NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Virginia To Cover On The Road vs. Florida St.

Jason Lake

Sunday, January 17, 2016 1:40 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 1:40 PM UTC

The Virginia Cavaliers and Florida State Seminoles are both breaking even against the NCAA basketball odds. They'll meet Sunday night in Tallahassee with the Cavs favored by four.

***2016 Super D's Of NCAA Basketball Betting***

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Free NCAAB Pick: Virginia -4 (-106)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Quick: What teams pop into mind when you think about the ACC? Perhaps Duke, or North Carolina, maybe even Louisville? Fine programs all, but don't forget about the Virginia Cavaliers. They've had the best regular-season record in the ACC two years running, and they won the conference tournament in 2014 before going to the Sweet Sixteen. Virginia is playing its best basketball since going to the Final Four twice in the early '80s, back when Ralph Sampson was patrolling the paint.

Unless you're an alumnus, you probably don't think about the Florida State Seminoles – not the basketball team, at least. But the 'Noles have had their moments in the past dozen years under head coach Leonard Hamilton – they even beat North Carolina to win the ACC tourney in 2012. Florida State hosts the Cavs this Sunday night in what should be a quality basketball contest; at press time, Virginia is a 4-point road chalk on our NCAA basketball odds board, with a total of 139.5.


Home Slice
I remember it as though it were a week ago: We were talking about how awesome home dogs are in college hoops. They're slightly less profitable now at 256-236-9 ATS (52.0 percent), down from 52.5 percent when we last checked in, but that's not too much cause for concern. We wouldn't recommend betting home dogs blindly, anyway. The situation has to be right.

This might not be the right situation. The stat gurus at Sports-Reference like them some Cavaliers (13-3 SU, 7-7 ATS), giving them a +20.5 on the Simple Rating System. Florida State (11-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) gets a +11.3 SRS, which adds up to a kayfabe point spread of about Virginia –5 on the road, if we give the 'Noles the old-school four points for home-court advantage. Drat. Maybe if the Cavs had the same public following as Duke or North Carolina, they'd be too chalky to put in our NCAA basketball picks.


Slow Poke Drivers
Not only are these two teams breaking even against the spread, they're doing it against the total, too. Ken Pomeroy has the Cavs ranked seventh overall in efficiency with the No. 5-ranked offense, but that potency is capped by Virginia's glacial pace – dead last out of the 351 Division I teams in adjusted tempo. Florida State (No. 42 overall) runs like the wind at No. 20 in adjusted tempo, good for an extra 13 possessions per game, but the Seminoles only have the No. 68-ranked offense in Division I. Phooey.

We've taken a straw poll here at the home office, and Virginia is our recommended pick for a small bet. The Cavs were in a bit of a slump to start the New Year, but they beat Miami 66-58 on Tuesday as 4.5-point home faves, and they're 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five games against Florida State. Close enough for government work.

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