Virginia vs Boston College Odds, Predictions: Saturday NCAAB Preview

Virginia vs Boston College Odds, Predictions: Saturday NCAAB Preview article feature image
Credit:

Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kihei Clark of the Virginia Cavaliers.

Virginia vs Boston College Odds

Saturday, Jan. 28
Noon ET
ACC Network
Virginia Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-14.5
-104
122.5
-114 / -108
-1600
Boston College Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
+14.5
-118
122.5
-114 / -108
+860
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Virginia is quietly doing its thing once again in the ACC. At 7-2 in conference play, the Hoos are looking to capture their sixth regular season title in the past 10 seasons.

Meanwhile, Boston College has successfully separated itself from the dregs of the league, sweeping Notre Dame and taking care of Louisville by double digits on Wednesday.

A clear divide still exists between the UVA tier and BC tier in the ACC, and thus we see a hefty line on Saturday. Historically, though, these teams have gone back and forth from an ATS perspective.

UVA beat BC by 12 in the pair’s sole meeting last year, covering the spread. Over the past 10 matchups, Virginia is 9-1 straight up and holds a 6-4 record against the number.

At home, though, UVA is a perfect 5-0, both straight up and against the spread.

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Boston College Eagles

The Eagles have been feisty lately, which in part can be attributed to the return of 7-foot center Quinten Post, who missed the team’s first 13 games of the season.

Since Post’s return, BC is 5-4 against the spread and have covered three straight. In ACC play overall, the Eagles sit an impressive 7-3 against the number with a +2.7 cover margin.

Post gives BC a legit, well, post presence. And while it’s extremely difficult to score inside against UVA’s pack-line defense, Post will at least serve as gravity to open up shooters and be a factor on the glass when shots go up.

The big man can also pull his defender away from the hoop. Possessing excellent touch from deep, Post is a scorching 44.4% from 3 this season, meaning BC can go five-out at times and put UVA’s shell defense to the test.

In addition to Post, BC’s guards — Makai Ashton-Langford and Jaeden Zackery — have done a great job this season at penetrating and getting to the rim.

Per KenPom+, BC ranks inside the top 50 in “short 2” attempt rate and generally cleans up its misses in that area.

Getting to the rim will be challenging against Virginia. Per Hoop-Math, UVA ranks 30th in field goal attempt rate allowed at the rim and 46th in field goal percentage allowed at the rim.

6-foot-11 center Kadin Shedrick has been a tenacious rim protector all season, and his freshman backup — Ryan Dunn — has been a tremendous shot swatter and defensive rebounder in his own right.

It’s nearly impossible to hang with UVA if your only avenue to points is through the paint, which is a major issue for BC. Despite their ability to go five-out, the Eagles attempt the lowest rate of 3s in the ACC and rank 13th in 3P% — only NC State and Georgia Tech have shot worse in league play.

Not only will UVA force BC to flex its style, it will force BC to do what it simply isn’t good at.


Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia’s defense gets a lot of attention, but it’s the offense that has been the better end of the floor this season.

The Hoos play mistake-free basketball on this end behind their two sure-handed ball handlers Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman.

Only seven teams nationally have turned the ball over at a lower rate than UVA this season, and just two boast a higher assist rate.

BC’s defense has been poor in ACC play and has allowed a league high 40% 3-point percentage. Virginia can shoot the cover off the ball and has four players converting over 39% of their 3-point attempts this season.

As soon as BC overplays the 3, UVA will be able to slice and dice it with cuts. Within Tony Bennett’s mover-blocker offense, experienced players can read and react to what undisciplined defenses give them and find open shots off screens, back-cuts and rolls.

The matchup sets up well for UVA on both ends. The Hoos should be able to score efficiently and stop BC from scoring on the other end.

But, as is always the case with Virginia, the question will be if the Hoos have enough possessions to cover such a lofty spread.

No team in the ACC plays at a slower tempo offensively than UVA, and the Hoos haven’t had a single game this season play over 70 possessions. Only four in fact have gone over 65.

While BC likes to take advantage of transition opportunities, head coach Earl Grant is no dummy. He likely knows his best chance at beating Virginia is to minimize possession count and increase the variance.

Virginia beat Georgia Tech by 18 earlier this season. In 10 other games against power-conference competition, the Hoos have won by double digits only once — a 10-point victory over Virginia Tech.

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Virginia vs Boston College Pick

Before officially recommending a play, it’s worth noting the totals trends we’ve seen from each team recently.

Boston College is 11-3 to the over in its last 14 games. Virginia is 5-2 to the over in its last seven.

While those are juicy trends, the matchup just doesn’t play well to an over bet. Last season’s contest is our best proxy for how this game will play out (Grant’s only game against Virginia), and that outing played to 59 possessions and had a measly 122 points.

Though UVA has not been able to blow competent teams out this season, there’s no denying the fact BC’s style should struggle mightily to put points on the board.

This feels like a vintage “crockpot” game for UVA, where it slowly simmers its opponents in a pot for 40 minutes and exits the arena with a 20-point victory.

Look for UVA to control the game and slowly extend its lead, ultimately covering the spread.

Pick: Virginia -16.5

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