Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Midweek Match-up Preview: February 8-9

I'm a day late getting this out, so I missed previewing Maryland at Clemson. Let my Twitter timeline show that I picked the Terps at +8 however. That win, along with a 4-2 weekend, moves me to an absurd 31-18-2 against the spread this season. It will all come crashing down in the second half, I have no doubt

Florida State at Boston College
Pomeroy: FSU by 16, 93% chance of winning (Vegas has FSU at -14)
We know this much - Boston College will do everything in its power to make this game ugly. Donahue has gone into full slow-down mode, having now played two consecutive games of 57 possessions after not dipping below 60 the entire season prior to the NC State game. And, to his credit, BC had a chance to win both of these games late but couldn't hold on. It's a strategy that's not pleasing on the eyes but might get the Eagles one more ACC win, so there's that.

My Prediction: Florida State 58, Boston College 50

Wake Forest at Virginia
Pomeroy: Virginia by 18, 95% chance of winning (Vegas has UVA at -16)
Wake actually plays a fairly uptempo game, but the Cavaliers will no doubt drag them down into the muck in this game. Mike Scott should be able to have his way with Wake's front court, but in a slow game like this if either McKie or Harris get hot things could get dicey for the Cavaliers. This game will be close at the 4-minute mark.

My Prediction: Virginia 64, Wake 55

Duke at North Carolina
Pomeroy: UNC by 7, 71% chance of winning (Vegas has UNC at -7)
You've probably heard plenty about this game already, so let me try to offer up one small piece of analysis that you won't get anywhere else (or maybe you have, I honestly haven't listened to a ton of the pregame hype/coverage/whining/hand-wringing). The key to this game will be the White Raven. If he can hit shots and force one of UNC's big men to come out and guard him, it will give Duke a little room to maneuver inside. Oh and one more thing - ball pressure on Marshall - he's one of the more turnover prone points in the league so as much as he might hurt Duke with his great passes he might help them with his bad ones.

My Prediction: Duke 81, UNC 78

NC State at Georgia Tech
Pomeroy: NC State by 3, 62% chance of winning
It's the final in a three-game stretch of 'games the Pack has to win to remain on the bubble'. And the honest truth is that despite going 2-0 in that stretch so far, the Pack hasn't played a good game since traveling to Miami. Their best performance since then was in a 61-60 loss to Virginia. Yes, the offense finally woke up against Wake but it was at the expense of the defense. The Pack desperately needs to put together a complete game against a woeful team - road or not - before it hits the 'Put up or Shut up' trio of games against Duke/FSU/UNC.

My Prediction: NC State 75, Georgia Tech 65

Virginia Tech at Miami
Pomeroy: Miami by 5, 68% chance of winning
Tough game for Miami, as they try to avoid that inevitable 'let down' against a not-nearly-as-bad-as-you-think Virginia Tech team. Miami has played its way onto the bubble over the last few weeks, and it would be a shame to lose all that positive momentum by blowing this game. They have an advantage at every position except whatever position Erick Green is playing (seriously, criminally underrated player in the league because his team keeps losing). It's also a bad match-up on paper for Miami - the best 3-point defense in the league against one of the more 3-point happy teams.

My Prediction: Virginia Tech 67, Miami 64

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