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No. 18 NC State eyes Seventh Win in a Row as it Visits Miami

NC State vs Miami Betting Odds

The No. 18 NC State Wolfpack look to extend their six-game winning streak as they visit the Watsco Center to tip off against the Miami Hurricanes to open ACC play. Miami has won each of the last three games in this matchup and is also riding a three-game winning streak on the season. However, it is NC State that is a 3-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 157 points.

Shark Bites
  • NC State is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in its last six games (avg. winning margin: 21.0).
  • NC State averages the fourth-most points per game in the nation this season (89.4).
  • Miami is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games at home vs teams with winning records.

NC State vs Miami Game Center

Wolfpack are off to a tremendous start

NC State enters conference play with a 12-1 record and with a win tonight it can match its best start since the 1973-74 season when it won the national championship. The Wolfpack’s lone loss came at the Kohl Center vs then-No. 22 Wisconsin when they fell 79-75 and the Badgers shot 52.4 percent from beyond the arc in that game. They rebounded from that defeat to go on a six-game winning streak with an average winning margin of 21, including a 78-71 triumph over then-No. 7 Auburn in mid-December. The Wolfpack have a well-balanced, deep attack. They have 10 players averaging double-digit minutes per game, with nine of those players averaging five or more points per game.

NC State averages 89.4 ppg to rank fourth in the nation and the majority of its scoring comes from inside the arc as 55.1 percent of its points are two-pointers, the 43rd-highest rate in the NCAA. The team shoots 41.4 percent from long range, the No. 7 mark in the nation, but only takes 21 three-point attempts per game, which is the 129th-fewest. On the defensive side of the ball, the Wolfpack rank in a tie for 39th in college basketball by surrendering just 64.8 ppg, and they create the third-most turnovers per game at 19.2. Lastly, they limit their opponents to a 27.2 shooting percentage from long distance, which is the ninth-lowest in the nation – not good for Miami, which averages 8.8 triples per game, the 75th-most in the league.

Hurricanes surviving without leading scorer

It has been a season of streaks for Miami through its non-conference schedule, storming out of the gate to a 5-0 start, then promptly going on a four-game slide and now entering this game on a three-game winning streak. The Hurricanes were hit with some bad news just ahead of the season that junior forward Dewan Hernandez would be suspended indefinitely as he is being investigated for accepting money. He was second on the team in scoring last season with 11.4 ppg.

Overall, they score 77.6 points per game to rank 69th while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from three-point range. The long-distance shooting is something Miami does frequently as it attempts 24.7 three-pointers per game, which is the 89th-most in the nation, and it hits 8.8 of those attempts. Defensively, the Hurricanes are holding their foes to 67.6 ppg and a shooting percentage of just 30.9 beyond the arc, which is the 65th-lowest in college basketball. Additionally, they average 4.7 blocks per game to rank 43rd in the NCAA.

Is the UNDER the bet to make?

Miami and NC State rank in the top 70 in scoring this season and Bovada has the total opening at 157 points. The total has gone OVER in five of the Wolfpack’s last eight games, with four of those games going OVER 157 points. However, the Hurricanes have gone OVER 157 points in just one game this season. In addition to both schools having strong offenses, they also have good defenses, with NC State surrendering 64.8 ppg and Miami not far behind at 67.6 ppg. I’m not really keen either way for the total but if I were forced to make a bet, I would be on the UNDER.

My take on NC State vs Miami

I like NC State to cover the 3-point spread. The Wolfpack have a better offense and defense than the Hurricanes and Miami elects to pull up from three-point range frequently, but NC State limits its opponents to the ninth-lowest shooting percentage from long distance. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack are 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in their last six games with an average winning margin of 21, including a seven-point win over then-No. 7 Auburn in mid-December. I think NC State’s offense will be just too much for Miami and look for the Wolfpack to create turnovers to get more looks at the rim and cover the 3 points.