cnotes Posts:24370 Followers:32
On 01/18/2012 10:30 PM in NCAA Basketball

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ACC In Focus For College Hoops Thursday

The North Carolina Tar Heels trying to bounce back from their worst loss in years is part of an ACC dominated Thursday night in college basketball.

There are three games involving the Coaches Poll top-20 and all are from the ACC. Traditional powerhouses North Carolina and Duke have both started this year 1-2 against the spread in the conference after going 10-6 and 7-9 ATS respectively in the regular season last year.

Duke’s ATS loss this year came to upstart Virginia (1-1 ATS in the conference after 12-4 ATS last year), who is also featured in this daily preview.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at No. 4 Duke Blue Devils – 7:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN

Wake Forest (10-7 SU, 6-7-1 ATS) has seen its offense hit the skids the last four games at 53.5 PPG. That culminated with a 76-40 home loss to NC State last Saturday. The ‘under’ is 4-0 in the Demon Deacons’ last four games and 10-3-1 on the season.

Guard C.J. Harris (17.3 PPG) and forward Travis McKie (17.1 PPG) are two solid scorers, although combining for just 12 points last game. The team does have a couple of seven-footers in Ty Walker and Carson Desrosiers who can help match up against the Plumlee brothers, but shots need to fall to keep up with the Blue Devils.

Duke (15-2 SU, 7-10 ATS) ranks second in the ACC and tied for 13th nationally in scoring offense (80.3 PPG). It’s a balanced attack with five guys averaging between 9.5 and 13.8 points per game. Freshman guard Austin Rivers is the leader.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s guys do rely on the 3-point shot with the second-most attempts in the conference (333) and first in percentage made (40.2). They shot poorly from beyond the arc (5-of-20) last Thursday at home against Virginia, a closer than expected 61-58 win as 10½-point favorites.

The Blue Devils are an incredible 12-0 SU and ATS in the last 12 games against Wake Forest at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Tech Hokies – 9:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN

The Tar Heels (15-3 SU, 9-8 ATS) dropped from No. 3 in the country after a 90-57 loss at Florida State last Saturday. The 33-point margin was their worst loss since 2003, before the Roy Williams’ era began.

Williams needs to get his guys focused after the embarrassing defeat. The team is oozing with talent with the frontcourt of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller combing for 45.6 PPG and 23.7 RPG. Kendall Marshall (9.6 APG) is one of the nation’s best distributors. However, the Tar Heels are just 3-3 SU and ATS away from the Dean E. Smith Center this season.

Virginia Tech (11-6 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) is the ACC bottom dweller at 0-3 SU (0-3 ATS). The losses were to Wake Forest (58-55), Florida State (63-59) and Boston College (61-59), all as favorites. All three also went below the total, with the ‘under’ 4-0 in the Hokies’ last four.

Leading scorer Erick Green (16.1 PPG) missed last game with a knee injury, but the junior guard is probable for Thursday. He’s badly needed with the team scoring average (68.8 PPG) over 16 points less than North Carolina (85.2 PPG).

Virginia Tech is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings against North Carolina, winning the last one at home (74-70) in February 2010.

No. 17 Virginia Cavaliers at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – 8:00 p.m. (ET)

Virginia (14-2 SU, 8-3 ATS) had a 12-game winning streak snapped last game at Duke, 61-58 last Thursday. It was exactly the kind of pace the Cavaliers wanted and they got the cover as double-digit ‘dogs. They’re now well rested for Georgia Tech.

Coach Tony Bennett has his team playing lockdown defense at 51.1 PPG, second in the country behind Wisconsin (48.5 PPG). Combine that with the 235th-ranked offense (65.2 PPG) and it makes sense the ‘under’ is 10-1 for Virginia this season.

Georgia Tech (8-9 SU, 5-7 ATS) badly limped into the conference schedule with losses to Fordham (72-66), Mercier (65-59) and Alabama (73-48). The 'Bama game was at home at Philips Arena where Thursday’s game resides.

