Saturday's Best NCAAB Bets Are All For ACC Matchups

Jay Pryce

Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:04 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 2:04 PM UTC

The ACC is the focus and game totals the picks in this loaded post-exam week Saturday in college hoops. Check out our best bets for UNC Greensboro at N.C. State, Davidson at Virginia, and Clemson vs. Florida in the Orange Bowl Classic Clash at BB&T Center here.

UNC Greensboro vs N.C. State (-8)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Over 144Best Line Offered: at Heritage

UNC Greensboro (7-3 SU, 4-0 ATS) make the quick jaunt across the Research Triangle to take on ACC powerhouse N.C. State (8-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) at PNC Arena at noon. The Pack are 9-0 all-time in the series, but have failed to cover double-digit spreads in the last three meetings. The number is a bit tighter this time around.

N.C. State enters with a new style of play under first-year head coach Kevin Keatts. Expect plenty of press, defensive pressure, and takeaways. Four times the Pack have forced 20-plus turnovers in a game. Keatts also rotates 10 players, each averaging 10 minutes or more per game. The bench is deep and talented, outscoring opponents 264-162 on the year. The Spartans, meanwhile, regularly field nine players, which will make for energetic, frenzied action throughout.

Greensboro enters ranked sixth in scoring defense nationally, holding opponents to just 58.9 points per game. The perimeter play is outstanding, allowing foes to sink 28.4 percent from the 3-point area. Most games have come at home and against much easier competition. The Spartans will struggle to slow down the Pack here.

The Spartans are 1-12 SU, but 10-3 ATS squaring off against ACC competition on the road under head coach Wes Miller. They’ve allowed a 49.8 opponent field goal percentage overall. State plays at the 68th quickest tempo according to KenPom in part to their press scheme. Greensboro will be forced into a quicker game. Their ability to stay competitive will help push the combined score beyond a 144 game total. Pack put up 80 and the game goes ‘over.’

Davidson vs. Virginia (-12.5)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Under 125Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

Fact: unranked opponents average 52.6 points per game at John Paul Jones Arena with Tony Bennett in charge of No. 16 Virginia (8-1 SU, 6-2 SU). This number dips to 51.6 when the Cavs are represented in the AP Top 25 poll. Virginia, with its gap defense generating a force field around the paint, is nearly impenetrable for visiting teams. They shoot 37.3 percent from the floor in the aforementioned scenario. The Wahoos top the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom entering this matchup.

Davidson (4-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) puts up 83.1 points per game, but averages just 68.1 on 40.3 percent shooting as road underdog versus the ACC in the last decade. Peyton Aldridge (21.7 ppg) leads the team and A-10 in scoring, but options beyond him lack talent or experience to overcome UVA’s stifling defense. Head coach Bob McKillop is a X’s and O’s coach who runs plenty of inside-out and cut pass plays to find open looks. Good luck. The Cavaliers play at the slowest tempo in the county, and the Cats aren’t deep or talented enough to push the pace and attempt to disrupt UVA’s game plan. Scoring will be sparse. Pick ‘under’ 125 for your best bet.

Clemson vs. Florida (-5)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Under 144.5Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

No. 22 Florida’s (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) high-flying offense under head coach Mike White has hit the skids. It’s averaging 63.7 points over the last three games, 17.3 below market projections. Shooting 38.4 percent in this stretch, the team is hurting in the interior without center John Egbunu (knee). Kevarrius Hayes is anchoring the frontcourt in his absence, but posting just 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per contest.

Clemson (8-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) enters the Orange Bowl Classic Clash at BB&T Center off to its best regular season start since 2008-09. The team is led by junior forward Elijah Thomas, one of 13 players in the nation to average 12.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.75 blocks per game. Expect head coach Brad Brownell to feature Thomas and senior forward Donte Grantham against a weak Gators front. Exams are over. It's basketball time:

When you're done with exams and its time for break...

— Clemson Men's Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) December 15, 2017

The Tigers’ SEC matchups behind Brownell have proven grind-it-out affairs. The ‘under’ is 12-2 all-time with both teams combining for just 80.0 percent from the floor. Most matchups have come against more defensive-oriented, deliberate teams (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, etc.). Brownell, though, has made defense the top priority this season in an effort to get to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. He’s worked tirelessly on man-to-man coverage and even installed a full-court press on occasion. Look for Clemson to make this matchup another defensive struggle. Pick ‘under’ 144.5.

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