No. 21 Virginia Cavaliers at North Carolina State Wolfpack
Saturday, 1/28/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN2
Opening Point Spread: NC State -1.5
Current Betting Line: NC State -2
Opening Total: 123.5
Current Total: 124
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Virginia continues a stretch of three games in six days and will look for its fifth true road win of the 2011-12 season, something the program hasn’t accomplished since 2000-01. The Cavaliers are led by their defense, ranking second nationally in allowing just 50.1 points per game, while holding opponents to 38.7 percent from the field. In winning the last three games in this particular series, the program has held NC State to an average of 55.7 points and 39.6 percent shooting. Virginia is 4-0 ATS in road games this year.
The Cavaliers have won six of the last eight meetings in this series, but still trail by a wide 80-57 overall margin. Virginia has alternated wins and losses over it last five games, coming off a 66-49 win over the Boston College Eagles as 18-point home favorites. It’s important to note that the program has shot under 40 percent from the field in each of its three losses this season. Senior forward Mike Scott is averaging 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, leading all active players in the Atlantic Coast Conference in points, rebounds and double-doubles.
NC State had its three-game win streak snapped last time out in dropping a 74-55 contest to the North Carolina Tar Heels as 13-point road underdogs, while going “under” the posted total of 159. The Wolfpack are 7-3 when hosting the Cavaliers inside the RBC Center, while going 38-18 overall in Raleigh in this series. With four conference wins, the program is one shy of equaling its league total from a season ago. NC State is 4-5 ATS as a favorite this year.
The Wolfpack is the only ACC program with five players listed among the league’s scoring leaders, with each player averaging 11 points or more per game. NC State’s strength of schedule is 45th and its RPI is 55th. Three-point field goal defense hasn’t been a strength of the squad for most of the year, ranking 312th in that category coming into its Jan. 14th contest versus Wake Forest. NC State has been much better over the past four games, allowing opponents to hit 18-of-83 (.216) shots from beyond the arc over that span.
Bettors will likely back the Cavaliers due to their 10-1 ATS mark as a road underdog, while the NC State Wolfpack are 2-8 ATS at home.
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