Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh - 1/6/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Pittsburgh Panthers (8-7) at Virginia Tech Hokies (11-4)
College Basketball: Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm (Cassell Coliseum)
The Line: Virginia Tech Hokies -17 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ACC Network; ESPN College Extra
The Pittsburgh Panthers will travel to Cassell Coliseum to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Pittsburgh Panthers lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 8-7 (0-2 ACC) on the season after being defeated by the Louisville Cardinals, 77-51, this past Tuesday. Pittsburgh had no answers on the offensive end against the tough Louisville defense and couldn’t fight back after trailing by a 41-23 margin at halftime. Pittsburgh shot just 34.7% from the field and 24.0% (6-25) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Panthers was Shamiel Stevenson who had 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 steals. On the season, Pittsburgh is averaging 67.5 ppg on 43.8% shooting from the field. The Panthers are averaging 7.9 three-pointers per game on 33.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Pittsburgh has been led by Ryan Luther (12.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.6 spg), Jared Wilson-Frame (12.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 apg), Marcus Carr (10.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.0 apg), and Shamiel Stevenson (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 apg). Defensively, Pittsburgh is allowing their opponents to average 69.2 ppg on 41.6% shooting from the field. The Panthers have a rebound margin of -2.1 and a turnover margin of -3.1. Ryan Luther will miss this game as he is out until mid-January with a foot injury.
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The Virginia Tech Hokies lost their 2nd consecutive game and dropped to 11-4 (0-2) on the season after being defeated by the 8th ranked Virginia Cavaliers, 78-52, this past Wednesday. Virginia Tech struggled offensively against the Cavaliers outstanding defense and couldn’t fight back after a 15-0 Cavaliers run gave Virginia a 63-35 lead with 6:53 left in regulation. Virginia Tech shot 36.2% from the field and 16.7% (2-12) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Hokies was Kerry Blackshear Jr. who had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. On the season, Virginia Tech is averaging 86.3 ppg on 52.2% shooting from the field. The Hokies are averaging 8.9 three-pointers per game on 41.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Virginia Tech has been led by Ahmed Hill (14.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.0 apg), Justin Bibbs (13.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 apg), Kerry Blackshear Jr. (12.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 bpg), and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (12.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.9 apg). Defensively, Virginia Tech is allowing their opponents to average 70.7 ppg on 41.3% shooting from the field. The Hokies have a rebound margin of 4.0 and a turnover margin of -0.5.
The Panthers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up loss and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Hokies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a double-digit loss at home and 24-8-1 ATS in their last 33 home games.
Pittsburgh is in a rebuilding year and without leading scorer, Ryan Luther, the Panthers have really struggled on the offensive end this season as Pittsburgh ranks 312th in scoring offense, 225th in FG%, and 259th in 3P-FG%. Virginia Tech struggled against one of the best defenses in the country in the Virginia Cavaliers, however, the Hokies are still a solid offensive team that ranks 19th in scoring offense and 2nd in FG%. Virginia Tech generally plays well at home and as Pittsburgh is just 1-4 away from home this season, I think the Hokies bounce back in a big way and cover this large spread.