The Yellow Jackets have been tougher in ACC play, going 2-1 ATS (1-2 SU). That includes an 82-71 road win at NC State as 10-point underdogs and keeping it close (81-74) at home against Duke as 11 ½-point ‘dogs. Leading scorer Glen Rice Jr. (13.8 PPG) averaged 25 PPG in those two games, but is way too streaky. He needs a big game here.

Virginia is 4-0 SU and ATS in the last four meetings, winning 62-56 as 5½-point ‘dogs in Atlanta last year.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24370 Followers:32
01/18/2012 10:32 PM

Lakers Try To Break Thursday NBA Betting Hex

If it’s Thursday night, that means that we have a doubleheader of NBA betting action on TNT, and this week is absolutely no exception.

The big game on the Thursday night docket pits the Los Angeles Lakers against the Miami Heat. The Heat looked like they were in some big trouble against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night before storming back for a 120-98 romp here at AmericanAirlines Arena, and they did so without Dwyane Wade in the lineup.

Wade is nursing an ankle injury, and this is the second time since the start of 2012 that he has missed games. The Miami guard is listed as questionable for Thursday’s tussle with the Lakers, but if he does play, don’t be shocked if he does well. Wade scored 34 points in his first outing off of the toe injury that cost him three games, and if he has a similar comeback from this ankle injury, the Heat could be in for a big night.

This game certainly won’t be void of stars, though. Kobe Bryant’s streak of games scoring at least 40 points came to a close on Tuesday, but the team got back in the win column with a victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Miami will feature LeBron James and Chris Bosh who each scored 30 or more against the Spurs. It will also be the first time that James runs into his former head coach Mike Brown from their days with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Los Angeles has not historically done all that well on Thursdays of late, as the Lakers alway seem to get a heck of a challenge from teams in these TNT games. Dating back to last season, the Lakers are just 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games played on Thursday night.

The Lakers and Heat tip off the TNT double-dip at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

In the latter half of the twinbill (10:30 p.m. ET), the aforementioned Mavericks will continue to look to right the ship against the Utah Jazz. Dallas comes into this one with one of the best ATS records in the league at 10-4, but the team doesn’t look anywhere near as good as it did at the end of last season. In order to get back in championship form, this is the type of game that the Mavs should be winning on a relatively regular basis.

Utah won’t go down easily, though. The Jazz have won nine of their last 11 games SU after starting off the season at 0-2, and their only loss this year came to the Lakers in overtime last Wednesday. Since that point, they have rolled off three in a row both SU and ATS, and they have put up their best offensive efforts of the season with 107, 106 and 108 points.

The home team is 23-7-1 ATS in the last 31 meetings in this series. The Mavericks were just 1-12-1 ATS in their previous 14 visits to EnergySolutions Arena before last season. They swept the four-game set both SU and ATS last year between these two teams, so there has to be some hope for victory in this one, which starts at 10:30 p.m. (ET).

The only other game on the relatively quiet night on the pro hardwood pits the New Orleans Hornets against the Houston Rockets. New Orleans is just 2-6 ATS in its last eight games overall. Houston has won four straight SU and covered seven consecutive spreads, while the Hornets have just one SU win since 2012 started.

The tip from the Lone Star State is slated for 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24370 Followers:32
01/18/2012 10:33 PM

Penguins Visit Rangers To Highlight Thursday NHL Betting Slate

A pair of Atlantic Division matchups highlight a nearly full slate of NHL betting action on Thursday night as the New York Rangers host the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders visit the Philadelphia Flyers. The puck will drop in both games at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

The Rangers (29-11-4) not only lead the Atlantic but are also atop the Eastern Conference with a league-high 62 points while the Penguins (24-17-4) have won three straight over the past week following a season-high six-game losing streak. One of those losses for Pittsburgh during the skid came at home against the Blueshirts on January 6, 3-1.

