Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM
Tuesday's Tip Sheet
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on College Basketball winners on Brian Edwards on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!
There are plenty of quality college basketball games on Tuesday’s card, offering bettors a plethora of options. Let’s take an in-depth look at a pair of ACC contests before touching on some national notes in Bonus Nuggets.
Duke at Virginia Tech
-- Duke (24-3 straight up, 16-11 against the spread) will be without star freshman forward Zion Williamson for a second straight game when it travels to Blacksburg tonight to take on Virginia Tech. Williamson (21.6 points per game) leads the Blue Devils in rebounding (8.8 RPG), field-goal percentage (68.3%) and steals (2.2 SPG).
-- As of early this morning, most books had Duke installed as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 145.5. The Hokies were +165 on the money line (risk $100 to win $165).
-- Without Williamson on Saturday night at the Carrier Dome, Duke rallied from a five-point intermission deficit to win 75-65 at Syracuse as a 5.5-point road ‘chalk.’ The 140 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 144.5-point total. R.J. Barrett led the way with 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Barrett drained 14-of-20 field-goal attempts. Sophomore swingman Alex O’Connell was given his second career start in Williamson’s absence and the Roswell High School product (north of Atlanta) came up huge for his team by hitting 5-of-8 launches from 3-point range in a career-best 20-point effort. Tre Jones added 11 points and four assists compared to only one turnover. Cam Reddish struggled mightily, finishing with only five points on 2-of-11 FGAs.
-- Duke is unbeaten in seven road games with a 5-2 spread record. The Blue Devils are the nation’s only team that hasn’t lost a road game yet.
-- Barrett leads the ACC in scoring (23.3 PPG) and is shooting for a third straight 30-point game and seventh of the year tonight. His next 30-point performance would tie Marvin Bagley’s ACC record for a freshman with seven. In other words, that would be more 30-point games as a freshman than players like Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Len Bias, Chris Paul, Rodney Rogers, Dennis Scott, Kenny Anderson, Mark Price, John Salley, Sam Perkins, James Worthy, Jay Williams, Christian Laettner, Elton Brand, Randolph Childress and others. The future lottery pick in this summer’s NBA Draft also averages 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He had 33 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in last week’s home loss to North Carolina. Barrett posted a triple-double, just the fourth player in Duke history to do so, in a 94-78 home win over N.C. State on Feb. 16 when produced 23 points, 11 boards and 10 assists.
-- Reddish is averaging 14.0 and 3.6 RPG. Jones (8.6 PPG) is an outstanding perimeter defender who has a team-best 49 steals. He runs the Duke offense efficiently with an excellent 133/31 assist-to-turnover ratio. Junior center Marques Bolden (5.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) has a team-high 51 blocked shots and has made 58.2 percent of his FGAs.
-- Duke is ranked No. 3 at KenPom.com with an 11-3 record against K-Pom Top-50 opponents and a 15-3 mark versus the Top 100. The Blue Devils’ losses have come to Gonzaga (#2 in the finals of the Maui Classic), at home vs. The ‘Cuse (with Reddish ‘out’ and Jones leaving the game in the first 10 minutes with a shoulder injury) and vs. UNC (with Williamson going down in the opening minute). They have road victories at Syracuse, at Louisville, at Virginia (#1 at K-Pom) and at FSU (on a buzzer-beating trey from Reddish), in addition to neutral-court wins over Kentucky (#5 by a 118-84 score!), Auburn (#14) and Texas Tech (#8).
-- Virginia Tech (21-6 SU, 13-12-1 ATS) has won 12 of its 14 home games, going 6-7 ATS. Regardless of the venue, Buzz Williams’s team is mired in a 1-4-1 ATS slump.
-- Virginia Tech has won three of its past four games, including Saturday’s 67-59 win at Notre Dame as a 3.5-point road favorite. Kerry Blackshear was the catalyst with a game-high 22 points, 14 rebounds and three assists. Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 12 points despite going 2-of-8 from the field. He made all seven of his free-throw attempts. The Hokies dominated the glass, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds while out-boarding Notre Dame by a 45-26 margin.
-- Alexander-Walker paces the Hokies in scoring (16.5 PPG), assists (3.7 APG) and steals (2.0 SPG). Blackshear (14.6 PPG) leads Virginia Tech in rebounding (7.2 RPG) and blocked shots (0.9 BPG), and he’s scored at least 20 points in three consecutive outings.
