ACC Clash: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at NC State Wolfpack

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets AT NC State Wolfpack
Feb 26, 2011 at 2 PM EST
Opening Line:  NC State -6
Current Line: NC State -5
Opening Total:  139.5
Current Total:  138
Opening Moneyline:  NC St -215 / Ga Tc +185
Current Moneyline:  NC St -220 / Ga Tc +180

Tracy Smith leads NC State in scoring with 14.4 a game

This game brings together two of the bottom feeders of the ACC standings.  Georgia Tech is 3-10 in ACC play and ranked 11th in the Conference.  NC State is 4-9 in the ACC and are ranked 10th in the ACC.

NC State has lost 6 of their last 8 games, but two of them (three if including the duplicate game against UNC before they were ranked) were against ranked opponents.  They did dispose of Wake Forest in decisive fashion, by 25 points, and they held off Clemson for an 8 point win at home.

Georgia Tech has been playing absolutely dreadfully, as losers of 7 of their last 8.  The troubles date back to January 2nd, though, when after losing to the Charlotte 49ers, the Yellow Jackets proceeded to drop the next to to Boston College and Clemson, following victories against UNC and Wake Forest, the slide began, and it has continued up to the present.

Georgia Tech, despite being under .500 by 5 games, has a positive point differential of +0.3.  They score 68.1 while giving up 67.8.  NC State, while above .500 at 14-13 is only slightly above 0 themselves at 1.1. NC State scores 71.3 a game while giving up 70.1  The combinative total of the teams’ offensive output is 139.4, more or less dead on the opening total line.

Some betting trends:

Georgia Tech is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 0-5 SU in their last 5 on the road.  Georgia Tech is 1-13 SU in their last 14 games on the road at NC State and the total has gone OVER in all 5 of the last 5 road games at NC State.

NC State is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games and 2-6 SU in their last 8 games.  NC State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 at home and theya re 14-4 SU in their last 18 at home.  NC State is 2-5 SU in their last 7 against Georgia Tech and the total has gone OVER In 4 of the last 5 meetings against the Yellow Jackets.  North Carolina State is 13-1 SU in their last 14 home games against Georgia Tech and the total has gone OVER In 5 of the last 5 home games against Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech is led by sophomore Brian Oliver and junior Iman Shumpert, who average 10.9 and 17.1 points per game, respectively.  Shumpert leads the team in rebounding too with 6.1 rebounds per game. Brian Oliver, though undersized for a big man, his strength and leaping ability enable him to be an effective big inside, while clearly lacking the size to take his game to the next level.  Shumpert is having the best year of his three years at Tech so far, upping his scoring average from previous years by over 3 points a game.  His field goal percentage, though, is a paltry 37.5%, in line with his percentage from previous years.  He will have to up his percentage for the Yellowjackets to have any chance at all this March.

Sophomore Glen Rice Jr. doesn’t appear to have the shooting skills of his father, but should still develop into a nice player for the Yellowjackets.  He is averaging the second most points per game on the team with 13.5 a game.  Last year he did a better impresonation of his father, shooting 46.7% from behind the arc, but he has inexplicably struggled this year, shooting only 31.5%.  If he can regain his touch Georgia Tech it would enable Georgia Tech to have a good shot at covering the spread.  He hasn’t been shooting it well of late and it seems his fate goes a long way towards determining the Yellow Jackets’ chances.

NC State is led by 6’8″ senior forward Tracy Smith.  Smith scores 14.4 points per game, grabs 5.8 boards per game and shoots 48.2% from the floor.  He has scored in double figures in all but 2 games he has appeared in (total of 17 games).  Over his last three games he is averaging 15  a game and he had 19 on 7 of 15 shooting in the 7 point loss to Maryland last week.  6’8 freshman C.J. Leslie has been making a big difference too.  The freshman has averaged 11.7 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 7.5 a game.  He does this despite only averaging 25.1 minutes a game.  He’s managed 5 double doubles and NC State has won 3 of those 5 games.  He’s also leading the team in points per game over the last three games with 18.3 a game.

With the way Georgia Tech is playing, I would expect NC State to win and cover the spread.  I keep waiting on the Yellow Jackets to turn it around and it doesn’t seem to be happening.

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