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Virginia vs. Marshall - 12/31/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Marshall Thundering Herd (7-5) at Virginia Cavaliers (11-0)
Date & Time Monday December 31, 2018, 1:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Virginia Cavaliers -20 -- Over/Under: 138
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Marshall Thundering Herd and the Virginia Cavaliers meet in college basketball action from the John Paul Jones Arena on Monday afternoon.

The Marshall Thundering Herd will look to rebound after a 92-68 loss to Texas A&M in their last outing. Rondale Watson led the Herd with 19 points on 6 of 14 shooting with a pair of threes and a 5 of 7 mark from the foul line with 6 rebounds while C.J. Burks came right behind with 18 points on 6 of 14 shooting with 3 triples as the only other Marshall player to score in double figures in the losing effort. Jannson Williams added 5 points with team-highs of 8 rebounds and 5 blocks as well in the loss. Jon Elmore put up just 6 points and a team-high 4 assists but still leads the Herd with an average of 19.4 points and 5 assists per game while Williams leads Marshall in rebounding with 5 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Marshall is averaging 82 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the field, 34.5% from behind the arc and 66.1% from the foul line this season.

The Virginia Cavaliers will look to remain unbeaten after improving to 11-0 with a 72-40 rout of William & Mary in their last outing. De’Andre Hunter led the Cavs with 18 points on 4 of 8 shooting with a 9 of 10 mark from the foul line while Kyle Guy added 16 points on 5 of 8 shooting with a pair of threes and 7 rebounds as the only other Virginia player to score in double figures in the loss. Ty Jerome added 8 points with team-highs of 10 rebounds and 4 assists with a pair of steals as well in the victory. Hunter leads Virginia in scoring with 14.8 points per game while Jerome leads the Cavaliers in assists with 4.3 helpers per game and Braxton Key leads Virginia on the glass with 5.2 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Virginia is averaging 72.4 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field, 38.6% from behind the arc and 77.2% from the foul line this season. The Cavaliers are also one of the tightest defensive units in the country, allowing the fewest points per game in the nation, allowing just 50.3 points per game with the lowest 3-point shooting percentage against, giving up just 24.4% from behind the 3-point line this season.

Marshall is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 non-conference games. Virginia is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games following a win.

This is a lot of points to lay against a Marshall team averaging north of 80 points per game. However, Marshall’s pair of games against Power-5 opponents this season against Texas A&M and Maryland both came on the road, and both ended up in losses of at least 24 points. Neither Texas A&M nor Maryland have the type of defensive pressure that Virginia possesses, and while the Aggies and Terrapins may be better offensively, the fact is that the Cavaliers have shut down their opponents, allowing more than 60 points just once this season, and that game came against Maryland, a game that Virginia still won. I’ll lay the points with Virginia as I see the Cavaliers suffocating another opponent here.

Pick:
Virginia -20

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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