Take 'Under' 135 Our Marquee NCAA Basketball Pick For Virginia & Pittsburgh

Charles Stark

Saturday, February 6, 2016 12:10 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 12:10 PM UTC

In the last three times Virginia and Pittsburgh have met in league play they have finished with some low final totals. What can we except today and who will be our NCAA Basketball Pick?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 135
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


NCAA Basketball odds experts have set the total for this game at 135 and Virginia the favorite -1.5 . It is understandable when you look at the statistics of both of these teams, but for my selections I will back under the total in this game. In the past two years when these teams have met they have not come close to today's total, and I don't expect a different type of outcome.


Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia is averaging 71.9 points per game while averaging 49.6% from the field, and allowing 60.5 points per game on 41.9% shooting from the field. On the season Virginia is 10-10 overall on their over under totals, and 6-5 on the road. Head coach Tony Bennett has done an amazing job at Virginia, especially establishing his pack line defensive principles. Offensively they are one of the more efficient teams in the country ranking 13th and 17th in shooting efficiency and effective field percentage respectively. They also have been terrific from distance shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc which ranks 13th in the country. As usual though with Bennett his team does not push the pace very much and only averages 52.8 field goal attempts per game. Defensively they are one of the best defenses in the country across the board. Percentagewise there is not a lot to brag about as the rank towards the bottom of the top 100 teams in opponent overall, two, and three point shooting percentages. With their tempo though it is hard to get a good look as they allow an average of just 49.7 field goal attempts per game which ranks fifth in the country, and opponents making just 20.8 of those which ranks eighth. This is a well-coached, hard-nosed team that has stepped things up on the defensive end recently, expect more of that type of play tonight.


Pittsburgh Panthers
Pittsburgh is averaging 80.3 points per game while shooting 47.8% from the field, and allowing 67.6 points per game on 42.7% shooting from the field. On the season Pittsburgh overall is 10-8 on their over under totals, and 7-5 at home. Head coach Jamie Dixon has a nice squad, but they have been less than stellar in their last several games. I expect them tonight with ranked Virginia coming to them that they will step things up because they do have some talent. Offensively they rank in the better part of the country in some of the more important offensive categories. Currently the Panthers rank 19th in shooting efficiency, third averaging 18.7 assist per game, and rank in the top part of the country hitting 38.3% from beyond the arc. Today though they face the best defense they have all season in Virginia. Defensively Pittsburgh is tough and they are decent at controlling tempo. Statistically nothing jumps out at you particularly on this side of the floor but they do hold opponents to just 33.8% from distance, and rank in the top third of the country in opponent shooting efficiency and effective field goal percentage. In their last three matchups, all losses to the Cavaliers, they have held Virginia to just 48, 51, and 61 points. That is a good job on the defensive end, but the key aspect for me is that they held them to these low numbers and still lost. This is the type of game I believe we will see today.

Although offensively both of these teams have been quite efficient at times putting up a lot of points, with the matchups today and the style of play I look for a low-scoring grind out affair. For one of your NCAA basketball picks I recommend backing under the total when Virginia visits Pittsburgh in a game that should go down to the wire.

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