-- Virginia Tech is ranked ninth in the nation in scoring defense, holding foes to an average of 61.1 PPG. The Hokies are ranked No. 31 in the country in both field-goal percentage (47.8%) and FG-percentage defense (40.5%). They’re fifth nationally in 3-point accuracy, making 40.1 percent of their treys.
-- Virginia Tech is No. 11 at KenPom.com, compiling a 4-6 record against K-Pom Top-50 foes and an 8-6 ledger against the Top 100. The Hokies have only two defeats to teams outside of K-Pom’s Top 20, with those coming at Penn State (#47 by a 63-62 count) and at Clemson (59-51). They have quality triumphs at N.C. State (47-24), at home vs. Syracuse (78-56) and on neutral courts against Purdue (#10 by an 89-83 score) and Washington (#36 by a 73-61 count).
-- According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Williams told him Monday that star guard Justin Robinson remains ‘out’ indefinitely with an ankle injury. Robinson, the ACC’s assists leader who averages 14.4 PPG and 1.7 steals per contest, will miss his eighth straight game tonight. Robinson shoots at clips of 47.5 percent on his FGAs and 41.1 percent from 3-point territory.
-- The ‘over’ is 3-1 in Virginia Tech’s past four games to improve to 13-12-1 overall and 7-5-1 in its home games.
-- The ‘under’ is 18-7-2 overall for Duke, 5-1-1 in its seven road assignments. The ‘under’ is on an 8-2 run in the Blue Devils’ past 10 outings.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Syracuse at North Carolina
-- As of early this morning, most books had North Carolina (22-5 SU, 17-8-2 ATS) listed as a 12-point favorite with a total of 147. The Orange was +550 to win outright (risk $100 to win $550).
-- North Carolina has won 10 of its last 11 games and has gone 8-2 ATS in its past 10 contests. Roy Williams’s team has won three in a row both SU and ATS since losing at home to Virginia by a 69-61 count on Feb. 11. First, UNC went to Winston Salem and smashed Wake Forest 95-57 as a 16.5-point road favorite. The Tar Heels went eight miles down the road to Durham last Wednesday and captured an 88-72 win at Duke as 10-point road underdogs, hooking up money-line backers with a payout in the +375 neighborhood (paid $375 on $100 wagers). Obviously, we should note that Williamson went down with a sprained knee in the opening minute of UNC’s win at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Then on Saturday in Chapel Hill, Williams’s club ended FSU’s eight-game winning streak by pulling away in the final eight minutes for a 77-59 victory as a seven-point home ‘chalk.’ The 136 combined points ducked way ‘under’ the 162-point tally.
-- After leading the Seminoles 37-34 at halftime, UNC outscored them 40-25 in the second half to roll to an easy victory. Cameron Johnson was the catalyst with 18 points and 10 rebounds, draining 3-of-4 launches from downtown. Nassir Little added 18 points and eight board in only 23 minutes of playing time, while senior power forward Luke Maye finished with 15 points and 11 boards. Freshman point guard Coby White contributed 10 points and four assists. The Tar Heels held a 42-31 rebounding advantage and forced the ‘Noles into a miserable 18-of-59 shooting performance (30.5%).
-- UNC is 12-2 SU and 7-5 ATS in its home games. The Tar Heels are 4-4-2 ATS in 10 games as double-digit home ‘chalk.’
-- North Carolina is No. 6 at K-Pom thanks to an 8-5 record versus K-Pom’s Top 50 and a 14-5 mark against the Top 100. The Tar Heels’ worst defeat is against Texas (#27) on a neutral court. Their other L’s came at Michigan (#7), vs. Kentucky (#5) on a neutral floor and at home against UVA (#1) and Louisville (#19). UNC has Top-50 home triumphs over FSU (77-59), N.C. State (113-96), Virginia Tech (103-82) and Gonzaga (103-90), in addition to victories at U of L (79-69), at Wofford (78-67), at N.C. State (90-82) and at Duke.
