Conference tournament week is here, and some of the big dogs start to come out of the woodwork on Wednesday’s slate of games. Here’s what jumps out to me on the betting card, which gets going early in the day on DraftKings Sportsbook. March Madness is here!
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The Wolfpack have lost a pair of close games to the Orange this season, including by just three at home. NC State does have the slight advantage of playing in their home state for this one, but that alone is not enough of a reason to turn to them in this spot. Despite the two losses, I genuinely believe this is a solid matchup for the Wolfpack, which has a chance to prove that the third time around. NC State comes in as winners of five straight games, including four of those as underdogs — and by as many as 11.5 versus Virginia. Syracuse has put together a solid game and a half heading into tournament play, but overall the Orange is 2-2 in its past four contests. This one’s going to be a grind, but I feel the Wolfpack is the right side.
Miami vs. Clemson: MIA +9 (-110)
I was on the wrong side of Miami in Tuesday’s win over Pittsburgh, but the Hurricanes showed a lot on the defensive end in that one. The Canes have been playing shorthanded all season, so they’ll have to avoid tired legs — all five starters played at least 33 minutes, and the bench only saw 19 total minutes. Miami rebounded the ball well, and having both Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty playing 35-plus minutes in the backcourt helps keep them in games. I can’t say much negative about Clemson, but they have slipped up with some bad losses, including one at Miami when the Hurricanes were even more shorthanded. Miami also covered the most recent road game against the Tigers, falling by eight as a 13-point road dog. The Hurricanes are playing solid basketball right now, at 3-0-1 ATS in their last four, covering all three games as dogs.
Washington State hasn’t played in over 10 days, with its last game a three-point road loss in overtime at Arizona State (although it covered as a five-point dog). I expect the Cougars to come prepared to win this one in Vegas. Wazzu is a solid 6-3-1 ATS away from home this season, and 14-12 overall. They’ve played well compared to expectations. The Sun Devils have been the opposite — an abysmal 2-8 ATS away from home, and just 5-18 ATS this season. Arizona State will be without both Marcus Bagley and Josh Christopher for the PAC-12 Tournament, two of their go-to scorers. Noah Williams of Wazzu should be the best player on the floor, and can carry his squad to victory.
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