Tuesday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Virginia Tech-Virginia, Marquette-Georgetown

Virginia and Virginia Tech have met 147 times amid their in-state rivalry, but they’ve never dueled in a top-10 matchup. That all changes on Tuesday night for one of the best duels on paper this season.

No. 15 Marquette will also travel to unranked Georgetown for a Big East clash.

Which sides have the most value? Let’s breakdown the games.


>> All odds as of Monday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.


Betting Odds: Marquette Golden Eagles at Georgetown Hoyas

  • Spread: Marquette -2.5
  • Over/Under: 156.5
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • TV: FS1

The Golden Eagles (11-6-1 against the spread) have covered in nine of their past 11 games — including three straight against Seton Hall, Creighton and Xavier — while the Hoyas (6-10-1) have covered in only two of their past seven.

Patrick Ewing’s crew has a slight advantage inside, but none bigger than the 6-foot-11 Jessie Govan (20.0 points per game), who has been one of the sport’s most underrated bigs because of Georgetown’s up-and-down season.

With Marquette’s opponents generating the 108th-highest 2-point scoring rate in the country, expect Govan to assert himself early while getting the Golden Eagles’ bigs into foul trouble.

To make matters worse, Marquette’s Ed Morrow (ankle) — one of its top low-post defenders — is listed as questionable.

Both squads will aim to push the pace via their top-100 adjusted tempos, but the Hoyas’ most pressing issue defensively will be slowing down point guard Markus Howard (25.8 points per game).

Markus-Howard
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Markus Howard

Howard is one of the top players in the country since he can create space for himself, yet James Akinjo’s on-ball defense has progressed to the point where he’ll give Howard some issues.

In the Golden Eagles’ first two conference road games, Creighton delivered a gift because the Bluejays forgot how to inbound the ball after they were blitzed on the road at St. John’s on New Year’s.

Look for Georgetown pull out a cover: The Hoyas are 13-9 (59.1%) ATS as underdogs since last season, according to our Bet Labs data.

THE PICK: Georgetown +2.5

Betting Odds: Virginia Tech Hokies at Virginia Cavaliers

  • Spread: Virginia -8.5
  • Over/Under: 122
  • Time: 8 p.m. EST
  • TV: ACC Network/WatchESPN

The Cavaliers (12-3 ATS) have not only covered in eight of their past nine contests, but those wins have also come by an average margin of 24.3 points per game. In their lone slip up over that stretch, Virginia faced VCU and turned it over 12 teams in that non-covering effort.

Buzz Williams’ bunch owns the fourth-highest opponents turnover rate in Division I, led by Nickeil Walker-Alexander’s and Justin Robinson’s ball-hawking prowess. Virginia Tech has also manufactured the fifth-highest 3-point percentage in the nation while many of the Cavaliers’ recent opponents have lacked a sound perimeter attack.

Justin-Robinson-Nickeil-Walker-Alexander
Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (4) and Justin Robinson (5)

Moreover, the Hokies handed their foe its lone conference loss last season, thanks to spreading out the vaunted pack-line defense via its floor-spacing attack. Expecting them to come away with another win in Charlottesville is a daunting task, but a tight game wouldn’t be too unprecedented since they’re returning four of their top five scorers from a season ago.

With the home team aiming to limit the total amount of possessions at an obsessive rate, the Hokies can’t afford many defensive breakdowns. But they’ve totaled the 21st-rated Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (92.9 opponents’ points per 100 possessions) in college basketball, and their ball pressure keeps opponents out of lane.

They’ve been susceptible to perimeter-oriented offenses, though, where Virginia has produced 33.9% of its offense with the 12th-highest 3-point percentage (39.8%) in the country.

Nevertheless, Virginia Tech is 14-6 (70.0%) ATS as a single-digit dog, dating back to the 2016-17 regular season, per Bet Labs. Bet on that trend to continue, as the Cavaliers will undergo a letdown game before their massive contest at Duke.

THE PICK: Hokies +8.5