New York has won both of the two regular-season meetings so far along with 12 of 15 overall to stake its claim as one of the best teams in the NHL. Team owner James Dolan praised team president and general manager Glen Sather for building a championship-caliber team following a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday and believes the Rangers have a real shot to win their first Stanley Cup since 1994.

Meanwhile, the Penguins are just happy to get back on the winning track after losing their last two games of 2011 and first four of 2012. A trip to Florida helped rejuvenate them while they also saw captain Sidney Crosby return to the ice, even though he was merely skating in practice after suffering from concussion-like symptoms.

Crosby is expected to meet with Dr. Ted Carrick this week to determine his status moving forward and find out when he might be able to play again.

In another Atlantic Division battle, the Islanders (17-21-6) will meet the Flyers (27-13-4) for the third time this season. Philly has won each of the first two meetings by one goal, including a 3-2 road victory last Thursday in Long Island. The Isles have won two of three since that defeat, including Tuesday's blanking of the Washington Capitals, 3-0. The Capitals fell to 24-18-2 with the loss.

The Northeast Division-leading Boston Bruins (29-13-1) will square off against another Atlantic foe when they visit the New Jersey Devils (26-17-2) at 7:00 p.m. as well. The Bruins are coming off a 5-3 road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, their second setback in three games after winning four of five. The Devils just completed a home-and-home sweep of the Winnipeg Jets (21-20-5) on Tuesday with a 5-1 victory and have won five of six overall.

The Western Conference will also see a couple division leaders take the ice later in the evening, as the Detroit Red Wings (30-15-1) visit the Phoenix Coyotes (21-18-7) at 9:00 p.m., followed by the San Jose Sharks (26-12-5) playing host to the Ottawa Senators (26-16-6) at 10:30 p.m.

The Red Wings have won four in a row following a 3-2 shootout victory on the road against the Dallas Stars (24-19-2) on Tuesday, but they are just 12-13 away from home. The Sharks are also coming off a shootout win on Tuesday, edging the Calgary Flames (21-20-6) by a 2-1 margin for their seventh victory in nine games.

The Flames visit the Los Angeles Kings (23-15-9) Thursday at 10:30 p.m. in the middle of a three-game road trip that ends on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers (17-24-4).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24370 Followers:32
01/18/2012 10:36 PM

West Coast Trio Host Thursday NCAA Tilts

Saint Mary’s hosts Pepperdine Thursday while Gonzaga is home vs. San Francisco.
They're the elite of the West Coast Conference, and all three will be on their home courts Thursday night looking to keep pace with each other at the top of the league standings.

The Saint Mary's Gaels currently hold that top slot in the conference ranks with a perfect 6-0 mark, followed by the Brigham Young Cougars (5-1) and Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-1). Saint Mary's has already beaten both the Cougars and Bulldogs who have yet to face each other. The Gaels are the only team to crack either the coaches or writers polls, sitting 23rd and 24th in the two rankings respectively. All three teams currently crowd the top 10 in the mid-majors poll published by CollegeInsider.com.

Depending on how much weight RPI holds in a couple of months, all three teams would seem safe bets to get an invite to the NCAA Tournament this March. Simply relying on that, however, could be a fatal mistake with so much basketball yet to be played.

The Gaels' hold on first in the conference is shaky at best with road games at both BYU and Gonzaga, and a sweep by either the Cougars or Bulldogs in their two upcoming matches could relegate the loser to the NIT. Additionally, none of the three can get caught looking ahead to games against one another as a slip against some of the trailing teams in the conference could also blow a Big Dance invite.

Should any of those potential slip-ups come Thursday, it will be big news with Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and BYU each at home where they are a combined 10-0 straight up in early West Coast play (7-3 against the spread). Here's a quick glance at all three games.

Loyola-Marymount at Brigham Young (-16½, 149)
Marriott Center – 8:30 p.m. (ET)

Dave Rose and the Cougars probably face the toughest battle among the WCC leaders on Thursday when they take on the Lions. Loyola is presently trailing the top trio in fourth place, and the Lions are also off to a 3-0 mark (SU & ATS) in conference road games. In fact, LMU has covered the spread in all five West Coast contests.

