Midwest Region Second Round Betting Picks: #12 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs #5 Saint Louis Billikens

2014 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Region – Second Round

Amway Center – Orlando, Florida
#12 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs #5 Saint Louis Billikens
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7:20 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Saint Louis -2 1/2
Current Line: Saint Louis -3
Opening Total: 131 1/2
Current Total: 132
Opening Money Line: Saint Louis -145 / NC State +125
Current Money Line: Saint Louis -160 / NC State +135

Saint Louis is a point favorite against North Carolina state in Thursday's Midwest region second round in Orlando.
Saint Louis is a 3 point favorite against North Carolina State in Thursday’s Midwest region second round in Orlando.

The 26-6 Saint Louis Billikens started off the season 6-2 before winning 19 straight games. However, the Billikens have since lost 4 of their last 5 games. Saint Louis is the #5 seed in the Midwest region, but coming into March many thought they might be a #2 or #3 seed. The Billikens open play Thursday against the #12 seed 22-13 North Carolina State Wolfpack in the second round in Orlando. NC State beat Xavier 74-59 Tuesday night in the first round. The winner of Saint Louis and North Carolina State will play the winner of #4 Louisville and #13 Manhattan in Saturday’s third round. The Wolfpack and Billikens are meeting for the first time Thursday.

North Carolina State went 9-9 in the ACC and was part of a 3 way tie for seventh place. The Wolfpack advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament by upsetting Syracuse in the quarterfinals. NC State lost to Duke 75-67 in the semifinals. The wolfpack are making their third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Saint Louis won the Atlantic 10 regular season title with a 13-3 record over 12-4 VCU. The Billikens were upset by St. Bonaventure 71-68 in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals. Saint Louis is also making their third straight trip to the dance.

North Carolina State is coached by Mark Gottfried. The Wolfpack have losses at Cincinnati, North Carolina Central, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Virginia, at Wake Forest, Duke twice, North Carolina twice, at Syracuse, at Clemson, and Miami. NC State has key wins over Florida Gulf Coast, Eastern Kentucky, Northwestern, Long Beach State, Detroit, at Tennessee, East Carolina, at Notre Dame, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami twice, Wake Forest, at Virginia Tech, at Pittsburgh, and Boston College. The Wolfpack went 4-9 against NCAA tournament teams. North Carolina State is 19-12-1 ATS and the total is 17-14 this season.

North Carolina State is outscoring teams 71-70 this season. The Wolfpack are shooting  45.9% from the field and 30.3% from 3 point range. NC State is #330 out of 351 teams nationally in 3 point shooting. The Wolfpack are #292 in free throw shooting at 66.1% from the line. Opponents are shooting 42.4% from the field and 32% from 3 point range. NC State is averaging 34.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.3. The Wolfpack average 12.9 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 11.5 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Forward T.J. Warren averages 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Ralston Turner averages 10.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Guard Anthony Barber averages 8.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. Guard Desmond Lee averages 8.4 points, 3 rebounds and 1.6 assists  per game. Kyle Washington, Jordan Vandenberg, Tyler Lewis and Lennard Freeman will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Vandenberg leads the team in blocks at 1.3 per game.

Saint Louis is coached by Jim Crews. The Billikens have losses to Wisconsin in a tournament in Cancun, Wichita State, Duquesne, at VCU, Dayton, and St. Bonaventure. Saint Louis has key wins at Southern Illinois, Oral Roberts, Bowling Green, Old Dominion in Cancun, at Valparaiso, Wofford, Indiana State, at Vanderbilt, Yale, at Rhode Island, at Dayton, St. Bonaventure, Fordham, at Duquesne, Richmond, George Mason twice, at LaSalle, VCU, George Washington, and at Massachusetts. The Billikens went 6-4 against NCAA Tournament teams. Saint Louis is 10-19 ATS and the total is 9-19 this season.

Saint Louis is outscoring teams 70-61 this season. The Billikens are #18 in points allowed nationally. Saint Louis is shooting 44.3% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. The Billikens are #297 out of 351 teams nationally in three point shooting. Saint Louis makes 70.8% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.9% from the field and 28.4% from 3 point range. the Billikens are #26 in field goal defense and lead the nation in 3 point defense. Saint Louis averages 36.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 31 per game. The Billikens average 14.3 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 7.4 steals, and 4.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.3 assists, 14.2 turnovers per game, 7.1 steals and 4 blocks per game.


Forward Dwayne Evans averages 14 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Jordair Jett averages 13.7 points, 4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Rob Loe averages 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Mike McCall, Jr. averages 9.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Austin McBrrom averages 7.7 points, 2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Jake Barnett, Grandy Glaze, and John Manning will also get significant minutes in the rotation.

North Carolina State is 7-0 ATS after a straight up win,  6-0 against teams with winning records and overall, 5-0 after a cover, 6-1 in Thursday games, 4-1 in NCAA Tournament games, and against Atlantic 10 teams, and 35-17 in neutral site games.

Saint Louis is 4-1 ATS in NCAA Tournament games, 1-4 against ACC teams, 1-6 after failing to cover and against teams with winning records, 1-8 overall, and 0-4 in neutral site games.

Saint Louis is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, but they have given up 67 points or more in their recent losing stretch. The Billikens can struggle on offense. NC State’s T.J. Warren led the ACC in scoring and is the best player on either team. I think Warren leads Wolfpack to the upset victory over the slumping Billikens.

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