Virginia vs. NC State College Basketball Odds & Picks for Saturday, Jan. 22

Virginia vs. NC State College Basketball Odds & Picks for Saturday, Jan. 22 article feature image

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Kihei Clark (Virginia)

  • Virginia travels to take on NC State in a critical ACC affair.
  • The Cavs desperately need to hold serve if they want to firmly remain in the March Madness picture
  • Mike McNamara breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.

Virginia vs. NC State Odds

Saturday, Jan. 22
4 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Virginia Odds
-115o / -105u
NC State Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The ACC continues to be a very mysterious league in 2021-22. Several teams underwhelmed in non-conference play, and at this point, it looks like the conference will struggle to get more than four-to-five teams in the NCAA Tournament.

In this matchup on Saturday afternoon in Raleigh, Virginia is looking to secure its fourth road ACC win of the year. A victory would bring the Hoos to 6-3 in the league and give them some momentum to creep back into the tournament picture.

The Wolfpack, on the other hand, are fighting for pride at this point. Kevin Keatts' team currently sits at 2-6 in ACC play and 9-10 overall for the year.

Injuries have really plagued the Pack, most notably with the season-ending shoulder injury that Manny Bates suffered back in November.

Can Virginia secure another road win and help get itself back in the ACC discussion? Or will NC State protect home court and move back to .500 for the year? Let's find out.

Virginia Cavaliers

There's certain coaches that I always give the benefit of the doubt to in terms of finding a way to figure it out as the college basketball season goes on. Tony Bennett is right at the top of that list.

Bennett has already won the ACC regular season title five times in his tenure in Charlottesville, and has a 304-109 overall record as UVA's head coach.

No program has been more consistent in the ACC over the last decade than Virginia, and it's not like Bennett is doing it with top-five recruiting classes.

The point is, when UVA struggled out of the gates this year, I penciled it in as a team that would hold value once the calendar turned to January.

Losses to Navy and James Madison are certainly going to make things more difficult than usual to once again make the field of 68, but Virginia has gotten off to a solid start in league play.

Indiana transfer wing Armaan Franklin finding some consistency would certainly go a long way in bolstering the Cavaliers' offense. Franklin showed flashes of brilliance during his two years in Bloomington, but has been very inconsistent this season.

Per usual, the Hoos' style of play isn't exactly the most pleasing to the eye. Virginia is going to play slow, it is going to earn its stripes on the defensive end and it is perfectly content winning ugly.

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NC State Wolfpack

Wolfpack fans have to be frustrated with how the year has played out thus far. As mentioned above, first it was the injury bug rearing its head to start the year.

Then, there was the heartbreaking loss to Purdue in Raleigh, in a game where NC State led most of the way. Losses to Richmond and Wright State followed that, and the Pack entered ACC play in a pretty tough spot.

It hasn't gotten any better in conference play — and a big reason why is NC State can't really guard anybody.

NC State currently sits 204th in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency rating, and opponents are shooting over 52% on 2-point field goals. The Wolfpack are allowing an offensive rebound on 31% of missed shots, giving teams way too many second chance points.

Offensively, there have been some positives, including Dereon Seabron, who is one of the more dynamic guards in the ACC.

Seabron was terrific in road wins against Virginia Tech and Louisville, but his supporting cast has not been there as consistently as Keatts has needed.

Given the injuries, this is a pretty thin roster as is, so Virginia should have a depth advantage on Saturday afternoon.

Virginia vs. NC State Betting Pick

I'm well aware of some of the offensive shortcomings that have plagued Virginia throughout the season. So am I really willing to back the Cavs on the road? Indeed I am.

As touched on earlier, Bennett is not someone I bet against. The Cavaliers are starting to play better basketball, and they still have plenty of opportunities to make a charge up the ACC standings as the year progresses.

Virginia has actually been a better team on the road in league play, and if it can get back in transition on defense, I believe North Carolina State will really struggle to score in the half-court.

NC State's well-documented defensive issues should give the Virginia guards plenty of open shots, and some positive shooting regression should still be out there for the Hoos.

In summary, I expect Virginia to be the more focused team for this game, and I think it possesses some matchup advantages on both sides of the floor.

Give me Virginia to get the road win.

Pick: Virginia +1.5

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