That includes a 73-65 defeat at home to BYU just two weeks ago. The Cougars were laying 9½ in the tilt that never really threatened the 152½-point total.

Loyola could be without guard Jarred DuBois for this one, with the junior doubtful because of a concussion. DuBois is fourth on the team in scoring (10.4 PPG), but the Lions did recently get both Drew Viney (15.3 PPG) and Ashley Hamilton (14.3 PPG) back on the floor to help negate being without DeBois.

The Cougars enter with a 5-game win streak that started after opening the WCC schedule with a loss at Saint Mary's. BYU covered three of the five during this stretch, the 'under' going 4-1. Rose's squad probably won't be thinking about Saturday's game at Pepperdine, but the Cougars have no doubt glanced out beyond that with an upcoming trip to Virginia Tech and home games vs. Saint Mary's and Gonzaga to follow.

Pepperdine at Saint Mary's (-23, 123½)
McKeon Pavilion – 10:00 p.m. (ET)

The Gaels and Waves are also getting together for the second time already. Saint Mary's was a 14-point favorite when registering an easy 74-45 victory at Pepperdine on New Year's Eve, part of the Gaels' current 7-game winning run.

Saint Mary's is a pedestrian 4-3 ATS during the present streak, but has been asked to cover as the favorite in each game, some of the spreads sizable in the 14-24 point range.

The first meeting at Malibu's Firestone Fieldhouse was decided by the 3-point shot. The Gaels sank 10 of their 23 long-range tosses while the Waves went oh-for from beyond the arc, missing all 10 of their attempts. That laugher started a 5-game losing skid for Pepperdine, on the floor and at college basketball betting windows.

Saint Mary's will be at Santa Clara on Saturday to begin a 3-game road trip that has stops at Loyola-Marymount and BYU to follow.

San Francisco at Gonzaga (-16, 147)
McCarthy Athletic Center – 10:00 p.m. (ET) ESPNU

This series has been pretty one-sided on the floor in the Bulldogs' favor, especially at home in Spokane. But the Dons have been the money-makers for those playing the NCAA odds, covering five of the last six meetings and two of the last four at Gonzaga.

In fact, San Francisco outplayed the Zags when the two last faced off in Las Vegas during the WCC Tournament last March. After the Bulldogs built an early lead and were up 13 early in the second half, the Dons found their rhythm and almost pulled off the outright upset in a 71-67 loss with Gonzaga backers giving up 14 on the board.

Thursday's tilt will feature a real clash of trends on the totals side of the ledger. San Francisco is 10-3 'over' on the campaign, including each of the last three games skipping above the total. Gonzaga comes in 11-3 'under,' meanwhile, five of its last six failing to make the number.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24370 Followers:32
01/18/2012 10:38 PM

Kings, Lightning Top NHL Totals Betting Extremes

The Los Angeles Kings have been an ATM machine for those betting the ’under.’
Betting on totals is one of the most efficient ways that veteran hockey bettors turn a profit over the course of the season. Analyzing how teams play the game – their tendencies towards offense or defense – and recent form can give bettors a huge edge in determining whether or not the total will go ‘over’ the fairly standard lines of 5-5½ goals.

Teams that trend towards offense tend to go ‘over,’ and teams that trend towards defense tend to go ‘under,’ that’s an obvious enough starting point. The key next step is studying each team’s current form and confidence. In the NHL, it is quite common to see teams fall into extended scoring droughts when they are cold or scoring surges when they are hot. Totals trends can give some insight into both team style and current form.

When it comes to going ‘over’ the total, three teams in the NHL have done so in over 60 percent of their decisions this season – the Tampa Bay Lightning (65.9% at 29-15-1), the Philadelphia Flyers (62.8% at 27-16-1) and the Carolina Panthers (60.9% at 28-18-1).

