The Virginia Tech Hokies (11-7) and Virginia Cavaliers (15-2) are set to face off in an ACC contest Sunday night inside John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA.
Virginia Tech Hokies at Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia Tech is 11-7 on the season and will look to win its first ACC game of the year after dropping its first four of the 2011-12 campaign. The Hokies certainly had the North Carolina Tar Heels on the ropes last time out, but ultimately dropped an 82-68 contest as 6.5-point home underdogs. The program has lost three consecutive games against ranked opponents by an average of 13.0 points. It’s still important to note that Erick Green returned to the floor to lead the team with 17 points last time out, as his streak of 19 straight games with double-figures in scoring is currently the longest among ACC players. Virginia Tech is 0-2 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points.
The Hokies have been very pleased with the play of freshman Dorian Finney-Smith, who is the only ACC freshman with five double-figure rebounding games this season. With the loss to North Carolina, the program dropped to 11-33 against ranked opponents since joining the conference. Hitting shots from the perimeter figures to be key in facing one of the best defenses in the country, knocking down a season-high 13 from beyond the arc versus the Tar Heels.
Virginia opens a two-game homestand and will look to remain perfect inside the JPJA, as the program will also look to match its win total from a season ago. The Cavaliers split their two-game road trip, dropping a 61-58 contest to the Duke Blue Devils before capturing a 70-38 victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as 4.5-point favorites. Total players will find that the ‘under’ has cashed in the team’s last seven opportunities. Virginia is 8-3 ATS as a favorite this year and the ‘under’ is 10-1 in that particular situation.
The Cavaliers have been very good against in-state foes since the 1999-2000 campaign, posting a 41-9 record, including a 32-3 mark when serving as host. Senior forward Mike Scott is certainly the player to watch in this affair, averaging 16.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, leading the team versus the Yellow Jackets with 18 points. Both of Virginia’s losses this season have been by a single possession, with an opportunity to win or tie with the final shot.
Bettors will likely back the Cavaliers due to their 5-1 ATS mark on Sundays, while the Hokies are 0-6 ATS versus conference foes.
Recommendation: Virginia Cavaliers -7.5
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