The National Basketball Association is still on their All-Star Break which means I turn my attention to the college scene. Believe it or not, we are already getting close to conference tournament time for some of the smaller conferences and before you know it, the big boys will be on stage as they prep for the tourney.
Seton Hall (+16.5) at Villanova – The Wildcats score five more points per game than do the Pirates and they give up five points less per game than does Seton Hall. That doesn’t bode well for the Pirates. Head-to-head the two teams have seen Villanova win seven of the last ten meetings but the Pirates own a two-game winning streak right now.
Trends: Seton Hall is 1-11 straight up in their last 12 road games at Villanova… The Wildcats are 12-3 SU in their last 15 games against Seton Hall… The Pirates are 2-5 SU in their last seven road games… The Wildcats are 2-4 against the spread in their last six game at home versus the Pirates.
The Pick: The Pirates rebound better than ‘Nova does so I like them getting the points but I like the Wildcats to win.
Pittsburgh (+13) at Virginia – The Panthers are coming off of a very important home win over North Carolina but this road test is a different monster altogether. Both teams are scoring in the upper 60’s each game but the Cavaliers are allowing a paltry 50 points per game defensively while Pitt gives 65 per game. The Panthers are a little board on the offensive glass than is Virginia but everything else favors the Cavs tonight.
Trends: Pitt is 1-5 straight up in their last six road games… UVA is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games… The Panthers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five road games… The Cavs are 13-1 SU in their last 14 games at home.
The Pick: I like UVA to cover considering Pitt’s road woes of late.
Kansas (+1) at West Virginia – There really isn’t a stat to point to in this game that makes you jump on one side or another. Both teams score over 70 points per game and both give up about 65 per game. KU is a little better on the defensive boards while the Mountaineers hold an edge in offensive rebounding.
Trends: Kansas is 4-2 straight up in their last six road games… WVU is 15-3 straight up in their last 18 games at home… The Jayhawks have won three of the last four times they’ve played the Mountaineers… West Virginia is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games.
The Pick: I like the Mountaineers to cover at home but I expect a close contest throughout.
Clemson (+4) at Georgia Tech – This is a contest of two ACC teams who are not always used to being also-rans but that’s where they find themselves in 2015. The Tigers are 15-10 and are holding out hope of an NCAA berth but an NIT bid is more likely. Georgia Tech is under .500 and is going to need to pull off a miracle in the ACC Tournament in order to advance to the NCAA Tournament in March.
Trends: The Tigers are 8-17 straight up in their last 25 road games… Georgia Tech is 2-11 straight up in their last 13 games… Clemson has won five of the last six games in Atlanta straight up versus the Yellow Jackets… GT is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games at home against the Tigers.
The Pick: I love Clemson here getting the points.