In the cases of Tampa Bay and Carolina, the trend towards the ‘over’ can simply be traced to bad play in the defensive zone. Carolina ranks 28th in the NHL in goals against (3.2 per game) and 27th on the penalty kill (78.0%), while Tampa Bay ranks dead last at 30th in goals against (3.5 per game) and 25th in penalty kill (79.3). With both teams sitting at the bottom of the conference and likely to be sellers at the trade deadline, there’s no reason to believe the defensive woes will soon end.

For Philadelphia, goaltending struggles have definitely contributed to the ‘over’ as the Flyers are 22nd in the NHL in goals against at 2.9 per game. But offense has also played a major role as Philadelphia has the second most potent offense in the league with 3.4 goals per game.

Tampa Bay has gone ‘over’ in each of its last five games and in nine of its last 11, and Carolina has gone ‘over’ in nine of its last 12. The Boston Bruins, boasting the league’s best offense at 3.5 goals per game, have gone ‘over’ in seven of their last nine games.

When it comes to betting the ‘under,’ two teams lead the rest of the NHL by a mile. The Los Angeles Kings have gone ‘under’ in 70.3 percent of their decisions at 26-11-10 and the St. Louis Blues have gone ‘under’ in 68.6 percent of their games at 24-11-10. In both cases, it comes down to defense-first styles.

Los Angeles ranks dead last in the NHL in scoring with 2.1 goals per game, but fourth in goals allowed at 2.1 per game, so it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of their games feature five goals or less.

Ken Hitchcock took over as head coach for the St. Louis Blues on November 7 and the team immediately bought into his defensive system and started winning. The Blues are an unbelievable 17-5-10 on the ‘under’ with Hitchcock behind the bench.

Looking at recent ‘under’ trends, the New York Rangers haven't gone 'over’ in 11 straight games as they are 8-0-3 on the ‘under.’ The Ottawa Senators have gone ‘under’ the total in eight of their last 10 games and the Winnipeg Jets have gone ‘under’ in 11 of their last 14.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24370 Followers:32
01/18/2012 10:41 PM

Thursday Tips

January 18, 2012

The Thursday NBA card involves just three contests to wager on, but it includes a battle of two of the biggest stars in the league hooking up in South Florida. The Lakers and Heat each bring plenty of pizzazz heading into Thursday's matchup, the first of two between these elite squads. The night concludes in Salt Lake City with the Jazz looking for another home victory against the resurgent Mavericks.

Lakers at Heat - 8:05 PM EST

The star power will be down one with Dwyane Wade likely sitting out again due to a sprained ankle, but that won't slow down one of his teammates. LeBron James attempts to move this Miami squad atop the Southeast Division with a win, but the task won't be easy against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Los Angeles begins a two-game Sunshine State trip that concludes in Orlando on Friday, as the Lakers play their first game east of the Rockies this season.

Wade missed Tuesday's 120-98 blowout of the Spurs as seven-point favorites, snapping a three-game losing streak. Miami erased a 14-point deficit by outscoring San Antonio, 39-12 in the third quarter, while Mike Miller knocked down all six of his three-point attempts in the win. James overcame a slow start by scoring 33 points and dishing out 10 assists, as the Heat hit 16 treys for their fourth victory in four tries without Wade this season.

The Lakers bounced back from an 0-2 start to the season by winning 10 of the next 13 games to take over first place in the Pacific Division. Bryant caught fire with four consecutive games of 40 or more points, including a season-high 48-point effort in a 99-83 home triumph over the Suns last Tuesday. The streak came to a close by scoring just 14 points in Monday's close-shave victory against Dallas, as the Lakers failed to cover as four-point 'chalk' in a 73-70 win.

Los Angeles is certainly adapting to Mike Brown's defensive style of play by allowing 100 points or more just three times this season, while cashing the 'under' in 11 of 15 games. The Lakers own a 1-4 ATS record on the road (including a loss to the Clippers), as the only win came in overtime at Utah last Wednesday. Miami is a solid 8-5 to the 'over' this season, including 10 times in which the Heat eclipsed the 100-point plateau.

