Free NCAA Pick: NC State at Virginia

In a conference showdown between two teams near the top of the ACC standings, the North Carolina State Wolfpack will square off against the Virginia Cavaliers this Tuesday night at John Paul Jones Arena. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET, and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.

It has been an up-and-down ride for the Wolfpack over the second half of the month with losses to Maryland and Wake Forest to go along with victories over Clemson and North Carolina. The net result is a 5-2 straight up record in conference play and a 16-4 SU record overall. NC State is 10-8 against the spread this season, and the total has stayed “over” in five of its last seven games.

Virginia has quietly moved to 4-2 in ACC play with three straight wins over Florida State, Virginia Tech and Boston College. It is now 14-5 SU on the year and a profitable 11-4-1 ATS. The Cavaliers are a perfect 12-0 SU and 9-0-1 ATS at home this season, with the total going over in four of their last seven games overall.

Betting Storylines

Ever since stunning Duke in an eight-point victory as 1-point underdogs at home, the Wolfpack have struggled with consistency in their last four games. They are averaging 79.8 points a game, which is the sixth-highest total in the nation, but they managed only 50 points in a one-point loss to the Terrapins and 66 points in a four-point win over the Tigers. The one constant has been this team’s ability to shoot the ball. Through the first 20 games of the season, NC State is shooting 50.9 percent from the field, which is the fourth-highest percentage in the country.

CJ Leslie has led the way with 15.4 points a game while shooting 55.8 percent from field. Lorenzo Brown is second on the team in scoring with 13.2 points and leading in assists with 7.2 a game. Richard Howell is also averaging close to 13 points a game while pulling down a team-high 11.1 rebounds. The Wolfpack as a team are averaging 37.2 rebounds and allowing 70.2 points a game.

Virginia is by no means the flashiest team in the ACC with an average of 62.8 points a game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field. Its claim to fame this season has been a suffocating defense that is giving up an average of just 51.1 points to its opponents. It has held teams to less than 60 points in all six conference games and has not given up more than 65 points all season long.

When it does come to scoring points, the Cavaliers’ Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell have carried the load this year. Harris is averaging 14.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists and shooting 46 percent from both the floor and from beyond the arc. Mitchell is chipping in another 12.3 points and leading the team in rebound with 8.8 a game.

Trends by BetOnline

BetOnline has Virginia listed as a 4-point home favorite with the over/under at 125.

The Wolfpack are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 ACC games and 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games following a SU win. The total has gone over in 12 of their last 16 conference games.

The Cavaliers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU win and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record. The total has gone over in four of their last five games at home.

Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team is 11-3 ATS in the last 14 meetings, and the total has gone over in three of the last five games. Virginia has won five of the last seven games SU and is 6-1 ATS during this stretch.


This is a tough matchup on the road for NC State with an offense that has been struggling a bit going up against a stifling defense. The Cavaliers have pretty much had the Wolfpacks’ number in recent years. And Tuesday night should not be any different, especially playing this game at home where they have not failed to win or cover this year.

Take #512 Virginia over NC State

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