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North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech - 1/21/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Virginia Tech at North Carolina
Date & Time Monday January 21, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)
Location
Dean E. Smith Center
Chapel Hill, NC
The Line
North Carolina Tar Heels -5 -- Over/Under: 154.5
TV Channel
ESPN
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Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies and the North Carolina Tar Heels meet in ACC college basketball action from the Dean E. Smith Center on Monday night.

The Virginia Tech Hokies will look to build some steam after picking up an 87-71 win over Wake Forest in their last outing. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the Hokies with 24 points on 7 of 12 shooting with 3 threes along with a team-high 7 rebounds and 4 assists while Ty Outlaw added 4 threes as part of his 14-point night and Justin Robinson added 13 points with a pair of steals. Ahmed Hill added 12 points and Kerry Blackshear Jr. chipped in 11 points with 3 blocks to round out the group of double-digit scorers for Virginia Tech in the win. Wabissa Bede added a team-high 5 assists as well in the win. Alexander-Walker leads Virginia Tech in scoring with 18.2 points per game while Blackshear Jr. leads the Hokies on the glass with 5.8 rebounds per game and Robinson leads the Hokies in assists with 5.4 assists per game this season. As a team, Virginia Tech is averaging 78.5 points per game on 50.1% shooting from the field, along with the 3rd-best 3-point percentage in the nation, shooting 41.8% from downtown, in addition to a 74.8% mark from the foul line this season. The Hokies are also extremely tough on defense, giving up the 5th-fewest points per game in the country, allowing just 59.5 points per game this season.

The North Carolina Tar Heels will look to build on an 85-76 win over Miami-Florida in their last outing. Cameron Johnson led the Tar Heels with 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting with 5 threes along with 7 rebounds while Kenny Williams added 16 points with 3 threes and 7 assists while Coby White had 15 points along with a team-high 8 assists and 3 steals. Luke Maye contributed 14 points with a team-high 9 rebounds while Nassir Little added 12 points in 13 minutes on the floor to finish off the group of double-digit scorers for UNC in the victory. Johnson leads the Tar Heels in scoring with 15.9 points per game this season while Maye leads UNC on the glass with 9.9 rebounds per game and Williams is North Carolina’s leading assist man with 4 assists per game this season. As a team, North Carolina is averaging the 5th-most points per game in the country, putting up 87.3 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field, 36.5% from behind the 3-point line and 74% from the foul line this season.

Virginia Tech is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall while the under is 7-3 in their last 10 road games. North Carolina is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a win while the under is 8-2 in their last 10 conference games. Virginia Tech is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these two teams and 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two teams at North Carolina.

Laying the points with North Carolina is tempting considering it’s a low line with the Tar Heels at home, and the Hokies have struggled to cover in any of their 3 lined road games this season. However, I’ve said before that I simply don’t have any more faith or patience with the Tar Heels and the word overrated is starting to creep into my vocabulary when it comes to talking about UNC. Virginia Tech has been solid defensively and has the offensive capabilities to keep this one close. The Hokies also have a history of keeping things close against the Tar Heels so I’ll side with Virginia Tech and the points in this one.

Pick:
Virginia Tech +5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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