Low Scoring Game: 'Under' Our NCAA Basketball Pick for Virginia & Virginia Tech

Willie Bee

Monday, January 4, 2016 1:14 PM GMT

The first Monday of the full conference slate finds Virginia a 13 point favorite on the college basketball odds when the Cavaliers make a short trip to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 133
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Welcome to Big Cranky Monday, that first workday after the holidays when a lot of disillusioned people who thought their vacations were going to last forever have to go back to work. Fortunately for those of us who have to be around these malcontents, it's also plain old Big Monday with plenty of solid matchups on the college basketball betting card to help get back into the regular swing of things.

One of the better games on tonight's slate takes place in the Atlantic Coast Conference where the Virginia Cavaliers travel to meet the Virginia Tech Hokies in an in-state rivalry that dates back more than 100 years. Game will have the tip at Cassell Coliseum a little after 9 PM (ET), and the Cavaliers are presently going off as 13 point favorites on the NCAA basketball odds after opening a half-point lower.

Bookmaker is one of just a few sports books hanging a total at this point, and there hasn't been enough action so far to budge the number off 133.

The 142nd meeting between the two schools finds Virginia with a sizeable 88-53 lead in the series. Part of that bulge in the record has been built by a 7-game win streak for the Cavaliers entering Monday's collision, the last five victories coming as double-digit chalk. Virginia Tech has managed to cover the spreads in the last three, however, and the Hokies are 14-7 on this floor in Blacksburg.

Tech's last win in the series came nearly four years ago in an upset up the road in Charlottesville. The second of two UVA wins over the Hokies a year ago stopped a 3-game run for 'under' bettors, and Monday's total is the highest in nearly seven years.

 

Wahoos Enter Fracas On 11-Game Win Streak
New rankings will be coming out later today, and there's a chance Virginia (12-1 straight up, 6-5 against the spread) could move up a rung from the 5-hole in both the AP and coaches polls. Tony Bennett's bunch has reeled off 11 consecutive wins since the only loss at George Washington in the season's second game, and a veteran group of kids is a big reason behind the streak.

An efficient offense is another big factor in Virginia's play so far, the team's 50.4% field goal mark good enough to rank in the top 10 in the country. The Cavs netted over 57% this past Saturday at home against Notre Dame, helping them cover a 9 point spread in their ACC opener with a 77-66 victory.

With 13 games under their belt, Monday marks just the second time this year the Cavaliers have traveled to a hostile gym. Virginia split the previous two, a win at Ohio State and the aforementioned loss to Gee-Dubya, and failed to cover either contest. The Cavs were 8-1 on the ACC highway a year ago, 6-3 ATS.

 

Tech Freshman Clarke To Miss 3rd-Straight Game
Virginia Tech (9-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) got its conference season off on a winning note at home Saturday with a mild upset of North Carolina State. Trailing by 14 four minutes into the second half and 2 point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds, Jalen Hudson led the comeback to force overtime in the Hokies' eventual 73-68 triumph.

Hudson had a season-high 23 points in the decision, helping to make up for the loss of guard Chris Clarke who is dealing with a foot injury and out indefinitely. Clarke is fourth on the team scoring 10.5 PPG, and second in rebounding (7.4 rpg).

Playing totals for my free NCAA basketball pick has gotten me into trouble lately, but I'm still liking the 'under' for tonight's tussle between the Hokies and Cavaliers.