Ouch. That is all that can be said about yesterday’s pick. We backed the Auburn Tigers as they played on the road against the Florida Gators, looking to lock up the regular season SEC title with a win. This game was a very tight affair all game long and came down to the final thirty seconds. With just twenty-six seconds left in the game, these two teams were tied up at 66-66. I loved our side as we were getting a point and a half in a one-possession style game.
But alas, in the last couple of seconds the ball didn’t bounce our way, and we came up short. The Gators finished strong and walked away with a huge 72-66 victory. This solidified any doubt that the Gators are a tournament team, and for Auburn, they still have plenty of opportunities to lock up that regular season SEC championship as they still lead the Volunteers of Tennessee by one game with just two games to go. It always hurts to lose the cover with just a couple seconds left on the clock, but what can you do, we were clearly on the right side of this one, so we move on. Today, I will take a look at an ACC matchup, when the Florida State Seminoles play the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
The Florida State Seminoles will look to bolster their tournament resume tonight when they travel to North Carolina to play the Wolfpack of NC State. Florida State would love to pick up a big road win to cement their status as an NCAA tournament team. They are on the right side of the bubble at the moment but have little room for error down the stretch with their eight losses already on the season. The Wolfpack of NC State are in a very similar position as they are likely to be in the field of 68 but if they stumble down the stretch, they could get left out of the Big Dance. NC State is a -1-point home favorite. The game total over-under is set at 163.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 PM PST from PNC Arena in Raleigh.
The North Carolina State Wolfpack have one of the stranger resumes of any team this year. At times they have looked absolutely elite. They hold wins over Duke, Clemson, Arizona, and North Carolina. That is as good of a group of wins as any team in the country. And you would think those wins would be plenty to get this team into the tournament.
But at other times this Wolfpack team just looks terrible. Like when they lost to Northern Iowa and UNC Greensboro. They are playing well at the moment though, as they have won three straight games in ACC league play. The Wolfpack’s nine ACC wins have them tied for fifth place in the league, and with a win tonight they would be a lock to be dancing in March. They face a Florida State team that has really struggled on the road in league games this year.
Florida State has been a tough team to handicap all year long. They started the season out 9-0 and 11-1 and it looked like the Seminoles might compete with Duke and Virginia for the ACC regular season title. However, that hasn’t come true, and the ‘Noles are just one game above even in the league at 8-7, and could really use one last signature win before Selection Sunday.
The struggles for the ‘Noles have mostly been on the road. They have road losses to Duke, Miami, and Virginia which are all very understandable. But they also have road losses to Notre Dame, Wake Forrest, and Boston College. Even against the worst teams in the league, the Seminoles have struggled to win on the road. They will need a huge effort tonight if they want to break through for the win.
This line doesn’t make any sense to me. These two teams have near identical resumes, with NC State holding the advantage in big wins and league wins. So why did this number open at North Carolina State -1.5-points and quickly shift to -1? Who is loving on Florida State so much to push this line towards them? I just don’t get how people are backing this Florida State team on the road right now. The Seminoles are just 3-3 in their last six games with losses coming to bad teams like Wake Forrest and Notre Dame. They absolutely cannot be trusted on the road against a good team right now.
When all things seem to be equal, I am always going to lean on the home team. And this matchup seems pretty even. On a neutral floor, I am leaning slightly towards the Wolfpack, at home in a game that the Pack badly wants to win? I like them a lot. This game should be close, most ACC league games are, but I can thank the early betting action for saving me that half of a point and back the North Carolina State Wolfpack with confidence tonight at home. Give me NC State in a barnburner -1-point.