Texas A&M vs Virginia Odds, Pick for Wednesday
David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Reece Beekman
Texas A&M vs Virginia Odds, Pick
The Virginia Cavaliers will host the Texas A&M Aggies on Wednesday in an ACC/SEC Challenge clash between two teams who have NCAA tournament aspirations.
Both of these teams enter this matchup with one loss and will look to build some momentum before their conference schedules begin.
The Aggies have gotten off to a good start this season, and more importantly, they've shown a lot of growth on the offensive side of the ball. They may have lost in a shootout to FAU, but that game spoke volumes about this team as a whole.
They will have their hands full in this matchup, as this will be a strength-on-strength type of contest. The Aggies are fourth in the country in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, whereas the Cavaliers are 12th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
This will be by far the best defense the Aggies have faced yet, and quite frankly might be the best defense they face all season. Their offense is 220th in tempo, so in order to win this game, they will need to protect the basketball and capitalize on the few offensive possessions they get.
Despite their offensive success, the Aggies are only shooting 29% from 3-point range, which will be a problem against a stingy Cavaliers perimeter defense. They are No. 1 in the nation in offensive rebounding, which will help them earn extra possessions.
Guard Wade Taylor IV is one of the best guards in the country, but he has yet to get it going from the outside. He is shooting 27% from beyond the arc in 45 attempts.
If he can heat up from the outside, I think the Aggies will have a clear offensive edge in this contest. The issue is I have a hard time envisioning other paths to offensive success, considering the Cavaliers do not foul very often.
This is not the best defensive group, and the Aggies are having a hard time generating turnovers. They are in the middle of the pack in the majority of defensive metrics, but they're nearly last in 3-point attempts allowed.
If they don't stiffen up on the defensive end, they could get blown out of the gym quickly. But, I think their slow tempo and offensive ability should be able to hang tough with this Cavaliers defense.
New year, same Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers are once again one of the slowest offenses in the entire country, but they've returned to greatness on the defensive end of the floor.
The Cavaliers are 12th in the country in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, and there's a good chance they end up in the top three by the end of this month.
While this snail offense typically isn't the greatest, this is still a top-100 offense in Adjusted Efficiency. The formula is simple: protect the basketball (14th in turnover) and keep the tempo slow.
The problem with the Cavs is that their free-throw shooting has picked up where it left off last season. They have been atrocious at the charity stripe thus far, shooting 66% as a team.
Their 2-point FG% hasn't been great, either, ranking in the bottom 100 in the entire country. With potential NBA draft picks in Ryan Dunn and Reece Beekman, I would expect this to trend upward as the season progresses.
I don't see how the Aggies will have any success scoring inside, considering the Cavaliers are fourth in the nation in 2-point defense. They are also in the top four in block and steal percentage, which leads me to believe they will be suffocating all night long.
I slightly lean towards the Cavaliers in this contest given their homecourt advantage, but I don't quite trust the offense yet. I will be looking elsewhere from a betting perspective.
With both of these offenses being snails and the Cavaliers having such an elite defense, I love the under in this game. The Aggies will eventually break out of their 3-point shooting slump, but this isn't a great matchup for them to do so.
I also have major questions about the Aggies' ability to score inside, which is the true anchor of this Cavaliers defense. With their slow tempo, they can't afford multiple empty trips offensively, especially in this matchup.
I do not trust the Cavaliers' offense quite yet, and their struggles from the charity stripe are a legitimate concern.
Expect a rock-fight grinder contest that fits the mold of an under.