College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Virginia vs. Pittsburgh (Wednesday, Jan. 19)
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Armaan Franklin (UVA)
- Tony Bennett and the Virginia Cavaliers make the trek to Pennsylvania Wednesday night to face Jeff Capel and the Pitt Panthers in an ACC battle.
- The Cavaliers picked up a one-point win the last time these teams played, but that was in the friendly confines of Charlottesville.
- Alex Hinton breaks down how to bet Wednesday night's ACC contest below.
Virginia vs. Pitt Odds
-114o / -106u
-114o / -106u
The ACC has traditionally been one of the toughest conferences in the country. In the last decade, Duke, UNC and Virginia have won National Championships while Syracuse has made multiple trips to the Final Four.
This year, there are very few elite squads in the league.
Just four ACC teams sit inside the top 50 of the NCAA’s NET Rankings. That makes every conference game more important, as bids will be hard to come by.
Virginia, which we have grown accustomed to seeing at the top of the ACC standings, sits at 10-7 overall and 4-3 in conference. The Cavaliers are currently sixth in the ACC and 95th in the NCAA’s NET Rankings.
Pitt is 7-10 and 2-4 in the conference. An NCAA Tournament berth likely is not in cards, barring an ACC Tournament title. However, the Panthers will be looking to avenge a 57-56 loss to UVA in December.
The first meeting between these teams had 113 points. Will they play another low-scoring affair?
Virginia ranks 10th in scoring defense and allows 58.6 points per game. However, that number is a bit inflated by UVA’s slow pace. Virginia is dead last in Division 1 in adjusted tempo. Efficiency wise, it ranks 61st in adjusted defensive efficiency and 164th in defensive rating.
Offensively, the Cavaliers rank 110th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 163rd in offensive rating.
Senior forward Jayden Gardner leads the team with 14 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Center Kadin Shedrick joins him up front and averages 2.7 blocks, which is tied for 25th nationally. Virginia is 24th nationally in blocks as a team.
Junior guard Armaan Franklin is averaging 12.5 points and 2.9 rebounds. He is averaging 15 points on 48% shooting from the field over his last five games.
Senior Kihei Clark averages 9.2 points and 3.9 assists. He leads the team with 27 triples while shooting 39.1% from beyond the arc.
Finally, sophomore guard Reece Beekman averages 7.5 points and leads the team with 4.6 assists and 2.3 steals.
After an 0-3 start in ACC play, Pitt has won two of its three last games.
In the two wins, Pitt got to 65 points, which is something it has done only six times all season. Pitt is 335th in scoring offense and averages 62.5 points for the season. It ranks 216th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 286th in offensive rating.
The Panthers are led by sophomore forward John Hugley, who tops the team with 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He excels at drawing contact and getting to the free throw line, as he averages 7.8 free throw attempts per game and 9.8 in conference play.
As a team, Pitt ranks third nationally with 23 free throw attempts per game.
Senior guard Jamarius Burton is averaging 13 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He is averaging 15.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game over his last 10 games.
Meanwhile, sophomore guard Femi Odukale is averaging 11.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists a night.
Finally, senior forward Mouhamadou Gueye is averaging 8.6 points, six rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. However, he has really turned it on as of late, as he’s averaging 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in his last seven games.
Gueye is the only player in the ACC leading his team in 3-point field goals and blocks.
Virginia vs. Pitt Betting Pick
It is highly improbable that two teams will play two games in an identical manner. However, with these offenses, it is worth going back to the under.
Pitt ranks 335th in scoring offense and 330th in adjusted tempo, while Virginia ranks 337th in scoring offense and 358th in adjusted tempo.
From there, you can expect a low-scoring game with limited possessions.
In ACC play, Virginia has the best scoring defense in the conference while Pitt ranks third.
Additionally, Virginia struggles from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers only make 5.5 3s per game and shoots 32.4% from beyond the arc as a team.
Speaking of 3s, Pitt shot a season-best 8-of-16 from beyond the arc in the first meeting, but it is only shooting 30.4% from deep this season. An average night from 3 for Pitt will keep its point total down
Pitt also gets about 16 points per game from the free throw line. However, Virginia commits the 17th fewest fouls per game in Division I and allows 12.4 free throws, eighth fewest. Pitt has outscored its opponent by 80 points at the foul line this season, but it may not have that advantage on Wednesday night.
Three of the last five meetings between Pitt and Virginia have had less than 116 points.
I am expecting that trend to continue, and I will be backing the under.
Pick: Under 116 (Play to 115)
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