NCAA Basketball Picks: Side With NC State (-15) to Roll South Alabama

David Lawrence

Sunday, November 15, 2015 4:05 PM GMT

Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 4:05 PM GMT

The North Carolina State Wolfpack are off an embarrassing home loss on Friday night. Can they rebound on Sunday or should you be wary laying double digits with them?

Momentum
The South Alabama Jaguars beat Auburn-Montgomery, a non-Division I program, on Friday night. That was a kind of official walk-through for the rest of the season ahead. The Jaguars watched Georgia State become a darling of March Madness with their upset of Baylor in the NCAA tournament. South Alabama, playing in the same conference as Georgia State in the Sun Belt, wants to make some good things happen. This is a first chance to do so. The program could get a real catapult from a win here, or at least from an encouragingly strong performance. After one warm-up game, we’ll see where USA sits in the college basketball picture.

North Carolina State faces some early concerns after losing by 17 points, 85-68, at home to William and Mary on Friday. The Wolfpack did miss the scoring of Trevor Lacey, a transfer from the University of Alabama. The Wolfpack could have used Lacey’s perimeter shooting ability and his relative size as a wing in order to shoot over the top of a defense and create space with the dribble, something Lacey also was able to do in his career at N.C. State. However, while the team missed Lacey’s scoring, it also failed to play a lot of defense against William and Mary. The Tribe had an easy night of it on offense, doing pretty much whatever they wanted.

The loss is really bad on two levels for North Carolina State. First, the team played such great defense against Villanova in the NCAA tournament last March. Since most of the starting five from that team is back for this season, there really should be no excuse for a performance that poor and that lacking in energy. The second cause for alarm is that North Carolina State has immediately suffered a loss which it must make up for with its other non-conference games. North Carolina State has already taken a hit in terms of how high it can go in terms of NCAA tournament seeding. Coach Mark Gottfried, who recently signed a contract extension, has to get this thing resolved.

 

Home-Away Trends
South Alabama is playing its first road game of the season. North Carolina State lost its first home game of the season against William and Mary.

 

Injuries
North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson is doubtful for this game with an ankle injury.

South Alabama does not have any injuries right now.

 

What’s The Pick?
The Wolfpack will be very angry and determined after their loss on Friday. A lot of people will be questioning them as well as the NCAA Basketball Odds, which shows them as a 15-point favorite. Do you want to lay that type of line considering they just lost to William & Mary by 17 even though they were a 12.5-point favorite in that spot? I’ll take a shot and say ‘yes’. I think they were half asleep in their opener and got burned. They should be much more focused and much more like the team that is favored by double digits. Take them with your NCAA Basketball Picks and expect them to win big.

NCAA Basketball Pick: North Carolina State -15 at The Greek

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