win a National Title.

Today’s Free Pick:

Virginia Tech Hokies at Clemson Tigers -6

This pick for me is simply a matter of the points.  Clemson is at home, which makes them a legit favorite.  But Virginia Tech is at WORST “as good” as Clemson on a neutral, and probably a little bit better, making six points a pretty big pile to swallow.

Clemson is 0-5 ATS in their last five games and hasn’t covered a home conference game this season.  Virginia Tech has failed to cover their last two road games but is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall and has flashed some solid upside.

This game is enormous for Clemson.  They have lost five straight conference games and are right on the precipice of falling out of NCAA Tournament consideration.  There are no reprieves in the ACC, lose this game and they have to get on track against Pitt, a semi-breather against GA Tech, and then a road trip to Tallahassee to face who might be the best team in the ACC.  It’s a brutal slate.

So I GET that there is some desperation and emotion built into this line.  I also get that the 26-point road clunker at NC State is a blight on Virginia Tech’s resume.  But I don’t think they’ll fail to compete all season long on the road, and I expect today to be a pretty good game between two quality teams who really need a W.

Free Pick:  Virginia Tech Hokies +6