Tuesday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Boston College Eagles vs. Virginia Cavaliers Betting Preview
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kihei Clark (Virginia)
- Virginia hosts Boston College in what will be a slow-paced ACC duel.
- Tony Bennett's team hasn't played up to expectations this season while Earl Grant has done a decent job in his first year in Chestnut Hill.
- Keg explains why the value lies on the total in this matchup.
Boston College vs. Virginia Odds
|Boston College Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After losing two games in a row, Boston College bounced back at home, beating Pittsburgh, 69-56. The Eagles will now hit the road again, looking to win their second straight game.
It won’t be easy against the Cavaliers, though, who are coming off of a tough loss on the road at Notre Dame.
Against Pittsburgh, Boston College looked maybe the best it has all season. Brothers Makai Ashton-Langford and DeMarr Langford Jr. led the charge on offense, combining for 36 points.
On defense, the Eagles were able to limit John Hugley, who went off for 32 points in the teams’ first meeting this season. Hugley was held to just nine points this time around.
The perimeter defense was also crucial for the Eagles, as they held the Panthers to just 5-of-18 from 3.
Coach Earl Grant has had an impressive first year for the Eagles, especially when you factor in that he had just one returning player from last year’s squad. The Eagles are currently 9-11 on the season and 4-6 in the conference.
Tony Bennett’s squad isn’t having the success of year’s past, but don’t let Virginia’s record fool you. This is still an excellent team.
Will the Cavs be able to hold off the Eagles at home, though?
The Boston College offense has been less than impressive throughout the season, averaging just 65.7 points per game. And while the Eagles play at a slow pace — like Virginia — it’s a very different story for both teams when you look at the shooting.
Boston College ranks 315th in the nation in effective field goal percentage while also being outside the top 200 in 3 and 2-point shooting. The Eagles are even struggling at the line, hitting just 69.5% from the charity stripe.
They have, however, been a solid rebounding team, ranking 104th nationally with 36.1 boards per game.
On defense, the Eagles are allowing opposing teams to average 65.9 points per game, which ranks 78th in the country. However, you have to factor in their pace of play.
Boston College ranks 307th in perimeter defense, allowing teams to shoot 36.3%. The good news for the Eagles is that Virginia is one of the country’s lowest volume 3-point shooting teams, pulling up from 3 just 16.9 times per contest (333rd).
BC has been much more effective around the basket, limiting teams to just 48.6% on 2-point shooting. Good news: that’s where Virginia takes most of its shots.
The Cavaliers have long been known as a team that plays a slow game and grinds out wins on the defensive end. And while they haven’t been quite as successful this year, the blueprint remains the same for Bennett & Co.
Virginia may not defend at the same level as it has in the past, but it’s once again the slowest-paced team in the country.
The Cavaliers rank 358th in adjusted tempo and average just 62.7 points per game. That latter stat ranks 326th in Division I, but when you allow just 59.8 points to opponents (10th), scoring doesn’t have to be in the 80s.
Just two Cavaliers average in double digits in scoring: Jayden Gardner (14.3 PPG) and Armaan Franklin (11.8 PPG).
If you play at a slow pace and don’t score a lot, there’s one thing you can’t do: turn the ball over. And while Virginia isn’t the worst, it’s far from it’s regular self.
The Cavs rank 58th in turnover percentage, giving up the ball on 16.7% of possessions.
They are 14th in turnovers per game (10 per contest), but their most significant advantage will be that Boston College rarely looks to force them. The Eagles force 12.1 turnovers per game and rank 241st in opponent turnovers.
Boston College is not a good shooting team, and while Virginia hasn’t been great at defending, it won’t need to do much to slow down this Eagles offense.
Boston College produces 55% of its points from 2-point shots, where it hits just 45.5%.
The Cavs rank 54th in the nation, limiting opposing teams to just 46.3% inside the arc. They are also top-25 in opponent attempts and made field goals.
Boston College vs. Virginia Betting Pick
119.5 is a low total, but it’s a number these teams have failed to reach in 13 combined games this season. They are two of the 75 slowest-paced teams in all college basketball, and Boston College is one of the worst shooting teams.
Along with that, the Eagles are even worse on the road, averaging just 59.8 points per contest. Virginia, meanwhile, has been even better at defending at home, holding opponents to just 57 points per contest.
It’s a low total, but not low enough. This game will move at the pace of maple syrup in a deep freeze. And even if the teams do get to the line a lot, neither of them is particularly good at hitting free throws.
Take the under at anything better than 116.5.