-- Johnson, the 6’9” senior out of Moon Township, PA., leads UNC in scoring (16.7 PPG), steals (36) and 3-point accuracy (47.3%). He is hitting 52.2 percent of his FGAs, grabbing 5.7 RPG and has a 61/41 assist-to-turnover ratio. White is averaging 15.2 PPG and handing out a team-best 4.2 APG. He dropped a season-high 33 points on Miami in an overtime win a few weeks ago. Maye is averaging 15.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest, while Little is scoring at a 9.7 PPG clip and has made 50.0 percent of his FGAs. -- Syracuse (18-9 SU, 15-12 ATS) led Duke 34-29 at halftime of Saturday’s game in front of 35,642 at the Carrier Dome. However, the Blue Devils hit 7-of-11 shots to start the second half, including 3-of-4 from long distance. When the Orange went nearly five minutes without scoring, Duke took a six-point lead. The ‘Cuse would pull to within two at 58-56, but Duke answered with a 7-0 run and closed the deal at crunch time. Tyus Battle scored a team-best 16 points in the losing effort, but he was an abysmal 4-of-17 from the field. Elijah Hughes finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Frank Howard and Marek Dolezaj were also in double figures with 10 points apiece.
-- Jim Boeheim’s club owns a 5-2 record both SU and ATS in its seven road games. The ‘Cuse is 11-5 both SU and ATS in its past 16 games (regardless of the venue). However, the Orange have lost by double-digit margins in each of its past three games as an underdog. With that said, they do own outright wins at Duke (+17) and Ohio State (+4.5) in a pair of games as underdogs earlier in the season.
-- Battle leads Syracuse in scoring (17.1 PPG) and FG percentage (43.8%). The junior slasher out of Edison, N.J., is third on the team in steals (31) and has a 68/46 assists-to-turnover ratio. Hughes scores at a 13.7 PPG clip, makes 35.1 percent of his 3-balls, has 33 steals and 20 blocked shots. Oshae Brissett averages 13.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and has 26 steals and 24 rejections. Howard (8.1 PPG) has a team-best 36 steals and a 64/41 assists-to-turnover ratio, but he’s struggled mightily from both the field (35.2%) and 3-point range (31.0%).
-- The ‘Cuse is ranked No. 38 at KenPom.com, posting a 4-5 record against K-Pom’s Top 50 and a 9-8 record versus the Top 100. Boeheim’s bunch has one sub-Top 100 loss at home to Ga. Tech, but L’s to UConn (albeit when the Huskies -- #94 -- were healthier in November) and Oregon on a neutral court and a home defeat to Old Dominion (#100) won’t help its cause on Selection Sunday. The Orange has a monster win at Duke to its credit, though, in addition to home scalps over Louisville (69-49) and Clemson.
-- UNC swept a pair of meetings from Syracuse last season, winning 78-74 as a 4.5-point road favorite at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 21. The 152 combined points went ‘over’ the 146-point total. Maye finished with nine points, four assists, three rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot, while Johnson contributed six points, five boards, one steal and three assists without a turnover. Battle had 26 points and six assists in the losing effort. Howard hit 5-of-10 greys in a 23-point effort, while Chukwu had two points, 11 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals.
-- They’d meet again at the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn at Barclays Center, with North Carolina prevailing 78-59 as a 7.5-point ‘chalk.’ Johnson produced 13 points, five rebounds and four assists compared to merely one turnover. Maye added 13 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two assists. Brissett had a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards for the Orange. Battle and Howard went 4-of-21 and 4-of-18 from the field, respectively, to finish with 15 and 12 points. Making it even worse, Howard coughed up seven turnovers.
-- The ‘under’ is on a 7-2 run for the Orange to improve to 17-10 overall and 4-3 in its road games.
-- The ‘under’ has cashed in four consecutive games for UNC to improve to 15-12 overall and 7-7 in its home games.
-- This is a 9:00 p.m. Eastern tip on ESPN3 or the ACC Network.
B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets
-- Florida State (22-6 SU, 13-14-1 ATS) trailed nearly the entire game at home last night vs. Notre Dame before Leonard Hamilton turned to a reserve freshman to ignite his team. Devin Vassell answered Hamilton’s call and scored back-to-back buckets, including a 3-pointer, to give the Seminoles the lead for good with 6:35 remaining. They would hang on for a 68-61 victory, but the Fighting Irish took the cash as an 11.5-point underdog. The 129 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 140-point total to give me a winner in my lone Monday selection. In only 22 minutes of playing time, Caswell had team-bests with 13 points and seven rebounds. He buried 5-of-6 FGAs and all three of his attempts from long distance.
