Home Court Advantage Makes Miami Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Virginia

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, February 22, 2016 5:12 PM GMT

The Virginia Cavaliers travel to Miami, FL for this Big East showdown between a pair of teams who have identical records. See how they pair in our free NCAA Basketball picks.

Virginia vs. Miami, Fla (-1-) 7:00 ET ESPN
I look for the Hurricanes to get their double revenge on tonight's tonight's Monday night game and to bounce back from the embarrassing defeat on Saturday afternoon. But, before I can tell you that story, let’s take a look at tonight’s visitor.

Virginia enters tonight on an 8-1 SU run, including 3-1 SU, 4-0 ATS recently. In the last 6 games, Virginia has established itself once again as the nation’s best scoring defense team. They have held opponents to 51.5 PPG in the last 6 contests. Credit 7th year HC Tony Bennett for making the necessary adjustments in the face of this year’s rule changes to lift his Cavaliers to yet another anticipated scoring defensive crown! The Cavs are led by the outstanding guard play of Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes.

There is little doubt that it is their experienced leadership which has allowed Virginia to be on their way to a potential 3rd consecutive 30-win season. Early in the conference season, there appeared to be concern about the Cavalier’s road ability. They began the year 0-3 SU ATS on the ACC highway with outright losses as road favorite at Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Florida St.

In those 3 games, they allowed an uncharacteristic 69 PPG. That Florida St. loss keyed the turnaround for Virginia and in 4 conference road games since that time, they have gone 4-0 ATS, covering the last 3 of those with wins of 16 at Louisville, 14 at Pitt and a narrow 1 point loss at Duke. With a week of rest following their 20 point home win vs. NC State last Monday in this same Big Monday timeslot, Virginia will not be an easy out.

 

Betting Analysis
They certainly do not hold the emotional or psychological edge in this contest. That would belong to Miami, who is playing with double revenge for losses the last 2 years to Virginia and who is coming off their worst game of the year (a 96-71 embarrassment at Chapel Hill on Saturday). Prior to that contest, Miami was on a 7-2 SU ATS surge which vaulted them into the upper echelon of ACC play. Much like Virginia, 5th year HC Jim Larranaga has assembled an experienced backcourt led by PG Angel Rodriguez. But, the real strength of the Hurricanes this season has come on their home court, where they are 12-1 SU for the season with only a mysterious 78-77 home loss to Northeastern as 17 point home favorite marring the slate. Once league play has begun, the Canes have gone a perfect 7-0 SU on this floor with 6 of the wins by 9 or more points.

Combination of double revenge, an embarrassing loss and a strong home court are the winning ticket in this game. I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds boards in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on Miami tonight.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Miami -1.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes