NCAA Basketball Picks: Add Georgia Tech +17.5 vs. Virginia

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

Georgia Tech has suffered numerous close losses in conference play, which provides it value as a road underdog against second-ranked Virginia Thursday night.

Falling Short
Georgia Tech has dropped its five games in Atlantic Coast Conference play by an average of 4.6 points, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks, as it attempts to snap a 0-2 SUATS run in this series.

The Yellow Jackets have won six of their last 17 conference road games—a far better performance then their 3-36 record in their previous 39 opportunities in that situation.

It’s still important to point out that the school has fallen in defeat in seven of the last eight meetings in this rivalry, including a lopsided 82-54 loss as 10-point underdogs in its last trip to Charlottesville.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 2-2 SUATS as  road underdogs on college basketball odds for 12.5 or more points.

 

Lofty Status
Virginia joins Kentucky as the lone unbeaten teams in the country, which can’t be ignored when looking over the 2015 NCAA Tournament future odds, as its enjoying its best start to a season since winning its first 23 games in 1980-81.

The Cavaliers will likely improve to 18-0 due to possessing a 20-game home win streak—capturing those contests by an average of 19.7 points. Head coach Tony Bennett’s crew has also proven victorious in its last 20 conference games at John Paul Jones Arena.

Since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, the program is 12-0 SU and 6-6 ATS as home favorites of 12.5 or more points, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (4-4 Over/Under).

 

Pounding the Glass
The Yellow Jackets rank eighth in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, but they’ll have a hard time dominating the glass in this matchup, as the Cavaliers are third in securing boards on the defensive end.

Georgia Tech is averaging 13.1 points per game on second chances, which helps in mitigating its struggles in shooting just 41.7 percent from the floor.

 

Balanced
The Cavaliers have six players averaging five or more points per game, with Justin Anderson leading the way at 14.5, while center Mike Tobey paces the reserves at 8.1.

Anderson is the main player to handicap when looking at this double-digit point spread, as he’s demonstrated significant improvement in 2014-15 after being the ACC Sixth Man of the Year a season ago—ranking first in the conference in three-point shooting percentage.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Yellow Jackets as one of their NCAAB predictions, as they’ve gone 7-1-1 ATS versus teams that allow 64 or fewer points per game.

Free College Basketball Pick: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +17.5 at Bookmaker

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