With six days of rest behind them, the Virginia Cavaliers begin a busy 8-day stretch on the college basketball betting schedule with a Sunday evening visit from Florida State.
Wins continue to pile up for the Virginia Cavaliers, a 25th expected on Sunday when they begin a 4-game stretch over the next eight days. Covering spreads? That's been a different story as those who have been following Tony Bennett's bunch the last month know firsthand.
Perhaps some extra time off this past week will help turn that around, the first contest in the busy week ahead taking place at home in Charlottesville early Sunday evening against the Florida State Seminoles.
ESPNU will begin coverage from John Paul Jones Arena at 6:30 PM (ET). The NCAA basketball odds caught the opening spread at Virginia -15½, with some sports books currently running with -15 and taxed a little heavier on a Cavaliers play. The first total to show up was 116.
A 7-game win streak in the series from 2008-12 helped Florida State build the current 22-21 series edge over Virginia, but the Cavaliers have won four of the last five matchups between the Atlantic Coast Conference rivals. That includes all three a year ago, each of the victories by 12 points or more and each a winner for Wahoo backers.
Virginia finished off the sweep last season with a 64-51 decision in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The Cavaliers held FSU to just two free throws over the final 3½ minutes of the tilt to keep that one 'under' a 124 point total.
'Noles Begin Final Road Trip At UVa
Barring a miracle, it appears Florida State (15-12 straight up, 13-11 against the spread) will miss the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive season. Even an NIT invite for Leonard Hamilton's troops is a bit iffy right now despite the Seminoles winning five of their last seven.
It certainly didn't help matters when FSU lost junior guard Aaron Thomas just in advance of the conference opener at Notre Dame back in mid-December. Minus their leading scorer, the Seminoles dropped four of their first five ACC games to dig a deep early hole, and it will take strong showings tonight at Virginia and next weekend vs. Louisville to get them even back into the bubble picture.
That poor start might have actually helped college basketball bettors by softening subsequent games. Florida State has covered 8-of-9 since, all five times as the underdog.
Hoos Hope To Pad ACC Lead Before Tough Closing Slate
The jam-packed schedule Virginia (24-1 SU, 13-9-1 ATS) is facing over the next eight days begins with what should be three very winnable matchups. A trip to Wake Forest on Wednesday is trailed by Saturday's rivalry affair against Virginia Tech, the final home game of the season for the Cavaliers.
Three wins would leave Bennett and the Cavs with a 15-1 league record heading into the final two games, both on the road in Syracuse and Louisville. They've managed to win 5-straight following their only ACC setback vs. Duke a little more than three weeks ago, but only managed one spread-beater in that span.
Virginia is still adjusting to life without Justin Anderson, the junior guard missing the last three games with a finger injury and not expected back until the first round of the NCAA Tournament at earliest. Scoring has been down a bit in his absence, and that along with the fact that 10 of the last 13 meetings staying 'under' the total appears a little low to me. I'll buck that series trend with my free college basketball picks on the final score jumping the mark.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Florida State-Virginia Over 116 at Bookmaker
Season: 52-44-2 (+3.6)