Mavericks at Jazz - 10:30 PM EST

The defending World Champions started the season at 1-4, but Dallas has rebounded nicely with seven victories in the past nine contests to climb above .500. The Mavericks play their third game in four nights with a trip to Utah to battle a Jazz club that owns a 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS mark at home this season. Tyrone Corbin's team begins play on Thursday right in the middle of the Northwest Division race with four of five teams owning at least eight victories.

The Jazz continue a four-game homestand after routing the Clippers on Tuesday, 108-79 as five-point favorites. Utah has sailed over the 100-point mark in four of the previous five contests, while limiting eight of its last nine opponents to below 100 points. The Jazz is 4-1 SU/ATS the last five games against unrested opponents, as Utah is being led by forward Paul Millsap of late, who is averaging 22.1 points per game over the last five contests.

The Mavericks looked to be in disarray after a pair of home blowout losses to the Heat and Nuggets to kick off the season, but that seems like a distant memory. Dallas has not allowed 100 points in 11 consecutive games, while compiling a solid 8-1 ATS record the past nine contests. During this strong defensive stretch, the Mavericks are helping 'under' bettors by cashing 10 times in the last 11 games. Dallas wrapped up last season as one of the top road underdogs in the league, as the Mavs haven't missed a beat in that department with a 3-1 ATS ledger when receiving points on the highway.

This series belonged to the Mavs last season as Rick Carlisle's club won and covered all four games against the Jazz. Granted, Utah fell apart after the All-Star break, but Dallas snapped a five-game skid at EnergySolutions Arena with a 12-point victory last December as four-point 'dogs.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24370 Followers:32
01/18/2012 10:44 PM

Thursday's Road Traps

January 18, 2012

Several squads are facing road traps in conference play Thursday night in college hoops. Let’s start in State College where Penn State (9-10 straight up, 5-9 against the spread) will take on Illinois.

PSU has lost three in a row and five of its last six under first-year head coach Patrick Chambers. In addition, the Nittany Lions are mired in a 2-7 ATS slide. However, we should note that they are 2-1 ATS as home underdogs, including a 65-45 win over Purdue.

PSU is coming off of Sunday’s 80-66 home loss to Minnesota as a three-point ‘dog. Junior point guard Tim Frazier produced 20 points, five assists and four steals in the losing effort. Frazier leads the Lions in every significant category except for blocked shots. He’s averaging 18.2 points, 6.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

PSU is 7-4 SU and 3-3 ATS at home this year.

Illinois (15-3 SU, 8-8 ATS) has won three consecutive games, including last Tuesday’s stunning 79-74 win over Ohio St. as an 8 ½-point home underdog. The Illini handed the Buckeyes their first loss of the year thanks to a sensational performance by Brandon Paul, who finished with a career-high 43 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Paul made 11-of-15 attempts from the field and buried 8-of-10 from 3-point land.

The win over OSU leaves Bruce Weber’s team in what most would usually describe as the vintage letdown situation. But the eight-day stretch between games gives gamblers at least one reason to think Illinois can overcome a spot that otherwise has ‘flat’ written all over it.

The Illini has struggled against PSU in recent years. In fact, the Lions own an 8-2 spread record in the last 10 head-to-head meetings.

Totals have been an overall wash for Penn St. (7-7), but the ‘over’ is hitting at a lucrative 5-1 clip in its home games. Totals have also been an overall wash for Illinois (8-8), but the ‘over’ is 4-2 in its last six contests.

BetOnline opened Illinois as a 3 ½-point favorite with a total of 125 ½.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

Next, let’s go to the ACC. North Carolina (15-3 SU, 9-8 ATS) is in bounce-back mode when it travels to Blacksburg to face Va. Tech. The Tar Heels are off one of the worst outings of Roy Williams’s tenure, as they got run out of Tallahassee in a 90-57 pimpslap at FSU this past Saturday afternoon.

