NCAA Basketball Picks: Defensive Pressure Will Help West Virginia Cover -7.5 vs. Virginia Tech

Jake Walker

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 1:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 1:13 PM UTC

The No. 19 West Virginia Mountaineers (10-1) travel to Cassell Coliseum in Virginia to face the Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4). How can you beat the NCAA Basketball odds in this game?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: West Virginia -7.5
Best Line Offered: at JustBet


West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia started the season 7-0 before a 70-54 loss against Virginia on December 8, but they got back on track and won three straight games by an average of 28 points. The Mountaineers are coming off an 84-59 beating of Eastern Kentucky last Monday, led by Jaysean Paige's 17 points in 21 minutes. Devin Williams finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in the win. 

The Mountaineers average 85.7 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting and their defense holds opponents to 59.8 points per game on 40.7 percent shooting, including just 24.4 percent from beyond the arc and they force turnovers on a nation-best 29.3 percent of their defensive possessions.

Devin Williams leads West Virginia with 16.1 points and 9.4 rebounds while Daxter Miles Jr. adds 12.8 points per game. Jevon Carter (12.5 points) and Jaysean Paige (10.7 points) also average double figures. 

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Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech's four-game winning streak ended with a 79-62 loss against Saint Joseph's on December 22. Seth Allen finished with 18 points in the setback and Zach LeDay added 10 points and 11 rebounds. 

The Hokies score 79.0 points per game on 45.3 percent shooting. Their defense allows 67.5 points per game and their opponents shoot 39.8 percent from the floor.

Zach LeDay leads the Hokies with 14.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks and Seth Allen adds 14.3 points but he is shooting just 25.8 percent from three-point range in 5.5 attempts per game. Justin Bibbs on the other hand leads the nation, shooting 61.5 percent from beyond the arc. Bibbs scores 13.3 points per game but he is shooting just 52.4 percent from the free-throw line.


Betting Trends
West Virginia is 5-2 ATS as a favorite, 5-3 ATS after a non-conference game and 3-2 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

Virginia Tech is 1-3 ATS as an underdog, 2-4 ATS after a non-conference game and 1-4 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record. 


Final Analysis
NCAA basketball odds makers favor West Virginia by 7.5 points. Virginia Tech desperately needs LeDay and Allen to step up in this contest and replace Chris Clarke's production (10.5 points and 7.4 rebounds), as he will be out indefinitely with a foot injury.    

West Virginia's defensive pressure can be the difference in this game and their efficiency avoiding three-point shots will neutralize Justin Bibbs. Keep in mind that the Mountaineers forced 25 turnovers in last season's 82-51 win against the Hokies. This game will not be as one-sided but I do like West Virginia -7.5 as one of my NCAA basketball picks.

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