NCAA Basketball Picks: Virginia Tech Faces A Battle At Home When Hosting Louisville

Charles Stark

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 12:26 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 12:26 PM UTC

Virginia Tech has played some solid basketball for the past couple of weeks. Tonight they host one of the best defensive teams in Louisville. Who will be in our NCAA basketball picks?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia Tech +8½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds boards have Virginia Tech a +8 underdog like at Pinnacle -106. With Louisville coming in ranked and with some solid statistics, it makes some sense, but for my NCAA basketball pick, I will take the eight with the Hokies. When breaking the game down though, I believe there is some value on the Hokies as a live home dog, and I expect them to keep this game a lot closer than people anticipate.


Louisville Cardinals
Louisville is averaging 80.4 points per game while shooting 49% from the field, and allowing 58.8 points per game on 36.4% shooting from the field. This season, they are 8-7 overall against the spread, but only 2-4 on the road. Although statistically you can make an argument that they are the best defensive team in the country, they are a little bit different on that side of the floor when they travel. In their last four road contests Louisville has given up 75, 72, 66, and 71 to Kentucky, North Carolina State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech respectively. Virginia Tech beat NC State and Georgia Tech, so matchup wise, it seems they should be able to compete with Louisville's stellar defense. Offensively, the Cardinals have some really solid statistics ranking first in average scoring margin, 11th in total rebounds per game, and fourth in field goals made per game. As mentioned, on the defensive side is where they are very difficult with their matchup zone and press. They rank second in the country in opponent shooting efficiency, opponent effective field-goal percentage, and opponent overall and two point shooting percentage. They also rank fourth in the country in opponent field goals made per game. Despite all the strong statistics they might be peaking ahead to their next two games on the schedule having to face Virginia and North Carolina coming up next. This could be a tough spot for Louisville to come in and win this game handedly.


Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech is averaging 76.7 points per game while shooting 44.9% from the field, and allowing 72.1 points per game on 42.4% shooting from the field. They are very similar to Louisville on the season going 8-6 against the spread overall, and 5-3 at home. I really like what head coach Buzz Williams has going on at Virginia Tech and if he can get some good recruits the next few years don't be surprised if they are battling for the ACC crown, he is that good of a coach. Although his team lacks a little bit of experience we can already see how hard they play and how competitive they are, so don't be surprised if they pull the shocker tonight. Offensively, they move the ball pretty well and are decently efficient, but what I really like is how they attack the rim. This has put them at the line a lot this season, and the Hokies rank first in the country in free-throw attempts to field-goal attempts per game. Their overall shooting percentage is not bad and of course their percentages go up at home. Defensively, they allow teams to go up-tempo with them, but statistically they have been good from the inside out and allowing opponents to only shoot 32.4% from distance. With this being their second home game in a row I look for them to put up a maximum effort with the belief that they can pull off the upset.

This is an underrated matchup that could possibly go down to the wire. For one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend backing Virginia Tech plus the points to hang with a Louisville team that might be peaking ahead to their next contests. Although I am hard-pressed to believe Virginia Tech can pull the upset, I do think this is a good spot for them to hang with the Cardinals.

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