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Thursday College Basketball Betting Previews: Virginia Tech-Ball State, Oregon-Iowa

Nov 15, 2018 6:00 AM EST

We’re more than a week into the college basketball season, and November continues to deliver enticing non-conference tournament matchups.

The Charleston Classic and the 2K Classic take center stage today, and there are two matchups — Virginia Tech-Ball State (11:30 a.m. ET) and Oregon-Iowa (9 p.m. ET) — presenting value.

Betting Odds: Virginia Tech vs. Ball State

  • Spread: Virginia Tech -7.5
  • Over/Under: 153
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Channel: ESPN 2

The Hokies (1-0 against the spread) are sizable favorites against a Ball State team that kept things close against Purdue in the first half. The Cardinals unraveled in the final 20 minutes, amounting 18 total turnovers, a credit to Purdue’s ball pressure.

Virginia Tech should present similar issues with three ball-hawks in its starting five — Justin Robinson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Ahmed Hill. Hokies coach Buzz Williams noted he saw his defense take a major step last season after shifting their attention to swarming the perimeter, which is Ball State’s strength. Cardinals’ point guard Taylor Persons shouldn’t blow by the opposition very often.

The trio also played a major role for a group which owned the sixth-highest Effective Field Goal Percentage last season. While the Hokies lost some key pieces offensively, including guard Justin Bibbs, the Cardinals’ below-average defense isn’t about to slow down their high-tempo attack.