Thursday, January 3rd
NC State Wolfpack @ Miami Hurricanes – 7pm – ESPNU
On a hot streak! One free bet tip winner in a row after last night. Let’s keep the win train rolling and see if we can make it two. Before I hop into the free College Basketball tip for tonight, take a second to sign up for my e-mail newsletter. I not only tip you off to the game for tonight that’s on TV, but I will toss in a couple extra free tips as well. Moving on to college hoops for tonight-
(18) NC State 12-1 overall
The Wolfpack head into this matchup in Miami winners of six straight, including wins over Auburn and Penn State. With only one L on the year, a four point loss at Wisconsin, this team is hoping to keep the wins coming into ACC play. The bench is deep, with up to 10 players in typical rotation. The demanding style of defense forces the need of fresh bodies. NC State will deploy plenty of full court pressure throughout the game, trying to stifle Miami and make them earn their baskets. This may turn out to be a huge advantage if they can capitalize on Miami’s 12+ turnovers a game.
If you have to look for a leader, it would probably be senior guard Torin Dorn. Dorn is leading the team in scoring with over 15 a game, as well as shooting over 53% from the field. At 6-5, he is also the leading rebounder for NC State, with 6.5 per game.
The defense will definitely be on display, NC State has the second lowest ratio of effective possessions allowed, and they are holding teams to under 42% shooting.
Miami Hurricanes 8-4
Miami comes in winners of three straight and are probably missing getting the attention that NC State has been getting this year. It’s tough to make a name for yourself when you are getting blown out by Penn (no offense Quaker fans!).
Scoring is going to come at a premium tonight for Miami, and the real question is how long does this game stay close? The lack of depth, or at least the lack of playing deep into the bench by head coach Jim Larranaga will be a concern facing a defense that has been smothering at times. Seven players take up the majority of minutes for Miami, with four players getting over 29 a game.
Point guard Chris Lykes is the leader so far this season in points, assists and steals for the Canes. He is also posting close to a 1-1 assist to turnover ratio, coming in with 3.58 turnovers a game. How will he fare against the pressure from NC State will be a major factor in how this game turns out.
Something feels wrong with this line. A team that has one loss to a Wisconsin team at Wisconsin, just a two point favorite on the road at Miami? This is where college basketball home court plays a factor.
Miami is a better than average home team, but NC State and that defense should render the home court advantage basically down to nothing. This isn’t Cameron indoor we are talking about.
For my free college basketball bet tip tonight, I have to hop on NC State giving only 2.5. The game opened up at 3 and hasn’t moved too much. I don’t think Miami is close to the quality of a Wisconsin, and NC State hung tough with them on the road. I expect bench depth to be a problem against the multiple defensive looks NC State will be giving, and Miami taking an L tonight.
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NC State -2.5