Monday, January 9, 2012

Mid-Week Match-up Preview: January 10-12

We'll just go in order of the schedule this time. Based on my predictions over the weekend I went 4-2 against the spread. Hit Maryland (+11), Boston College (+30), Clemson (+1) and Miami (+6.5) while missing on Virginia Tech (-6.5) and Duke (-11).

Florida State @ Virginia Tech
This seems like an appropriate match-up as the two most disappointing teams of the weekend square off in what could be an early-season NCAA elimination game. It's just very hard to come back from 0-2 in the league when you need 10 wins minimum to make the tournament. The Hokies got dominated inside by the Deacons and Florida State has a much more talented, athletic front court than anything Tech faced in Winston Salem. This game could be as simple as whether or not Tech hits its outside shots. Pomeroy gives the Hokies a 60% chance to win and likes them by five.

Vegas Line: VT -5.5
My Prediction: Florida State delivers the first road upset of the ACC season. 'Noles 61, Tech 59

Miami @ UNC
I thought that Miami played well against the Cavaliers but I was not impressed with Reggie Johnson. He just doesn't look 100% at all. If he can't come around then the Hurricanes don't have much of a shot at picking up the 10-11 conference wins they need to make the NCAA Tournament. Carolina didn't look great on Saturday either, allowing a bad BC team to hang around a little it he second half. For this game, the Hurricanes simply don't rebound well enough or force enough turnovers to slow down Carolina's offense. Pomeroy has the Heels by 17 points and gives them a 90% chance to win.

Vegas Line: UNC -15
My Prediction: A focused UNC dominates this game. Carolina 91, Miami 72.

Wake Forest @ Maryland
I was impressed with both teams after this weekend. Maryland hung around on the road against NC State and Wake played perhaps its best game of the year against the Hokies. Despite that, I find this game incredibly unappealing. I could see Alex Len having his first monster game of the year against a Wake team that has not guarded the interior very well so far this season. Pomeroy gives the Terps a 64% chance and likes them by four at home.

Vegas Line: Maryland -4
My Prediction: Maryland gets a fairly easy win at a home. Terps 75, Deacons 63

Georgia Tech @ NC State
It's sometimes hard to judge teams by how they play against Duke or Carolina. Teams just get up for those opponents in a way they don't get up for the rest of the league. This is a nice way of saying that Tech's performance against Duke doesn't convince me that they are getting better - it just shows me they put up a nice effort at home against the Blue Devils. Tech is too careless with the ball however and I think this will cost them on the road. It will be interesting to see how the rebounding battle goes as well as these are two of the stronger rebounding teams in the conference. Pomeroy gives NCSU an 80% chance to win and makes them a nine-point favorite.

Vegas Line: NCSU -10
My Prediction: Tech shoots itself in the foot too often with turnovers. Pack 78, Jackets 65

Clemson @ Boston College
When I predicted a Clemson win over the weekend, I assumed it would be a defensive struggle. I never saw the Tigers putting up 79 on Florida State's defense. Can they repeat that kind of offensive success? I doubt it. That said, against Boston College they might come close even on the road. Pomeroy gives the Tigers an 80% chance of winning and a nine-point advantage.

Vegas Line: Clemson -8.5
My Prediction: Clemson starts generating a lot of premature talk about how they are improving with this win. Tigers 70, Eagles 58

Virginia @ Duke
A very interesting game. This is a litmus test for both Duke and Virginia. The Cavaliers can both upset and get upset because of their grinding style, so its entirely possible they step into Cameron and hit a few shots and knock off the Blue Devils. Duke, the assumed 2nd best team in the league, needs to win this game to solidify that spot. Pomeroy once again has this as a nine-point game and likes Duke to win 80% of the time.

Vegas Line: Duke -9.5
My Prediction: After two shaky performances on the road, Duke has a vintage Duke home game. Blue Devils  74, Virginia 60

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