College Basketball Odds, Pick for Virginia Tech vs Auburn
Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images. Pictured: Bruce Pearl (Auburn)
- Virginia Tech and Auburn face off in the ACC/SEC Challenge on Wednesday.
- The Tigers are looking for five wins in a row, while the Hokies try to bounce back from an ugly performance against FAU.
- Dive in below for college basketball odds and a pick for Virginia Tech vs Auburn.
Virginia Tech vs Auburn Odds, Pick
One of the more underrated matchups in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge takes place Wednesday night as the Auburn Tigers host the Virginia Tech Hokies at Neville Arena.
Auburn bounced back from a season-opening loss to Baylor to win four straight games, while Virginia Tech was blown out in the title game of the ESPN Events Invitational by FAU on Sunday.
The Hokies lost nine of 11 true road games last season. They're trying to pull off the upset against a Tigers squad ranked 16th in the latest KenPom ratings.
There was plenty of promise to begin last season in Blacksburg, as Virginia Tech jumped out to an 11-1 start, including a win in its ACC opener against North Carolina.
Things unraveled during conference play, though, as the Hokies finished 8-12, which included seven straight losses after the UNC win. The Hokies limped into the NIT at 19-14 before bowing out to Cincinnati in the opening round.
Mike Young’s team is off to a 5-2 start this season, as Virginia Tech defeated Boise State and Iowa State in Kissimmee, Florida.
However, the Hokies couldn’t slow down one of last season’s Final Four teams, as Tech lost to FAU, 84-50. The Hokies were limited to 2-of-17 shooting from 3-point land and were held to their lowest point total since scoring 50 in a loss to Clemson last season.
Virginia Tech is one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country at 81.3%; it connected on at least 20 foul shots in three straight games prior to the FAU loss. Against the Owls, the Hokies went to the line only 13 times and made eight free throws. They need to get to the charity stripe to be successful.
For whatever reason, teams have shot well at the free throw line against Auburn this season. Auburn’s opponents are hitting 78.1% of their attempts from the foul line (which is something out of the Tigers' control), but if the Tigers can limit the Hokies from getting there, it will definitely help.
Lynn Kidd and Sean Pedulla each lead the Hokies in scoring at 15.9 points per game, while Hunter Cattoor is right behind at 14.7 points per game. Kidd is averaging eight rebounds a contest, but that was helped out by grabbing a combined 26 boards in wins over Coppin State and Campbell.
It’s amazing to think that Bruce Pearl is in his 10th season at Auburn, but he's taken the Tigers past the second round of the NCAA tournament only once. That was in 2019, when Auburn advanced all the way to the Final Four. However, the Tigers were done in the first weekend each of the past two tournaments.
Auburn lost to a solid Baylor team in the season opener in South Dakota, 88-82, as two-point favorites. The Tigers led the Bears at the half, 43-34, before getting outscored by 15 points in the second half.
Since that defeat, Auburn has pulled out four straight wins, including a pair of victories in Brooklyn at the Champions Classic against Notre Dame and St. Bonaventure.
The Tigers covered in both wins as a double-digit favorite, including grabbing a 20-point halftime lead over the Bonnies in the championship game.
Auburn failed to cover in its other two wins as substantial favorites against SE Louisiana and Alabama A&M. The Tigers beat SE Louisiana by 15 — in spite of laying 24 points — and jumped out to a huge lead against Alabama A&M in an 84-54 rout as 33-point chalk.
Heading into Wednesday’s action, the Tigers are ranked 16th in the KenPom ratings, as they're the third-highest rated SEC team behind Alabama and Tennessee.
The number that stands out for Auburn is it's allowing opponents to shoot 22.4% from 3-point range, which is second-best in the country. What helped contribute to that number was limiting Notre Dame and St. Bonaventure to 5-of-50 shooting from long distance.
Johni Broome leads Auburn with 15.4 points per game, followed by freshman guard Aden Holloway at 13.2 points. The Tigers have balanced scoring, as four other players are putting up between seven and nine points per game.
It's hard to ignore Virginia Tech's road struggles since the start of last season, as the Hokies are 2-10 SU and ATS in their last 12 away games.
This is a reasonable price for Auburn, especially with how well it's played defensively this season.
Pick: Auburn -9.5 (Play to -10)
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