Seldom does an 11 seed receive so much betting attention when playing a No. 2 seed, but that’s the situation in the Midwest Region semifinal Friday.
NC State is an underdog of 8.5 points against the second-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, but more than two-thirds of the wagering action is on the Wolf Pack.
"A couple of things are going here, but the main thing is public doubt around Kansas as a credible contender," said Mark Presley of OddsShark.com. "The other main consideration is NC State’s recent run of excellent play."
Indeed, NC State has been superb in an underdog role, going 8-2 ATS past 10 games as dog. Clearly they enjoy the role and clearly the public has not been giving them enough credit.
And overall, they have been turning serious profits for backers lately with a 7-0-1 ATS run in their past 8 games overall.
So after taking out the No. 3 seed in Georgetown, NC State trains its sights on the No. 2 seed.
Predicted score: 82-75 Kansas
ATS Pick: NC State +8.5
How They Match Up:
The game also pits Kansas's No. 39-ranked offense, averaging 74.4 PPG, against a Wolfpack defense that ranks No. 199 at 67.8 PPG. The Jayhawks field goal percentage has averaged 48% so far, more than the Wolfpack marksmen have achieved on the year, 46.3% per game.
Defensively, North Carolina State features the nation's No. 65-rated defense on the road, allowing 64.9 points per game. Kansas, meanwhile, comes in at No. 42 nationally in scoring at home.
North Carolina State was a 66-63 winner in their most recent outing against Georgetown. They covered the 4-point spread as underdogs. The Wolfpack got 14 points from Scott Wood as North Carolina State ran past Georgetown 66-63 on Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
Last time out for Kansas, they were a 63-60 winner as they battled Purdue. They failed to cover in the match as an 8-point favorite. The Jayhawks grabbed a 63-60 win over the Boilermakers on Sunday, behind an 18 -point effort from Elijah Johnson at CenturyLink Center.