Virginia @ NC State 7 PM ET (ESPN2) Line: UVA -7 O/U 136.5
Pick: UVA -7
Ball State @ Buffalo 7 PM ET Line: Buffalo -11 O/U 161
Pick: Buffalo -11
Thunder @ Magic 7 PM ET Line: Thunder -4 O/U 222
Pick: Thunder -4
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt 9 PM ET (ESPN) Line: Kentucky -9.5 O/U 138
Pick: Over 138
Pitt @ Clemson 9 PM ET (ESPNU) Line: Clemson +9.5 O/U 134
Pick: Pitt +9.5
Going heavy on college basketball tonight after a laugher of an NBA Monday (see yesterday’s picks). First up is the cover machine Virginia (16-3 ATS) taking on a talented NCST team in Raleigh. This is a classic offense vs defense matchup in the ACC. Virginia is holding teams to an absurd 52 PPG, while NCST averages 85 a game. I think defense will travel into North Carolina and control the game, leading to a Virginia cover. UVA -7.
Next up is this Buffalo team that has been on the wrong side of all my bets on them so far this year. They have slowed down a bit in the past few games, but they can still score the ball at will against mediocre teams. Ball St has lost 5 of 6, so they probably aren’t looking forward to a road game against a nationally ranked team, something they don’t see often in the MAC. Buffalo -11.
The one NBA game of the night should be a fun one in Orlando, with the Thunder taking on the Magic. The Thunder are clearly the better team in this one, but they may be without center Steven Adams, who is questionable at the time of writing this. That could be a somewhat significant loss, but it will open up the floor for Westbrook and Paul George to drive whenever they want. I think this one will be close, but the Thunder should be able to get a W by at least 4. Thunder -4.
In the late college window, Kentucky goes to Nashville to take on upset-minded Vanderbilt, who almost beat Tennessee last week. Last time these teams played it was a defensive struggle, so hopefully Vegas is being a little conservative on the O/U mark. Kentucky has been playing great as of late, and their offense shouldn’t slow down very much. It’ll be up to Vandy to put enough points up to hit the Over. Over 138.
Last up is an ACC game that is pretty meaningless in the big picture. Pittsburgh goes to Clemson, and I think the point spread is way too big. Their common opponent games have had similar results, and Clemson is coming off a soul-crushing loss over the weekend (blew a double-digit lead in the last two minutes). There should be a bit of a hangover from that game, leading to at least a close game, with the possibility of Pitt winning this one outright. Pitt +9.5.