UNC was awful in every area against the Seminoles. The Tar Heels committed 22 turnovers, were out-rebounded by eight and were an atrocious 9-of-20 from the free-throw line. Harrison Barnes scored a team-high 15 points in defeat, while Tyler Zeller finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Va. Tech (11-6 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) has won eight of its 10 home games, going 3-3 versus the number. The Hokies have lost three in a row both SU and ATS since starting ACC play. They dropped a 61-59 decision Saturday at Boston College as 10-point road ‘chalk.’

In fairness to Seth Greenberg’s squad, its best player didn’t play against BC due to a knee injury. However, Erick Green, who averages 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, will play Thursday vs. the Tar Heels.

Va. Tech owns a 7-2 spread record in its last nine games against UNC. The Hokies won a 74-70 decision as 3 ½-point home favorites when the Heels came to Blacksburg two seasons ago.

The ‘under’ is 9-4 overall for the Hokies, cashing in four straight, but totals have been a wash (3-3) in their six home games with a total. The ‘under’ is 9-8 overall for UNC, but the ‘over’ is 2-1 in its road assignments.

BetOnline opened North Carolina as a seven-point favorite with a total of 141. ESPN will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Another potential ACC road trap will be in play when Virginia (14-2 SU, 8-3 ATS) ventures to Atlanta to take on an improving Ga. Tech team. BetOnline opened the Cavaliers as four-point favorites with a total of 115. The total was quickly adjusted to 111.

UVA saw its 12-game winning streak snapped in Thursday’s 61-58 loss at Duke as a 10 ½-point underdog. Mike Scott scored 23 points and pulled down nine rebounds at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Scott has played like an All-ACC first-teamer this season, averaging 16.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest. Joe Harris is the Cavs’ second-leading scorer, dropping in 12.4 PPG.

Ga. Tech is in its first year under new head coach Brian Gregory, who came from Dayton to replace Paul Hewitt after an inconsistent tenure that brought the Yellow Jackets an appearance in the national-title game but was mostly spent in the NIT (if that).

Ga. Tech (8-9 SU, 5-7 ATS) has taken its lumps to date, getting blown out by Alabama and Northwestern while also losing to the likes of Mercer (at home), Fordham and Tulane. But the Jackets have covered the spread in two of their last three games, winning outright at N.C. St. and giving fits to Duke before losing by an 81-74 count.

Ga. Tech is 4-4 SU and 2-2 ATS at home, while UVA is 2-1 SU and 1-1 ATS in three road outings.

The ‘under’ has been cashing at an extraordinary 10-1 overall clip in UVA games this year, going 3-0 in its road assignments. The ‘over’ is 7-5 overall for Ga. Tech, 3-1 in its home games.

This game will be a part of ESPN’s Full Court Game Plan (channel 724 on DirecTV) and come off the board at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Hawaii has covered the spread in six consecutive games. The Warriors will play host to La. Tech on Thursday and New Mexico St. on Saturday.

--Kentucky finally snapped its abysmal 0-13-1 ATS slide by taking the cash in Tuesday’s 86-63 home win over Arkansas as a 16 ½-point home ‘chalk.’

--During the offseason, I was disappointed when Michigan’s Darius Morris elected to turn pro early because I was planning on picking the Wolverines to win the national championship. As it’s turned out, John Beilein’s team is better off with true freshman Trey Burke at the point guard position. And hey, that’s not a knock on Morris, who is currently getting minutes off the bench for the Lakers and is a helluva player. But Burke is a better shooter and is nearly as effective getting into the paint and dishing off to teammates for easy looks. Watch out for this Michigan squad that I think is a real sleeper to get to New Orleans for the Final Four.

--With Patric Young nursing a sore ankle, Florida’s off week came at the perfect time. After winning Saturday at South Carolina, the Gators don’t return to the court until Saturday’s home games vs. LSU. Young is expected to be in the starting lineup after further evaluations this week showed no structural damage.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: