Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 30-25-2 (+3.70 units)
Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Free NCAAB Pick: Virginia ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Life on the road always presents challenges and obstacles, and that’s especially true for seven of the 10 ranked teams in action on Wednesday’s NCAA basketball odds card who find themselves facing hostile crowds. The Virginia Cavaliers are among them, Tony Bennett’s team traveling north on the ACC highway to meet the Boston College Eagles.
Sitting No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and atop the coaches poll, Virginia opened as a double-digit favorite in search of its sixth-straight win over Boston College. ESPNU will carry the contest from Silvio Conte Forum, the mid-120s serving as the scoreboard target.
Opponents Scoring 50.3 Per Game Last 6 Vs. Virginia
The Cavaliers won their 11th-straight ACC opener – 10th under Bennett – last Saturday at home with a 65-52 decision over Florida State. The final score looked closer than the game really was as the Seminoles closed 16-0 over the final 2+ minutes, Virginia backers still cashing their -9½ tickets despite the late FSU barrage. It was the fourth consecutive cover for the Cavaliers, and fifth ‘under’ winner in their last six thanks to holding the ‘Noles to only 15 field goals in the contest.
Boston College dropped its conference opener to a surging Virginia Tech team the same day, though the Eagles did manage to cover the 77-66 final as 15-point underdogs at 5Dimes. Jim Christian’s crew led by as many as 5 in the first half, but the Hokies found too many open shots in the final 20 minutes while sinking better than 55% to rally past BC. It was the 2nd-straight setback for the Eagles who were playing without Wynston Tabbs due to a knee injury. The freshman guard is second on the team averaging 14.6 PPG, and is officially listed as day-to-day.
Underdog Cashes 8 Of Last 11 Meetings
Virginia rolled to a 71-54 triumph as 14-point chalk on its last trip to Chestnut Hill nearly two years ago, the final stopping short of a 128½-point total. The lone clash last season took place in Charlottesville where the Cavaliers avoided a huge upset at the hands of the Eagles in a 59-58 nail-biter that carried the same total to mark the third consecutive ‘under’ in the rivalry. Virginia owns a 14-7 lead in the series, 12-7 since the Eagles joined the ACC (2005-06).
Virginia can beat you even on a bad night at the offensive end of the floor; the same can’t be said for Boston College if Ky Bowman is not connecting on his shots, which is what happened last Saturday when Va Tech took him out of the game in the second half. My free NCAA basketball pick is on it being a long night for the home fans at Conte Forum.