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College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina (Monday, Jan. 24)

College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina (Monday, Jan. 24) article feature image
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Photo by Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Justyn Mutts (VT)

  • The North Carolina Tar Heels are home favorites tonight against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
  • Can you trust either team on the spread, or is there better value fading one or both team's offenses on the spread?
  • Kody Malstrom breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina Odds

Monday, Jan. 24
8 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Virginia Tech Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-110
141.5
-110o / -110u
+195
North Carolina Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-110
141.5
-110o / -110u
-250
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the two teams that have been embarrassing me week in and week out. I took North Carolina as a repeat best bet team and Virginia Tech in my futures article for a dark horse ACC contender.

So what happens when an unstoppable force of incompetence meets an immovable object of sheer bad luck?

We will find that out when UNC travels to Virginia Tech.

With UNC losing two straight by 20+ points and Virginia Tech incapable of putting together a winning streak, this matchup will be intriguing in multiple facets.

Will UNC be able to shoot itself out of a cold streak? Or will the Hokies finally put together a well-oiled performance for a whole game to show why they are a dark horse to contend in the conference?

Let’s find out.


Virginia Tech Hokies

I touted to take Virginia Tech in a look-ahead spot in Mike Calabrese and I’s bi-weekly futures piece at +2500. Two weeks after that release, I upgraded them to a must-buy at +5000.

Flash forward to today, and the real Hokies have still not shown up. Now you can get them at +10000, and guess what, I’m buying them again.

Virginia Tech has been a constant product of not being able to put together a complete game all season long. They are one of the unluckiest teams in the nation, as they’re ranked 347th in luck, per KenPom.

The regression monster is drooling to tip the other way in the Hokies’ favor.

They are extremely well balanced on both ends, ranking 46th in AdjO and 49th in AdjD. Balance is a metric I look for in a team to make a deep run in a tournament style of play.

When both sides of the ball are clicking, they are one of the most formidable teams in the ACC.

They are a very tight group, only playing seven players meaningful minutes, with three of them scoring in double figures.

Virginia Tech is led by forward Keve Aluma, who averages 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He shoots 50% from the field and will get even more open looks against the weak UNC defense.

Virginia Tech’s style of play can be compared to a snake, suffocating opponents over a very slow period of time. The Hokies play at one of the slowest tempos in the country, as they run out the clock until they get the best shot possible and shoot at one of the highest rates in the ACC (best in 3-point percentage).

Virginia Tech’s defense does not get many disruptions, but it does smother its opponents into bad looks.

With North Carolina in a shooting slump, it wont be any easier getting back on track against the Hokies’ defense.

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North Carolina Tar Heels

Is North Carolina one of the coldest shooting teams in basketball right now?

Luckily for them, even when the Heels are cold, they still put up points due to their high volume.

Meanwhile, their defense is still horrific for someone labeled as a ACC “contender.”

In its last game out — a blowout loss to Wake Forest — North Carolina shot 21.4% from 3 and 33.3% total from the field. Even with 23 offensive rebounds, the Tar Heels still struggled to convert second-chance points at a successful rate.

They better find their groove again, and fast, as the Hokies’ smothering defense is not going to make life any easier for their shot quality. They will also have limited opportunities, as the game will likely be slowed down to an uncomfortable level for the Tar Heels.

North Carolina will have a clear advantage on the boards once again, as Virginia Tech is near the bottom of the ACC in that category. With a difference of eight rebounds per game, UNC will look to have better luck on second-chance points.

With limited possessions due to Tech’s style of play, taking care of the ball will also be an added emphasis. UNC has been uncharacteristically coughing up the ball at an above-average rate in its last two outings — it had 14 turnovers to Miami and 11 turnovers to Wake Forest.


Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina Betting Pick

This game was originally scheduled for last month, but was postponed due to COVID-19 cases. As a die hard UNC fan, I wish it was postponed again because I am not feeling good about the Heels’ chances.

I can’t fully trust Virginia Tech will be able to put together a complete game until I see it do so.

With that said, I will be taking the under.

With only two days in between its last game and this one, I am skeptical of UNC getting out of its shooting slump, especially with Virginia Tech’s slow style of play and smoldering defense.

For Virginia Tech, I am hoping for a signature cold stretch, as it is one of the streakiest teams in basketball. UNC will need to be locked in on defense to avoid a third blowout in a row.

If both teams start out slow as expected, I will look for a live over for a middle chance, especially if UNC once again gives up easy looks to Virginia Tech, which is one of the most efficient shooting teams in the ACC.

Pick: Under 141.5

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