The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are laying too few points on the NCAAB odds board for Friday’s tilt with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Here’s a complete preview and my pick for tonight’s game.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Friday, March 5th, 2021 – 8:00 P.M. ET at Lawrence Joel Coliseum
This has not been a banner year for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Granted, neither was last year; the ACC is still stuck in fifth place on the conference rankings at Sports Reference. But it feels worse. There aren’t any ACC teams in the Top 10 on the polls. The Duke Blue Devils are on the wrong side of the March Madness bubble. The Louisville Cardinals are clinging to one of the last at-large bids. Dogs and cats, living together.
Also on the edge of the Big Dance: the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (14-8 SU, 13-9 ATS). They can improve their chances with a win Friday night over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-14 SU, 10-9 ATS), and they probably will after opening as 8.5-point road faves. In fact, 8.5 points seem like a bargain, given how poorly the Deacs have performed this year. Let’s find out, shall we?
Mind The Gap
Our journey begins as usual on Ken Pomeroy’s famous blue web page. Here are his advanced stats for both teams at press time:
- Georgia Tech: No. 30 overall (No. 20 offense, No. 57 defense), plus-18.69 margin
- Wake Forest: No. 164 overall (No. 192 offense, No. 152 defense), plus-0.68 margin
At least the math will be easy. Call it an even 18 points between GT and WFU per 100 possessions, multiply by two-thirds to reflect roughly how many possessions they get in per game, give the Deacons two points for home court in the time of coronavirus, and that’s Georgia Tech –10. We can buy that for a dollar. It’s only 1.5 points between this projection and the NCAAB lines, but we did cheat a little with the possessions – it should be closer to 67-68 in this matchup, according to Pomeroy’s Adjusted Tempo stats.
Here’s the thing about the Yellow Jackets, and all the other bubble teams in the ACC: They’re actually pretty good. Yes, even Duke, who checks in at No. 38 on Pomeroy’s efficiency charts. None of them are elite, though, which may be skewing the perception of how well Georgia Tech has played this year. Tuesday’s 81-77 overtime win over the Blue Devils (+1 away) was their fifth win in a row SU and ATS. They’ve earned more respect than they’re getting.
At the same time, the Deacons have been slightly better than your average Division I team – which isn’t saying much. They’re about as vertically challenged as it gets in college hoops, relying almost entirely on perimeter shooting and defense. The Jackets are backcourt-heavy too, but they also have one of the ACC’s better forwards in Moses Wright (plus-8.5 BPM), whose strong two-way play helped Georgia Tech beat Wake Forest 70-54 as 9-point home faves when they met on January 3. So yes, we’ll be putting Tech in Friday’s college basketball picks. It’s just the right thing to do.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.