The Cavaliers have a 5-0 spread record in their last five games away from home.  Tony Bennett’s troops head south for Thursday’s matchup against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who are 2-1 ATS in their last three contests as underdogs.

Sportsbooks opened Virginia as a four-point favorite; with the number remaining unchanged after early betting action was mixed.  NCAA basketball odds makers expect a low-octane affair between the Atlantic Coast Conference rivals, setting the ‘total’ initially at 111


Cavaliers edged out at Duke 

Virginia saw its 12-game winning streak end in last Thursday’s 61-58 setback as a 10 ½-point road dog against the Duke Blue Devils.  The Cavaliers were held to 39.3 percent field shooting, including a 3-for-16 day beyond the arc. 

Mike ScottCavaliers forward Mike Scott notched team-highs of 23 points and nine rebounds, while adding one steal.  Scott’s mates Sammy Zeglinski and Jontel Evans united for 11 assists en route to scoreless outings, shooting a collective 0-for-14 from the field. 

The tight battle’s combined 119 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 128 ½, bringing the ‘under’ to 6-0 in the Cavaliers’ last six ‘board’ games.  Virginia allowed Duke to connect at 52.2 percent from the field, while outrebounding the Blue Devils, 34-27. 

Jackets fall in College Park

Georgia Tech logged its fifth loss in six games with Sunday’s 61-50 defeat as a 1 ½-point road dog against the Maryland Terrapins.  Both squads combined to shoot 33.6 percent from the field, while uniting to sink 28-of-34 free throws. 

Yellow Jackets forward Kammeon Holsey logged 11 points, making him the sole member of his squad to reach double figures.  Georgia Tech’s Nate Hicks equaled his season-high of seven boards off the bench, while adding one of his squad’s nine blocks. 

The contest’s combined 111 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 134 ½, cashing ‘under’ tickets for my followers.  Georgia Tech connected 3-of-17 from beyond the arc, while being edged out in rebounds, 36-31. 

Back the Cavaliers as road ‘chalk’ 

Thursday’s tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET), with ESPN3. com providing television coverage.

This sports betting handicapper is backing Virginia, laying the points at a low premium in this road spot.  The Cavaliers have given up a stingy 50 PPG in five contests as road and neutral-site ‘chalk.’

Virginia’s Mike Scott has held his own on the other side of the floor, ranking fourth in the ACC for both scoring (16.9 PPG) and field shooting (58.8 percent).  Scott’s mate Jontel Evans has logged 3.6 APG, making him one of the conference’s top-five contributors. 

The Cavaliers have also been one of the ACC’s top squads from the foul line, connecting at 72.9 percent.  With the duel shaping up to have points at a premium, a late fouling fest between the rivals should give Virginia an edge in knocking down free throws to get the pointspread cover. 

Georgia Tech’s home-court edge has not given the team much help as the Yellow Jackets rose in class against visiting opposition.  Brian Gregory’s crew has been lit up for 76.6 PPG in its last three ‘board’ contests at home, while mustering just 60.7 PPG of their own in that span.

Virginia is 4-0 ATS in its last four meetings against the Yellow Jackets, including last season’s 62-56 victory as a 5 ½-point road dog.  Evans logged seven assists in that affair for the Cavaliers, while he and his mates held Georgia Tech to 37.2 percent field shooting. 

Look for Virginia to get the money again here with a sizable win to erase thoughts of last week’s setback against Duke.  The Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS in their last six contests that followed a defeat, while logging a 14-2 spread record in its last 16 road spots against teams with winning home records.