College Basketball Betting Picks: How to Bet Virginia Tech-Dayton, Plus Hokies Futures
Michael Thomas Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Virginia Tech
Eli Hershkovich is an Action Network contributor and produces/hosts the You Better You Bet Podcast on RADIO.COM Sports.
Although both teams are unranked, Virginia Tech and Dayton square off in the Maui Invitational semifinals for an intriguing ACC-Atlantic 10 showdown.
Let’s breakdown the matchup, as well as whether there’s value in betting a Hokies future right now.
Odds as of Tuesday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Virginia Tech vs. Dayton Odds
- Spread: Virginia Tech +2.5
- Over/Under: 133
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
The Hokies and Flyers enter this one coming off outright wins — and covers — against No. 3 Michigan State (-13) and Georgia (+2.5), respectively. But Dayton is a little overvalued after knocking off a Bulldogs’ team that’s yet to find a defensive identity.
Look for the Flyers’ No. 1 Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) to regress against Va. Tech’s surprisingly-effective defense (16th-lowest opponents’ eFG%).
Hokies coach Mike Young has carried over a similar system from his 17 seasons at Wofford, and he’ll throw multiple looks at star forward Obi Toppin with a unit that switches at numerous positions.
Virginia Tech’s interior defense remains underrated, especially in creating havoc around the rim, despite its lack of size. Wings Landers Nolley and PJ Horne should give Dayton issues while it looks to attack the lane — the area where its offense stems from.
Similar to last season, the Hokies’ attack revolves around its perimeter shooting even with a new cast of characters. The Flyers’ biggest liability thus far has been defending around the arc, so look for Va. Tech to expose it if it can control the pace via its below-average Adjusted Tempo (65.7 possessions per 40 minutes; per KenPom).
Grab the Hokies’ side in what should be a tight game.
The Pick: Virginia Tech +2.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
There’s more to Virginia Tech (5-1 against the spread), and it doesn’t revolve around its ensuing matchup. I’ve been looking for a deep long-shot title future recently, and the Hokies (250-1) sparked my interest.
— Eli Hershkovich (@EliHershkovich) February 16, 2018
Coach Young’s prowess for helping develop perimeter shooters was especially on display over the past couple seasons at Wofford. The Terriers finished with a top-10 eFG% in both campaigns, led by guard Fletcher Magee, who captured degenerates’ attention last March regardless of their Round of 32 loss to Kentucky.
His space-and-pace philosophy was comparable to Loyola-Chicago’s system — another mid-major program that advanced to the Final Four two seasons ago — and Young’s scheme has evidently arrived in Blacksburg, Va. The Hokies boast six new pieces from their eight-man rotation a campaign ago under now-Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams.
Guided by 6-foot-7 freshman Landers Nolley, a floor-spacing playmaker who’s an underrated rebounder as well, the Hokies could be the ACC’s sleeper team in a conference filled with contenders (Duke, Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia).
— Tim Donnelly (@DonnellySports) November 26, 2019
They proved it in their win over Michigan State, averaging 1.11 points per possession, and their futures’ price could continue to shorten with a potential date versus Kansas on-deck if they advance past Dayton in the Maui Invitational. They’ll square off against Duke at home on Dec. 6, too, so it’s important to maximize on their value.
Despite an inexperienced roster, including a rotation with four freshmen, junior point guard Wabissa Bede provides a veteran presence from a team that nearly knocked off aforementioned Duke in the Sweet 16 last season. Bede’s notched the 10th-highest assist rate (44.6%) in college basketball while conducting Young’s ball-screen offense.
With a defense that grinds opponents down via blitzing ball screens (17.8-second average possession length), like Williams’ unit did, expect the Hokies to earn a ticket to the Big Dance. You won’t see this type of price tag of them at that point. There’s still books offering better odds, so be sure to shop around.