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Virginia vs. Virginia Tech - 1/15/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Virginia Tech at Virginia
Date & Time Tuesday January 15, 2019, 8:00 PM (EST)
Location
John Paul Jones Arena
Charlottesville, VA
The Line
Virginia Cavaliers -9.5 -- Over/Under: 122.5
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NCAA BB | Virginia Tech at Virginia
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies and the Virginia Cavaliers meet in college basketball ACC-tion from the John Paul Jones Arena on Tuesday night.

The Virginia Tech Hokies will look to build on their current 9-game winning streak after a 52-49 win over Georgia Tech in their last outing. Ahmed Hill led the Hokies with 15 points on 6 of 14 shooting with a pair of threes while Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for the double-double. Justin Robinson chipped in 10 points to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for the Hokies in the win, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored just 4 points on 1 of 13 shooting from the floor, but did dish out a team-high 6 assists in the winning effort. Despite the off shooting night, Alexander-Walker still leads Virginia Tech in scoring with 17.8 points per game while Blackshear Jr. leads Virginia Tech in rebounding with 6.2 boards per game and Robinson leads the Hokies in assists with 5.8 assists per game this season. As a team, Virginia Tech is averaging 79.2 points per game on 50.1% shooting from the field, 42.3% from 3-point range which is the 3rd-best 3-point percentage in the country and 73.6% from the foul line this season. The Hokies are also rock solid on defense, giving up just 57.3 points per game, the 4th-fewest in the country this season.

The Virginia Cavaliers will look to remain undefeated after improving to 15-0 with a 63-43 win over Clemson last time out. Kyle Guy led the Cavaliers with 13 points including 3 triples while De’Andre Hunter added 12 points with 7 rebounds and Jay Huff added 11 points and 7 rebounds in just 10 minutes on the floor to finish off the trio of double-digit scorers for Virginia in the win. Jack Salt and Braxton Key each had 7 points and a team-high 8 rebounds while Ty Jerome added 8 points and a team-high 5 assists as well in the winning effort. Guy leads Virginia in scoring with 15.3 points per game while Key leads the Cavaliers in rebounding with 5.9 rebounds per game and Jerome leads the Cavaliers in assists with 4.4 helpers per game this season. As a team, Virginia is averaging 73.8 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field, 39.9% from behind the 3-point line which is 10th-best in D-I and the 8th-best free throw percentage in the country, shooting 77.2% from the charity stripe this season. Virginia is once again one of the elite defensive units in the country, giving up just 51.2 points per game, the fewest in D-I, along with allowing opponents to shoot just 36.6% from the field, 3rd-lowest in the country and 24.5% from 3-point land, the lowest 3-point percentage against in the nation this season.

Virginia Tech is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 while the under is 10-2 in their last 12 conference games. Virginia is 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 conference games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games overall. The home team is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings between these two teams and 5-11 ATS in the last 16 meetings between these two teams at Virginia.

The prospect of laying double-digits against a top-10 ranked team like Virginia Tech seems kind of insane to me, as I don’t think the Hokies get nearly enough credit for how well they play defensively. However, the Hokies were just held to 52 points by an average at best Georgia Tech squad, and numbers like that won’t fly against the Cavaliers, who are arguably the best defensive team in the country once again. Virginia has demolished each of their 3 conference opponents this year, holding each to less than 56 points with an average margin of victory of 20 points per game. It’s a thick line, but given how well Virginia has played, they deserve the nod to lay the points here.

Pick:
Virginia -9.5

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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