Virginia Tech vs. NC State: College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions (Wednesday, Jan. 19)
Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Justyn Mutts.
- Virginia Tech is a slight favorite tonight against NC State.
- The Wolfpack pulled off an upset in the first meeting by winning in Blacksburg.
- Keg taps into the matchup and delivers his breakdown and pick for bettors below.
Virginia Tech vs. NC State Odds
|Virginia Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
|NC State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Virginia Tech will square off against NC State for the second time this season on Wednesday. Virginia Tech comes into the matchup fresh off snapping a three-game losing streak, having taken down Notre Dame 79-73 on Saturday.
NC State, meanwhile, is just just trying to string a few wins together. The Wolfpack had an awful end to 2021, winning just two of nine December games. Things have gone somewhat better in 2022 at 2-3, with one of those wins being a 68-63 triumph over Virginia Tech on Jan. 4. The Wolfpack suffered their fifth conference loss in their last game, which saw them fall 88-73 on the road against Duke.
While most teams would feel some relief in heading home for two games after playing three of the last four on the road, that is not the case for NC State. The Wolfpack are 6-5 in Raleigh this season and are winless there in conference play. Most importantly for us, NC State is 3-9 against the spread (ATS) on its home court.
Can NC State begin to salvage its conference schedule with its first home league win? They have already bested the Hokies once this season.
Similar to NC State, it’s been a rough start to conference play for the Hokies. Tech is 1-4 in conference play so far this season, but its one win did come against fifth-place Notre Dame. The Hokies are a more respectable 8-8 ATS this season compared to their opponents on Wednesday.
The Hokies have been solid offensively and should have a considerable edge over the Wolfpack defense, as they rank 41st nationally in effective field goal percentage. While Tech only averages 69.9 points per contest, its 13th-ranked defense and one of the slowest paces of play in the nation cater to the average scoring offense. The Hokies rank 336th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom.
Two seniors lead the Hokies in every major offensive statistic, with Keve Aluma leading the team in points at 15.8 per game and Justyn Mutts pacing them in rebounds (7.3) and assists (2.8).
Virginia Tech has also been dominant outside the arc at both ends of the floor. The Hokies rank seventh nationally in 3-point shooting percentage at 39.3%, while also 13th in 3-point defense by limiting teams to just 27.6% from deep.
The Hokies don’t give up many turnovers at just 10.9 per game, but neither does NC State. Both teams also rank outside the top 150 in forced turnovers, so I don’t see that being a factor.
On defense, the Hokies are allowing opponents to record an effective field goal percentage of just 46.4%. While Tech’s defense will be one of the biggest keys to splitting the series with NC State this year, I think their experience will be an even bigger factor. Virginia Tech ranks 91st in experience per KenPom, while NC State is 303rd.
NC State ranks 50th in the country in scoring at 76.1 points per game. The Wolfpack also grade out as a much better rebounding team than Virginia Tech with 37.3 boards per contest. When they come down with those rebounds is when they will have their biggest advantage, since they’re 56th in the country in second-chance points. NC State will be going up against a Hokies team that ranks 247th in second-chance points allowed.
The Wolfpack offense has been led by the second-leading scorer in the ACC in Dereon Seabron, who is averaging 19.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game (second in the conference). Terquavion Smith and Jericole Hellems are the only other players for the Wolfpack averaging double-digit points.
The Wolfpack are 235th in effective field goal percentage and rank outside the top 200 in both 2- and 3-point shooting. They also rank 254th in offensive block percentage, being rejected on 10.2% of their attempts.
Defensively, the Wolfpack have had serious issues, allowing opposing teams to post an effective field goal percentage of 51.5%. They rank outside the top 200 in 2- and 3-point defense as well.
Virginia Tech vs. NC State Betting Pick
Both of these teams have had a difficult start to the season and while the Wolfpack have already beat the Hokies once, they have been significantly worse at home.
NC State will need to have one of its best shooting performances of the season and dominate the paint if it wants to sweep this season series, something I don’t think an experienced Hokies team letting happen.
Like NC State, Virginia Tech has been better on the road. I think slowing down the pace against a team that already struggles on offense will lead to a win for the Hokies.
I got Virginia Tech at -1, but this line opened at -3 and is dropping as NC State catches more and more money as a home underdog. Nothing wrong with waiting for plus money, but if it starts to shift back then I would take the Hokies at no higher than -2.