Duke Blue Devils
(16-1, 8-8 ATS)
NC State Wolfpack
(11-6, 7-6 ATS)
The Duke Blue Devils always get the best shot from their opponents night in and night out on a regular basis. On Wednesday night, they’ll be in for another tough NCAA basketball betting affair at the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who are in search of a huge win to boost their NCAA Tournament resume this year.
You have to go back to January 5th to find the last time the Dookies beat the college basketball odds in a game, and that was their only cover of 2011 against the UAB Blazers. Perhaps going back out on the road will be good for this team, particularly in a game that is played relatively close to home in Raleigh. Nolan Smith came alive for 29 points against the Virginia Cavaliers in a win over the weekend, and he is ready to lead this team into battle against the Wolfpack on Wednesday night. Smith is averaging 20.1 points per game this year and is closely followed by Kyle Singler, who is averaging 17.7 points per game. Coach K has a club that is averaging 85.5 points per game, ranking No. 4 in the land, though it hasn’t gotten anywhere near that number on this three game ATS slide, including the 66-61 loss at the Florida State Seminoles that knocked it from the No. 1 spot in the nation and stopped the game’s longest winning streak at 25 games.
The Wolfpack are in significantly more dire need of this game, as they are already just 1-2 in conference this year with the lone win coming against a shoddy Wake Forest Demon Deacons club. There are no real wins of note, and there are some horrendous losses, like an 87-48 loss at the Wisconsin Badgers in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in December. Head Coach Sidney Lowe knows that his job is on the line, and he has to take this team back to the NCAA Tournament this year in all likelihood to keep his job. This would be a win that would really go a long way in helping out that cause. Tracy Smith is back in the lineup and is on fire right now, as he has averaged 18.2 points per game since getting back into the fold on New Year’s Day. He’s really the key to victory for the Wolfpack, who really don’t have all that many scoring options to count on. Ryan Harrow, CJ Leslie, and Scott Wood are all double digit scorers, but the only man that can really light it up from the outside is Wood, and he is probably the only one that will remain a consistent double digit point man with Smith back in the fold.
The Wolfpack are in big trouble in this one. We know that the oddsmakers are going to ask us to lay a heavy number on the road to beat the NCAA basketball odds, but the Dookies are due to just blow someone out of the water. The Seminoles beat Duke because of the three ball and a stifling ‘D’. NC State has neither of those things. This one could get really, really ugly at the RBC Center on Wednesday night.
College Basketball Free Pick: Duke Blue Devils