Pittsburgh falls into one of my favorite contrarian tournament situations that invests on certain postseason underdogs off three or more consecutive regular-season losses, provided they are matched up against an opponent off two or more consecutive wins. Pittsburgh enters the ACC Tournament off three SU and ATS losses to Wake Forest, Miami and Florida State, whereas the Wolfpack take the court off SU and ATS wins over Clemson and Syracuse.
Astute sports investors understand that the betting market overreacts to short-term variance, which is precisely what has happened today as my math model only favors North Carolina State by 2.5-points. The technical analysis favoring Pittsburgh is further enhanced by the fact that ACC Tournament underdogs off an upset loss (Pittsburgh) are 10-2-1 ATS, while the Panthers are 7-1 ATS as underdogs in conference tournament play versus an opponent off a SU and ATS win.
Pittsburgh’s strength is at the defensive end of the floor where the Panthers are allowing 65.3 points per game to teams that would combine to average 68.9 points per game against a mediocre defensive squad. The Panthers have also been limiting opponents to a mere 64.6 points over the last five games.
Overall, Pittsburgh is 3.6 points per game better than average defensively this season, which is good enough to slow down a North Carolina State attack that is 6.4 points per game better than average (70.6 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 64.2 points per game).
The bigger concern for the Wolfpack is how their offense has performed over the last five games wherein they are averaging just 65.4 points on 39.2% shooting from the field. In short, we have a struggling Wolfpack offense facing an improving Pittsburgh defense in a game that has already been “predetermined” by the betting public.
I only say that because people are wagering on North Carolina State as if they already know the final score. And, who can blame them when a “hot” team (North Carolina State) is facing a reeling squad (Pittsburgh) that has lost four straight and failed to cover the Vegas number in five straight.
The point spread in inflated and the Panthers fall into one of my best postseason situations that also contains a 14-1 ATS angle. Grab the points with Pittsburgh and invest with confidence.
Wednesday’s College Basketball Sharp Money Report:
Teams Attracting Professional Money:
- Western Michigan
- George Mason
- Western Kentucky
- Alcorn State
Of course, what distinguishes professional bettors from amateurs is the fact that sharps always get the best of the number. For example, professional sports bettors secured Colorado at -2.5, while amateurs chased the steam and settled on a far worse number (-3.5).