Lay the Points on Virginia vs. VCU for NCAA Basketball Pick

Joe Catalano

Saturday, December 6, 2014 4:58 PM GMT

Here's a solid NCAA Basketball pick for one of today's hottest matches. The Virginia Commonwealth Rams (5-2) will face the ultimate test as they host the #7 Virginia Cavaliers (8-0) in this inter-state matchup.

Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 pm ET at the Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia. The NCAA Basketball betting odds are just starting to come out and the Cavaliers are installed as a slight 1.5 point betting favorite with no total currently available.

 

Lockdown Defense
Virginia is coming off of a 76-65 victory over the #21 Maryland Terrapins and that's as high a score that you'll see in a Virginia related game. The Cavs defense has been top notch, allowing just 25 point points to Rutgers, 36 points to Tennessee State,39 points to Norfolk State, and there have been many teams held to the 40's. VCU will have a real problem dealing with a defense like this and it might be the difference in the ball game.

 

Justin Anderson
The junior forward has gotten off to a quick start this season as he's the model of efficiency and the go to guy when Virginia needs a bucket.

Aside from averaging 15.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game,.Anderson is shooting 56.7% from 3-point range. He's the type of player that gets in the zone occasionally as his 7 for 7 from the field and 5 for 5 from 3-point range performance in a win over Tennessee State earlier in the season indicates and although he's not superstar player, he fits the Virginia offensive scheme as they have a "defense first" mentality.

Expect the Cavaliers to have another tough time as they're facing a higher level of opponent in VCU on the road and look for Justin Anderson to perform well in a spot like this.

Another player to watch for Virginia is 6 foot 11, 253 pound center, Mike Tobey. Tobey's playing time has been limited, but he busted out with a huge 14 point, 6 rebound performance in just over 20 minutes against Maryland. Tobey has great presence inside the paint and a major reason why the Cavaliers are so stingy on defense.

 

Two-Headed Monster
The key to this game will be the effectiveness of VCU's top 2 players in Treveon Graham and Melvin Johnson against the tough Virginia defense.

Virginia Commonwealth is a fairly deep team that rides the backs of these two players offensively. Collectively, they produce 34.5 points and 9.3 rebounds. Both players are efficient shooters that can knock down the 3-ball. Thanks to a 34 point performance against Old Dominion, the senior Graham is averaging 25.5 points in his last 2 games.

I don't look for Virginia to stop these two ballers; it's the rest of the team that I'm concerned about if I were to bet on VCU in this game. VCU has started off the season strong. A loss to Villanova is understandable, but the Rams were recently defeated by Old Dominion and that doesn't say a lot for their basketball team.

 

Outcome
The environment will be hostile and VCU has two guys that can put up big numbers, but Virginia's defense will win out in the end. You're getting a steal by only having to lay 1.5 points when making the Cavs your betting pick.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia -1.5 at 5 Dimes