Ohio St. Defense Won't Stop Virginia From Owning the Court in ACC/Big Ten Clash

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 4:09 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 4:09 PM UTC

Virginia Cavaliers face Ohio State Buckeyes tonight in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Check inside, as we break down the NCAA basketball odds and decide on the best NCAA basketball picks for you.

A 2-3 record isn't what you would expect out of an Ohio State basketball program, but that's where the Buckeyes sit and to make things even more worrisome for OSU is the #10 Virginia Cavaliers (5-1) are coming to town tonight. A win here for Virginia would be routine at this point while a win for the Buckeyes would be huge. See who we like in this intriguing matchup as our betting pick.

Tip- off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST tonight at the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. This game can be seen on the ESPN Network. According to NCAA Basketball odds, the Cavaliers are a healthy 8 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 133.5 points.


Well Rounded Basketball Team
Virginia, who led the nation in defense last season, has the tools to make it to the NCAA Championship game as once again, their defense is out in full force, allowing just 58.3 points on 39.1% shooting. Not only that, the Cavs have been putting the rock in the hole at a rapid pace, scoring 80 points or more in their last 5 games.

The defense was expected, but the offense wasn't expected to this degree as Virginia is a team that's been known for grinding out low scoring affairs. Nonetheless, whatever is working for the Cavaliers, you can expect this style of play to continue as it's brought great succcess thus far.

Frequent substitutions have also been a reason for Virginia's success as they enter the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against the Buckeyes. They have 9 players that are averaging 10.8 minutes or more per game and this keeps the defense fresh as teams with less depth tire out.


Malcolm Brogdon
It might be a longshot, but this senior could latch on to an NBA squad either through the draft or via free agency as he's playing on a team with such talent that his numbers take a bit of a hit. That said, he's coming off of back to back 20 plus point games and leads the Cavs at 16.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in just under 30 minutes per game. This is a player with good size at 6 foot 5, 215 pounds, play's both ends of the court, and keeps turnovers to a minimum. Expect a big game out of Brogdon as the Buckeyes will be up for this game at home.


Supporting Cast
Seniors Anthony Gill (12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds) and Mike Tobey (9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds) will man the boards as point guard, London Perrantes is the main ball distributor and can knock down the 3-ball in the blink of an eye. Perrantes is averaging 47.8% from 3-point range and he should play a major role in stifling the OSU defense.

Virginia is top-rated team because of they're so well-rounded, have great experience, and everyone contributes whether they play 29 minutes or 15 minutes per ball game.

Where the Ohio State Buckeyes are concerned, they could make this a competitive ball game. They've lost their last 3 ball games, but haven't lost a game by more than 8 points. Add in home court advantage and this could be a tight game. Ohio State must find a way to break the blockade known as the Virginia defense. This is a team that can take care of the boards with 4 players with 6 rebounds or more per game. Eliminating 2nd shot could lower Virginia's offensive output. All of these factors lead to such a low betting total in this game.


"Loving" Scoring
Forward, Mark Loving, has gotten off to a very fast junior season as he leads the Buckeyes in scoring at 16.6 points per game. Loving is also a sound shooter from the field and from the line. He's a solid 40% shooter from beyond the arc and is also averaging 21 points in his last 2 games. Ohio State needs a big game out of their leader to have any chance in this game.

Ohio State is a team that can light up the scoreboard and can clean up the boards, but ultimately, they'll have to play better defense as that's the huge difference between these two teams. Although this is a great spot for Ohio State, look for Virginia in your NCAA Basketball picks to run away with this game late.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia Cavaliers -8 at 5Dimes

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