-- South Carolina (14-13 SU, 12-14 ATS) is listed as a 1.5-point home favorite for tonight’s 7:00 p.m. Eastern tip on ESPN2 vs. Alabama. This is a must-win game for both teams. The Gamecocks are in a fourth-place tie with Ole Miss in the SEC standings, as both teams share 9-5 records. They finish the regular season with four winnable games: vs. ‘Bama, at Missouri, at Texas A&M and vs. Georgia. Despite a below-.500 record during a tough non-conference slate, the Selection Committee would have a hard time not giving a long look to a team that finishes 13-5 in SEC play. According to Joe Lunardi’s latest ‘Bracketology’ report filed to ESPN.com early this morning, Alabama (16-11 SU, 12-14 ATS) remains ‘IN’ the field as an 11-seed that would face sixth-seeded Kansas St. in the NCAA Tournament’s opening round. However, the Crimson Tide is just 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS in 10 road assignments. Tonight’s total is 147.5 points. The ‘over’ is 17-8 overall for the Gamecocks and 9-4 in their home games, but they’ve seen the ‘under’ cash in back-to-back game and four of their past six. The ‘under’ has been a winner in five consecutive games for the Tide and is 7-3 in its road outings.
-- I’m hearing Mike Anderson is in trouble at Arkansas (14-13 SU, 11-16 ATS) and rightfully so. His entire eight-year tenure with the Razorbacks has been a monumental disappointment. After spending 17 years on Nolan Richardson’s staff during Arkansas’ glory years, Anderson arrived to bring back ’40 Minutes of Hell’ after taking Missouri to three straight NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance. But he has produced only three NCAA appearances and one NIT bid to date. Anderson has a 2-3 record in the NCAA Tournament while with the Hogs, including a blowout loss to Butler in last year’s opening round. Elite in-state recruits like Malik Monk and KeVaughn Allen have chosen to attend school elsewhere, something that never happened on Richardson’s watch. This team has floundered in recent weeks and is in danger of missing out on any sort of postseason bid. Richardson used to pack Bud Walton Arena on a nightly basis, but those days are long gone. It’s unfathomable that Arkansas hasn’t tasted a Sweet 16 appearance since 1996. This storied program was one of college basketball’s true heavyweights in the late 1980s through ’96. It has a passionate fan base, an incredible arena in Bud Walton and there’s no excuse whatsoever for its lack of production that’s now lasted nearly a quarter-century.
-- Arkansas has lost five games in a row and failed to cover the number in six straight. Anderson’s team is a 16.5-point underdog tonight at Kentucky on the SEC Network at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. The Hogs are 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS on the road, while Kentucky (23-4 SU, 16-11 ATS) is 15-1 SU and 9-7 ATS at Rupp Arena. The ‘under is 19-7 overall for Arkansas, 5-4 in its road contests. UK is 13-1 SU in its past 14 games and 10-2 ATS in its last 12 outings.
--Lunardi’s latest has Florida ‘IN’ the field as an eighth seed that would take on Baylor in Columbia, S.C., for the right to most likely face top-seeded Duke in the Round of 32. The Gators have suddenly won four games in a row.
-- As of early this morning, most books had LSU listed as an 11.5 or 12-point home favorite vs. Texas A&M. This is an ESPN2 game at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. LSU star point guard Tremont Waters missed Saturday’s overtime home win over Tennessee due to an undisclosed illness. The sophomore is listed as ‘questionable’ against the Aggies. The Tigers are in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC standings with Kentucky and UT. All three teams are 12-2 in league play. Waters averages 15.7 points, 5.9 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.9 RPG. The Aggies have come to life over the last few weeks, winning back-to-back games and four of their last five. They’re 5-1 ATS in their past six games, 6-2 ATS in eight road games this year and 10-6 ATS in 16 games as underdogs.
-- Kansas might see its 14-year reign of Big 12 regular-season championships end this year, but it won’t happen without the Jayhawks putting up a fight. Less than 48 hours after getting smashed by 29 points at Texas Tech, KU responded by beating Kansas St. 64-49 as a 4.5-point home ‘chalk’ last night. The win pulled the Jayhawks to within one game of the conference lead behind KSU.
-- Yahoo Sports reported Monday that LSU’s Will Wade and Arizona’s Sean Miller will be subpoenaed to testify by the defense in Christian Dawkins’ college-basketball corruption trial in April. Both head coaches are reportedly on phone calls with Dawkins, whose phone was tapped by federal agents. Wade and Miller will have to testify under oath about their conversations with Dawkins that are reportedly about prospective recruits. Wade has vigorously denied any wrongdoing – as it pertains to NCAA violations -- in his interactions with Dawkins.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.