College Basketball Odds, Picks for Virginia vs. Miami
Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jim Larrañaga (Miami)
Virginia vs Miami Odds
-114o / -106u
-114o / -106u
The Hurricanes enter with an 11-1 record, winning seven straight and sitting at the top of the ACC.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers lost their first game of the season over the weekend against No. 5 Houston.
Looking at the recent history, Virginia has won six straight in this series, but Miami will be tough to beat on its home court.
Let’s dive into this great matchup.
Last season was the first time Virginia didn't make the NCAA tournament since the 2012-13 campaign, but coach Tony Bennett has his team poised for a return.
UVA has been able to navigate a very difficult schedule that ranks in the top 60 (according to KenPom), picking up impressive wins over Michigan, No. 16 Illinois and No. 12 Baylor in the non-conference slate.
As you would expect under Bennett, the Cavaliers are strong defensively, ranking in the top 40 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and opponent’s two-point percentage, according to Bart Torvik.
However, they also boast a great offense.
Virginia is inside the top 25 in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and turnover rate, and top 60 in effective field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
Bennett’s team scores as a unit, but there are three players that average double figures — Jayden Gardner, Kihei Clark and Armaan Franklin.
Miami may not have the strength of schedule that UVA has, but the Hurricanes have secured some quality wins. The victories include NC State, Rutgers, Central Florida and Providence, which all rank in the top 100, according to KenPom.
The lone loss on the campaign came in the Naismith Memorial Basketball HOF Tip-Off Tournament against Maryland.
Head coach Jim Larranaga’s team plays a much different style than Cavaliers as well, which typically includes more scoring. That's no different this season, as the Hurricanes are inside the top 10 in AdjO and 2-point percentage, and are 42nd in EFG%.
Miami has been average defensively for the most part. However, Larranaga’s squad has allowed over 70 points in the last three games against St. Francis (PA), NC State and Cornell, which includes a 107-105 victory over the Ivy League school.
One primary issue has been securing defensive rebounds, as the Hurricanes are 287th. Luckily, Virginia is not a squad that crashes the boards offensively.
Three of their top five scorers from the Elite Eight team a year ago departed, but Isaiah Wong (16.2 PPG) and Jordan Miller (15.5 PPG) are still key contributors.
Virginia vs. Miami Betting Pick
Looking at the odds at DraftKings, Virginia is listed as the road favorite of two points, to go along with a total of 135. I don’t see any value in the side, but I do think this could be a higher-scoring game.
So, my best bet is for this to fly over the total of 135, which I would play to 138.
One thing I like to look at is how each team has played against comparable opposition. Against schools that rank inside the top 50 in AdjO — like Virginia — Miami allowed 73 to NC State, 88 to Maryland and 64 to Providence, with this same bet cashing in all three.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have also played entertaining games away from home. In the contests on the road or neutral sites, this play was a winning ticket in all three against No. 12 Baylor (86-79), No. 16 Illinois (70-61) and Michigan (70-68).
This is a better Hurricanes offense compared to those teams, but they are also not as good defensively.
This is the most entertaining matchup of the day on paper, and I think it lives up to the hype by cashing the over.