NCAA Basketball Picks: Defense To Rule The Night In Virginia vs. Miami Low-Scoring Battle

Charles Stark

Monday, February 22, 2016 11:22 AM UTC

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 11:22 AM UTC

Two of the better defensive teams meet up when Virginia travels to take on Miami. And for our NCAA basketball picks, we wonder if it'll be defensive enough to go under?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 128
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds have a total for this game set  at 128 like at Bookmaker -110. For my NCAA pick today, I will back under this total and look for a really hard fought defensive battle. Neither of these teams push tempo all that much which should help keep the final low.


Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia is averaging 71.1 points per game while shooting 49.6% from the field, and allowing 59.5 points per game on 41.6% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 10-14-0 on their over under totals, and 6-7 on the road. We had them minus the points in their last game versus NC State, and they really put the clamps down defensively. Offensively, they really control tempo and only average 52.7 field goal attempts per game which ranks in the very bottom part of all NCAA teams. When they do put the ball up, they are very efficient ranking 14th and 17th in shooting efficiency and effective field goal percentage respectively. As well, they rank 6th and 10th in overall and three point shooting percentage, they don’t shoot a lot, but when they do, the ball tends to drop. Defensively, they are arguably the best defense in the country which can be attributed to Tony Bennett’s Pack Line defense. The principles of their defense can make it difficult to get consistent good looks as they cut off penetration and contest every shot. The Cavaliers rank second in the country in defensive scoring overall and fourth on the road. On both sides of the ball, they control tempo and don’t allow many attempts or made shots per game ranking 5th and 6th in those categories respectively. 


Miami Hurricanes
Miami is averaging 77 points per game while shooting 47.6% from the field, and allowing 65.4 points per game on 41.7% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 12-13 on their over under totals overall, and 4-9 at home. In their last game just on Saturday against the Tar Heels, they allowed the most points they have all season getting a 96-71 beat down. Earlier in the season against Virginia, they lost a tough one with a 66-58 final, and I expect that type of pace tonight. Offensively, they are similar to Virginia in that they don’t push tempo very much but rely on being efficient. On the season, they only average 55.8 attempts per game which ranks in the bottom quarter of all teams, but they rank 25th and 32nd in shooting efficiency and effective field percentage respectively. Defensively, they are one of the better teams in the ACC and they rank in the top part in the country in opponent shooting efficiency and opponent effective field goal percentage. More than any of this though I have to imagine head coach Jim Larranaga was not happy with UNC putting up over 90 against them so look for a much more focused than normal Miami team on the defensive side.

Playing over the total on any basketball game is usually fun and sometimes profitable. However, for one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend backing under the total when Virginia visits Miami. Make sure to keep track of the betting odds to find the best price. This game should see a lot of controlled tempo with good defensive efforts from both teams.

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