The North Carolina State Wolfpack (15-7) host the Pittsburgh Panthers (14-8) tonight at 7:00 PM EST in an ACC showdown between two NCAA Tournament hopefuls.
NC State has been stout at home, winning four of five with impressive wins over Virginia and Miami, though Pittsburgh knocked off Duke and Notre Dame en route to winning four of five overall.
Three of the last four games between these conference rivals were decided by one possession, and we can expect another tight contest today as well. But where does the betting value lie in this mid-week showdown?
NC State vs. Pittsburgh Odds, Spread and Total
NC State vs. Pittsburgh Betting Pick and Prediction
The Wolfpack sit as modest 3.5-point favorites over at FanDuel Sportsbook, though I'm concerned about this matchup, especially on the perimeter.
Pittsburgh ranks 32nd nationally in three-point shooting rate (44.7%), so they hoist a ton of shots from outside. That's how they took down Duke, and NC State is susceptible to a hot shooting night with the 218th-ranked three-point shooting defense (34.2%).
Blake Hinson is one of the best players in the country, averaging over 18 points per game while shooting 42% from beyond the arc. If the Wolfpack are going to win, they'll need to slow him down. DJ Horne is the key for NC State, having scored 50 combined points in his last two games to lead the Wolfpack to victory.
Both teams protect the ball well, but Pittsburgh has a massive rebounding advantage, ranking in top 20 nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (75.7%) while NC State is outside of the top 175 in both offensive and defensive rebounding.
Even if the Panthers struggle from outside, they'll generate enough extra opportunities on the glass to make up the difference. They've covered the spread in four of their last five, winning outright with each cover. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack are just 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight, and I fear they don't have the bodies inside to pick up a commanding win here.
This should be an excellent game, but I'm taking the points with Pittsburgh and think Hinson is in for a big night.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.