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Hoyas, Heels Tourney Odds

Among the many opening NCAA basketball tournaments to interest the betting public this week is the Charleston Classic, which features No. 20 Georgetown, Wofford, and North Carolina State.

Georgetown, off to a 2-0 start, opens its Charleston Classic against 2-1 Coastal Carolina at 12:00 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Hoyas are 1-1 against the spread this season and 6-2 ATS over their last eight games. They cruised past Tulane 69-53 on Monday, led by Austin Freeman’s 23 points, but they failed to cover the 20.5-point spread at Sports Interaction.

Wofford starts its tourney at 2:30 p.m. ET Thursday against South Carolina Upstate. Wofford is off to an 0-2 start but did manage to cover the 11-point spread at Bovada against Clemson this week, losing by eight points.

At 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, N.C. State hosts East Carolina. Though N.C. State didn’t cover the 19-point spread at Bovada, it beat Tennessee Tech 82-69 in its season opener. C.J. Leslie was the big story, dropping 21 points on 7 of 10 shooting.

Plenty of bettors will keep a close eye on the Puerto Rico Tip-Off as well. That tourney features No. 8 North Carolina and 2010 Final Four qualifier West Virginia.

The Mountaineers kick off the action at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday against Davidson. They started their 2010-11 season 1-0 after pummelling Oakland 95-71 and easily covering the spread, which was 15 points at Bovada.

The Mountaineers relied on a balanced attack in that victory, as no one scored more than 16 points but six different players had at least 10 points. That type of team effort is just what West Virginia will need all season after three of its five key starters – Da’Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks, and Wellington Smith – said goodbye in the offseason.

The five-time national champion North Carolina Tar Heels get their Puerto Rico Classic started Thursday against Hofstra at 5:00 p.m. ET. Both UNC and Hofstra are off to 1-0 starts. North Carolina beat Lipscomb 80-66 in its opener; few books had a line up for that game. Five players scored in double figures for the Tar Heels that night. Most noticeable was John Henson; he was an absolute monster, scoring 10 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and blocking an amazing seven shots.

Hofstra rolled over Farmingdale State it is opener 102-62. Charles Jenkins lead the way with 26 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and four steals. Still, despite the big win, the Pride should be massive betting underdogs on the road against the perennial powerhouse Tar Heels.