Virginia vs Michigan Odds, Picks: How to Bet This Marquee Matchup
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Armaan Franklin (Virginia)
- Red-hot Virginia squares off vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
- The Wolverines rely heavily on Jett Howard and Hunter Dickinson, but will they be able to solve Virginia's elite defense?
- D.J. James breaks it all down.
Virginia vs. Michigan Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Michigan Wolverines have had a couple of close calls as of late — going to overtime with Ohio and only beating Jackson State by 10 points. Right before those two games, Arizona State crushed them by 25.
UVA is historically a slow-paced team under Tony Bennett. On the season, the Cavs rank 362nd in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom, with a top-15 Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
Meanwhile, Michigan is back where it’s used to, ranking around 205th in Adjusted Tempo. This makes sense, as the majority of the offense is played through Hunter Dickinson in the post.
Michigan does not particularly fare well on the defensive end of the court, but it does slow opponents down to 17.6 seconds per possession and it hardly fouls.
With UVA likely controlling the pace of play — as usual — the under is in play.
The Cavaliers distribute the ball better than most teams in college basketball. Four players are averaging double digits in scoring and two others are averaging above eight.
The Cavs have an efficient offensive attack. According to KenPom, they rank first in attempts-field goals made. They become efficient by looking for the perfect shot, and that does take some time.
On average, the Cavs are utilizing 19.1 seconds per possession on offense. It helps that Virginia is shooting 44.1% from 3-point range, but again, it will take its time.
Photo by CBB Analytics
The Cavs also have a top-15 defense for a reason. They’re holding opponents to 18.7 seconds per possession, ranking 337th in pace on the defensive end. They turn the opposition over pretty often, as well, at 22.1%.
That said, this is not one of the Wolverines’ weaknesses. Michigan ranks fifth in offensive turnover rate at 12.8%, so expect the Cavs to crack down on shot selection, instead.
Now, UVA has one main weak spot defensively: defending the 3-point arc. Opponents are shooting 34% on it from downtown this season.
The only problem for Michigan is that it’s only shooting a collective 31.8% from outside. The Wolverines do shoot plenty of 3s, so in order to exploit one of Virginia’s weaknesses, they need to get out in transition and dish it to Jett Howard, who is 18-of-41 from 3-point range on the season.
Even still, it will not be too hard to zero in on one of the better shooters for Michigan, especially if UVA does not have to cover anyone else outside as closely.
On defense, an opponent needs to guard Dickinson if they want to beat Michigan. He’s capable of scoring from anywhere on the court. Even though he has only shot six 3s this season, he has the range.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 21, 2022
UVA has the perfect antidote to Dickinson in Kadin Shedrick. He ranks 55th in block percentage on the year and averages 1.6 per game. Dickinson has two inches on the UVA big man, but Shedrick can make it up with speed.
Here’s an example of how quickly he can pick up a driver on a switch:
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) February 15, 2022
Virginia vs. Michigan Betting Pick
It’s nearly impossible to see where Michigan will manufacture points. Yes, it will likely hit some outside shots to cut into UVA’s most noticeable weakness, but the Cavaliers will show off their staunch defense all night.
Michigan will be forced to play at UVA’s pace.
Lastly, neither of these teams foul. Both rank in the top 30 in the least number of free throws per field goal attempt.
Expect a clean game that may only look messy when Michigan is shooting the ball.
The under should hit, so take this from 130.5 (-106), and play it to 128. This number should steadily drop until tip-off.
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