College Basketball Computer Picks for February 27: Syracuse Keeps Finding Ways to Win


The sportsbooks have released their betting odds for today’s college basketball slate, and three games really interest me: Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse, Wake Forest vs. Duke and Nevada vs. Colorado State.

For your best bets, I will recommend investing in Syracuse, Wake Forest, and the Nevada-Colorado State “under.”

Picks Summary

  • Syracuse -1.5 (-110)
  • Wake Forest -6 (-110)
  • Nevada-Colorado State Under 138.5 (-110)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Syracuse Orange

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at JMA Wireless Dome

Our computers indicate that Syracuse will win this game by enough points to cover the spread, and I agree. I recommend that you play the Orange.

Hokies On The Road

This season, Virginia Tech tends to struggle on the road. Its road struggles have been prominent especially lately: the Hokies enter tonight’s game having lost its last four away games.

Their list of road losses is inexcusable: they’ve most recently lost at Miami, at Notre Dame, at North Carolina by 15 points and at Pittsburgh by 15 points.

Their losses to Miami and Notre Dame are particularly bad because both teams rank bottom four in the ACC standings.

Virginia Tech’s Shooting

The Hokies are particularly susceptible to struggling on the road because they depend heavily on making three-pointers. This susceptibility exists because teams tend to shoot much better in their home venue than on the road.

The disparity is especially salient for Virginia Tech: whereas they shoot 37.1% from deep at home, their three-point conversion rate plummets to 33.4% on the road.

People criticize Syracuse’s defense – and Virginia Tech backers are going to try to cite Syracuse’s poor defensive numbers in order to make their case – but the Hokies are actually just the sort of opponent that Syracuse wants to face tonight because of the Hokies’ problem on the road with making three-pointers.

Virginia Tech’s Lack of Shot-Blocking

The team that will suffer the most tonight for its defensive deficiencies is Virginia Tech, which will suffer for its lack of shot-blocking. The Hokies lack a strong interior presence on defense. This lack of presence has manifested itself in various ways.

For example, opposing centers have had great success posting up and, given this success, have forced Virginia Tech into devoting risky double teams to the post.

But even teams that lack a strong post presence on offense, such as Pittsburgh, thrive inside with efficient production against Virginia Tech’s defense Virginia Tech ranks among the ACC’s worst at limiting opposing two-point percentage and at blocking shots.

Syracuse will benefit because the Orange love to attack inside. Judah Mintz with his speed and J.J. Starling with his momentum are two examples of Orange players who do a great job of scoring efficiently at the basket.

NCAAB Pick: Syracuse -1.5 (-110) at Bet365

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 – 09:00 PM ET at Purcell Pavilion

Our computers project a strong Demon Deacon victory, and I agree. I recommend that you invest in Wake Forest covering the spread.

No Let-Down

The best argument for playing Notre Dame is a bad one. This argument is that Wake Forest won’t play well, because it is coming off a big win over Duke. But history says otherwise; history says that Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes will have his team prepared.

Look at the last two times that his Demon Deacons beat Duke. Last year, Wake Forest followed up its win over Duke by beating Virginia Tech in its subsequent game. In 2020, the Demon Deacons beat Notre Dame by eleven after defeating Duke in their last game.

Bad Road Teams

The second-best argument for Notre Dame is another bad one, this argument is that Wake Forest has struggled on the road.

While this is true, the fact remains that the Demon Deacons are reliable road warriors against low-ranking ACC teams. On the road, Wake Forest has beaten Boston College and Georgia Tech. They recently also came very close to beating Virginia.

Both Boston College and Virginia rank higher than Notre Dame does in the ACC standings.

The Matchup

Notre Dame’s offense is too inefficient to keep pace with Wake Forest’s plethora of weapons. This is especially going to be true tonight because the Fighting Irish are so heavily dependent on three-point shooting, and perimeter defense is Wake Forest’s strength.

While the Fighting Irish attempt three-pointers at a very high rate, the Demon Deacons rank top three in the ACC both at limiting opposing three-point efficiency and at limiting opposing three-point attempts. They use especially their length to reliably contest opposing shot attempts.

On offense, Wake Forest is very hard to keep below 80 points because it has too many guys who can beat you. Efton Reid and Andrew Carr are both efficient scorers inside. Hunter Sallis, who is one of multiple highly efficient three-point shooters, has a mid-range game that is even more efficient than point guard Kevin Miller’s.

NCAAB Pick: Wake Forest -6 (-110) at Bet365

Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Colorado State Rams

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 – 10:30 PM ET at Moby Arena

Our computers project a low-scoring game, and I agree. Accordingly, you should play the “under.”

Colorado State Rematches

The Rams struggle on the road, instead playing much better at home. Their defense is especially reliable in improving its performance in rematches at home.

For example, they first lost 77-72 at Utah State before beating the Aggies 75-55 at home. They especially shut down the Aggies’ inside scoring, which is what they will focus on doing tonight given what the Wolf Pack did to them inside to win their first game and given Nevada’s characteristic concentration on trying to score inside.

Colorado State’s Interior Defense

Nevada primarily wants to score inside but will struggle to do so against the Rams’ tough man-to-man defense. As video footage shows, Colorado State will deny entry passes effectively, making it hard for Nevada to utilize center Nick Davidson inside.

Davidson will also have trouble with Colorado State’s help defense, which is characteristically quick to help inside. Moreover, the Rams ably prevent dribble penetration that opponents will try to initiate via their ball-screen game.

For example, a couple minutes into their rematch with the Aggies, the Aggies tried to get a pick-and-roll action going, but Colorado State was able to create a three-versus-two numerical advantage to force Utah State’s ball-handler to pass to his teammate behind the arc.

Nevada’s Defense

The Wolf Pack will also be tough defensively. Their defense travels well, most recently holding UNLV to 66 points and San Jose State to 63 points.

Colorado State’s gross inefficiency from deep renders it unprepared to take advantage of Nevada’s vulnerability behind the arc. The Wolf Pack are much more solid guarding inside the arc.

NCAAB Pick: Under 138.5 (-110) at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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