Virginia vs Virginia Tech Odds, Picks: Betting Guide to In-State Rivalry
Photo by Ryan Hunt/Getty Images. Pictured: Hunter Cattoor & Justyn Mutts (Virginia Tech)
Virginia vs Virginia Tech Odds
-115o / -105u
|Virginia Tech Odds|
-115o / -105u
Virginia and Virginia Tech will renew their bitter rivalry in the Commonwealth on Saturday as the Cavs visit Cassell Coliseum to tip-off a loaded day of college basketball.
The Cavaliers sit a half-game behind Clemson atop the ACC standings at 9-2.
Meanwhile, the Hokies are languishing at 3-8 in the league and in desperate need of a repeat of last season’s red-hot end of the year run.
Just when it appeared the Hokies were turning the corner — with wins against Duke and Syracuse — Virginia Tech lost on Tuesday in Miami after a poor final five minutes.
Virginia won the first meeting between these two programs by 10 points on Jan. 18, setting up this potential revenge spot.
Matchups between these two programs tend to be extremely slow-paced and methodical, especially since Mike Young arrived at Virginia Tech. The first meeting was anything but, a sign of the weaknesses of both interior defenses this season.
It’s still a low total because of the lack of possessions, but I’m not targeting the total like last meeting.
Instead, this is a prime Hokies spot at home against a Virginia team at the top of its market rating.
Virginia is traditionally known for its defense and slow-paced offense that can struggle to score at times, but this is a very different Virginia team.
The Cavs have interior defensive flaws and are executing at a really high level offensively.
The Cavaliers have made 38.6% from 3 this season, which makes them the 15th-best 3-point shooting team in the country. Since ACC play began, Virginia has made 38% from deep, tops in the league.
The league is down as a whole, but no one would have projected that the Cavaliers would be this elite of a shooting team.
For that reason, regression is looming for this offense. Virginia is just 86th in Open 3-Point Rate and its projected shooting percentage is 34.6%, per ShotQuality.
Virginia has shot 41.4% on its guarded jumpers, which is better than every other offense in the entire country, per Synergy. That means the Cavaliers have made more contested looks than anyone.
Expecting a mostly similar team from last season to improve its 3-point percentage by six percent is quite the stretch.
At the other end, Virginia concedes a ton of open 3-point jumpers compared to its past teams. ShotQuality grades it as conceding open 3s on 35% of attempts, which is 270th in the country.
You can get at this defense, and Virginia Tech runs some of the best ball screens and offensive sets in the country to generate open 3s.
Virginia Tech’s elite perimeter shooting numbers from last season have slipped, but the Hokies do have a healthy Hunter Cattoor in the lineup now. That adds a key dimension to this offense coming off of screens.
The status of Darius Maddox remains uncertain after he missed the game against Miami on Tuesday.
Either way, the Hokies aren’t nearly as bad as their record would suggest. They’ve dealt with injuries and a ton of close-game losses. They’ve lost six games by five points or less, and were leading at Miami in the final five minutes on Tuesday.
There was a point last year (Feb. 7) when Virginia Tech dipped all the way down to 47th in KenPom’s efficiency metrics. The Hokies finished the season 10-2, won the ACC Tournament and even beat Virginia at home in the process.
That doesn’t mean Virginia Tech will be able to flip the switch again, but it has the coaching and experience to do exactly that.
Virginia vs Virginia Tech Betting Pick
The market knows that Virginia Tech is much better than its record and has had it priced accordingly in the last couple weeks.
But this is also a bet against Virginia sustaining its absurd rate of shooting splits in a very difficult road environment on Saturday.
Virginia could shoot 62% from 2 and get 10 more free throws once again like it did in the first meeting in Charlottesville, but more than likely, the Cavaliers’ offense will regress from its market-rated current highs.
I’d bet Virginia Tech at -1 or better at home, as it’s not much worse than Virginia when both teams are at full strength, as they are now.
Pick: Virginia Tech -1 or Better
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