College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Virginia Tech vs. Maryland: Hokies to Bounce Back Against Terps?
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Keve Aluma
- Virginia Tech is looking to avoid three losses in a row when it takes on Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
- The Terps are coming off a championship game berth at the Baha Mar Bahamas Championship.
- Tanner McGrath has you covered with a preview of this clash and a best bet.
Virginia Tech vs. Maryland Odds
|Virginia Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Virginia Tech meets Maryland in College Park on Wednesday as the Big Ten/ACC Challenge rolls on.
Both the Hokies and Terps are above-average teams in their respective conferences. However, the former has looked more impressive than the latter.
But with Virginia Tech having dropped two straight games, can Maryland take advantage and send the Hokies into an early-season free-fall?
The Hokies have been a rather impressive team so far.
While they couldn’t overcome two top-25 teams in Memphis and Xavier, Tech kept both games very close. Mike Young’s squad has won and covered in every other game.
The Hokies’ offensive and defensive metrics have been elite. They crack the top-50 nationally in both offensive and defensive eFG (54.4%, 41.3%).
The Hokies have shot 40% from deep while their opponents have shot just 22.6%, with the latter ranking third nationally.
But looking at Young and his personnel, I believe this trend is mostly sustainable.
Young is a coach who will try to play 3-and-rim basketball (although the stats don’t quite back that up), and he spent the offseason bolstering his roster with shooters. In Nahiem Alleyne, Hunter Cattoor and Wofford transfer Storm Murphy, Young’s one-through-three can all shoot better than 40% from deep.
Meanwhile, the frontcourt tandem of Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts have combined for more than 21 points and 14 rebounds per game. But the two are also versatile and anchor a defense that’s allowed just .774 points per possession in spot-up situations, which ranks in the 81st percentile nationally.
So while the Hokies are due for a slight bit of shooting regression, Young has built a roster that can play inside-out offensively and aggressive defensively. This is a very talented Hokies team.
Maryland’s roster is loaded with talent. When Mark Turgeon paired Fatts Russell with Eric Ayala in the backcourt and Qudus Wahab with Donta Scott in the frontcourt, I thought this team would catapult up the rankings.
However, the Terps haven’t seemed to mesh yet.
Losses to George Mason and Louisville stand out, but the Terps are also just 2-5 against the spread on the season. The offense isn’t getting it done (224th in eFG%) and the perimeter defense needs work (.946 PPP allowed in spot-up situations, 28th percentile nationally).
But similarly to how Virginia Tech is due for 3-point regression, perhaps the Terps are as well. Maryland is shooting just 28.5% from deep this season after shooting 35.3% a season ago. Although adding Russell and subtracting Aaron Wiggins doesn’t help the cause, that level of shooting deficiency seems unlikely.
But in their loss against Louisville, the Terps shot 29% from deep while allowing 22% from deep on the other end. So I’m partial to believing the issues run deeper than that.
Virginia Tech vs. Maryland Betting Pick
I’m all-in on this Virginia Tech team.
The perimeter defense has me sold. This Maryland team will shoot, specifically with Ayala, Russell and Scott, but I don’t see the Terps having much success against the Hokies’ defense.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is playing very efficiently and cohesively on offense. The team is scoring .958 points per possession in the half-court so far (85th percentile) and eight of the nine rotation guys have an ORtg over 100.
Plus, the Hokies will be hungry and looking for a bounce-back game after losing two straight. Maryland will not be as tough defensively as Memphis or Xavier, and the Hokies will benefit greatly.
Pick: Virginia Tech -1.5
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