Miami vs. Virginia Odds, Picks & Predictions: ACC Basketball Betting Preview for Saturday, Feb. 5
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Wong.
- The Virginia Cavaliers (13-9) host the upstart Miami Hurricanes (16-6) in ACC conference play on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
- The Cavs opened as 3-point favorites, which has been bet up to Virginia -4 leading up to tipoff. The over/under opened at 129 but has been bet down substantially to 126.5.
- Below, check out our full college basketball betting preview for Miami (FL) vs. Virginia with updated odds, picks and predictions for Saturday's ACC game.
Miami vs. Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After falling short at home to the Fighting Irish, Miami will hit the road and look to get back on track against the Cavaliers. Miami has cooled off since its nine-game December win streak that carried over into January, but make no mistake, this is one of the best teams in the ACC.
However, the Hurricanes have lost their last four matchups against Virginia, and in Charlottesville the Canes are just 4-8. Does the Miami offense have enough firepower to get past this Cavalier defense?
Virginia is still trying to break this awful pattern of lose one, win one, lose one that it’s been stuck in for the last nine games. But I think it either ends here or its next game, as it will play two of the top three teams in the ACC in Miami and then Duke in back-to-back contests.
The Cavaliers haven’t been as good as in years past, but the blueprint remains the same. They can beat anyone in this conference any day of the week if the defense is performing to its full potential.
Will Tony Bennet and his team be at their best against one of the strongest teams in the ACC?
Miami has been a dominant squad on the road this season. Currently 5-1 away from home, the Hurricanes are one of just 16 NCAA teams to post five or more true road wins without multiple road losses. The Hurricanes have also shined against conference foes as a whole, sitting 8-3 in league play and third in the ACC. Miami might have lost its last game, but it was huge to see players come off the bench and make an impact.
Against Notre Dame, Isaiah Wong led the Canes with 18 points, but Anthony Walker and Charlie Moore were huge off the bench contributing 12 points each. The Duo shot 43.3% from the field, and Moore led the team in assists while Walker was first on the team in rebounds.
Offensively, Miami is the 52nd-best scoring team in the nation, racking up 75.3 points per game, but it is just fifth in the ACC. Its biggest advantage against the Cavaliers will be outside the arc, where Miami is making 36.2% of threes.
Virginia meanwhile is 263rd on defense 3P%, allowing team to hit 35.2%. The Canes will likely struggle around the basket, as Virginia limits teams to just 54.6% on close twos, while also ranking eighth per Kenpom in block percentage. But if Miami is cashing in from three-point range, there’s little Virginia can do to stop it.
Miami’s offense scores a lot, but its defense is giving up nearly just as much. The Hurricanes are posting an average scoring margin of just +4, while allowing opposing teams to rack up 71.3 points per game, the fourth-worst scoring defense in the ACC.
However, two factors can greatly increase the Hurricanes’ defensive efforts against Virginia: turnovers and pace. Miami leads the ACC with a turnover margin of 4.14, and in total it has recorded 300 on the year while giving up just 209.
Only three times this season has Miami turned the ball over more than its opponent. Virginia being the slowest team in the country only helps Miami as long as the Hurricanes offense can remain efficient. The less shots the Cavaliers take, the less Miami has to defend.
Virginia will return home, and few teams in the country look forward to that as much as the Cavaliers. Virginia is 213-50, including 8-4 this season at home since they opened John Paul Jones Arena 16 season ago. The cavaliers also have the best record at home in ACC league play, having gone 76-11 in the past 10 seasons.
Sure the Cavaliers aren’t as good as they were just a few years ago when they won it all — currently 13-9 on the season and fifth in the ACC with a 7-5 conference record — but this Virginia team still has some of the best players in not only the ACC but the country.
Jayden Gardner leads Virginia with 14.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He is also eighth in field goal percentage, 11th in free throw percentage and 15th in rebounding in the conference. Kihei Clark is another Cavalier who posts some of the best numbers in the conference, as he ranks fifth in both assist and minutes while being ninth in turnover margin.
On offense Virginia is scoring just 62.9 points per game, which again is a result of its pace. But the Cavaliers have been able to avoid foul trouble and turnovers with ease, posting just 13.9 fouls and 9.5 turnover per game. Both stats are inside the top 20 in college basketball.
The Virginia defense has and will continue to be its bread and butter. Allowing teams to score just 59.6 points per game, the Cavs defense is eighth in the nation. One of the biggest reasons why their defense has been so successful is Reece Beekman, who ranks first in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio at 3.7. He also leads the conference in steals and assist while being third in minutes.
Miami vs. Virginia Betting Pick
Miami hasn’t been playing its best ever since that wild streak earlier this year ended. And I don’t expect them to have an amazing performance on offense against one of the best defenses in the ACC.
However, Miami is a team that refuses to give up (if you didn’t see its second game against FSU this year, I am begging you to go watch it). Three of the Hurricanes’ last four games and six of their last eight have been decided by five points or fewer. I expect another hard-fought battle from the U, and that’s why I’m taking them here at +3.5 or better.