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Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech College Basketball Picks: Are Hokies Set To Bounce Back?

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Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech College Basketball Picks: Are Hokies Set To Bounce Back?
Virginia Tech's Storm Murphy tries to drive past Reece Beekman of Virginia. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images via AFP.

Notre Dame is off to a surprising start in ACC play, while Virginia Tech is looking to snap its longest losing streak of the season. We give our favorite Notre Dame-Virginia Tech picks for Saturday’s matchup.

The Fighting Irish (10-5, 4-1) are in second place in the ACC. They enter this affair on a season-high six-game winning streak, with the last four victories coming in conference play.

Virginia Tech (8-7, 0-4) is the only ACC team that’s winless in league play. The Hokies are on a three-game losing streak, but they’ve won four of their last five against Notre Dame.

Here are my picks and predictions for the Jan. 15 college basketball matchup between Notre Dame and Virginia Tech (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech Game Info

Date/Time: Saturday, Jan. 15, 6:00 p.m. ET
TV: ACCN
Location: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech Odds Analysis

Virginia Tech is a 6-point home favorite. After starting the season with five straight covers, the Hokies are just 2-7 against the spread since, and they've covered only one of their last five games. Notre Dame is 2-3 ATS as an underdog and failed to cover its only game as a road 'dog.

The 133-point total is the second-lowest of Notre Dame's last seven games. The Fighting Irish snapped a four-game Over streak in their previous contest. Meanwhile, the Over is 3-1 in Notre Dame's four road games, while the Under has cashed in 10 of Virginia Tech's 15 matchups overall.

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech Picks

Virginia Tech -6 (-110) ★★★★
Under 133 (-110) ★★★

SEE ALSO: All College Basketball Picks

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech Predictions

Virginia Tech -6 (-110)

Given the opposite directions these teams have been headed for the last couple of weeks, Virginia Tech is the contrarian play, with the expectation being the Hokies are too good to keep losing. Virginia Tech has played a much more demanding league schedule than Notre Dame, with two of its conference games coming against arguably the league's best teams (Duke, Virginia). And though Notre Dame handed North Carolina its only league loss to this point, that game was in the friendly confines of the Joyce Center, and the Fighting Irish's other three wins were against teams that are a combined 4-11 in the conference.

Mike Young's Hokies squad can exploit the Fighting Irish with Keve Aluma's mobility out of the high post, as he's a tough cover for Notre Dame's Nate Laszewski. Aluma averaged 14.5 points and 12 rebounds in the Hokies' two wins against the Fighting Irish last year, and Young's off-ball-screening offensive scheme has proven difficult for Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey to plan for in the past.

Under 133 (-110)

For as much as Virginia Tech has struggled this year, its 3-point defense under Young has remained elite. The Hokies are allowing opponents to shoot just 26.7% from deep, which is the ninth-best rate in the country. That type of defensive prowess will come in handy against a Notre Dame squad that attempts 45.3% of its shots from behind the arc, the 37th-highest rate in the country.

Virginia Tech held Notre Dame to an average of 57 points in two meetings last year. Though the Fighting Irish have topped 72 points in five of their previous six games, they struggle against teams that play at a slow tempo and run them off the 3-point line, just like Saint Mary's and Indiana did when they held Notre Dame to 59 and 56 points, respectively.

Look for Virginia Tech's perimeter defense to be a key reason this game stays Under the projected total.

SEE ALSO: All picks and odds. Be sure to check out SportsbookReview.com's community forums and betting tools.

Notre Dame-Virginia Tech picks made 1/15/2022 at 7:36 a.m. ET.