College Basketball Picks: Virginia vs. Miami Odds and Betting Predictions

Doc MosemanCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2013

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16:  Mike Scott #23 and Akil Mitchell #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers control a rebond in the first half against the Florida Gators during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

The Virginia Cavaliers will try to knock the Miami Hurricanes from the ranks of the ACC unbeaten when the two conference foes clash this Tuesday night at the BankUnited Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. (ET), and it will broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

Virginia has been able to hold its own in the ACC this season with a respectable 8-4 record in conference play. It is coming off a 93-81 setback to North Carolina this past Saturday as a five-point road underdog. It is now 18-7 straight up and a profitable 14-7-1 against the spread. The total has gone “over” in seven of its last eight games.

The Hurricanes extended their record in the conference to a perfect 12-0 SU with a tight 45-43 road win over Clemson as six-point road favorites this past Sunday. They are 21-3 SU on the year and another solid team to wager on at 15-5-1 ATS. The total has gone over in four of their last six games.

Virginia vs. Miami Betting Storylines

The Cavaliers aren’t one of the flashier teams in the ACC with a very workman-like 65 points a game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field. They still have a couple of individual stand-out players, including Joe Harris, who is averaging a team-high 16.7 points a game and shooting 50.4 percent from the floor. Akil Mitchell is the only other player scoring in double figures with 12.6 points a game. He also leads the team in rebounds with 8.8.

The real strength of Virginia lies in a stifling defense that is holding opponents to just 54 points a game. Unfortunately, it has not been able to match that lofty number on the road in giving up over 10 more points a game on average. It has also had trouble competing under the boards with 32.3 rebounds a game.

Miami has not only been the story of the year in the ACC, it is closing in on a potential No.1 seed for this season’s NCAA Tournament if it can finish strong over its remaining six regular season games. The Hurricanes are another team that is not known for lighting up the scoreboard with an average of only 69.5 points a game, but they remain efficient with their shots with a field goal percentage of 46 percent. Durand Scott leads a trio of players averaging just over 13 points a game, and Shane Larkin remains the team’s best pure shooter in hitting 47.8 percent from the floor and 42.6 percent from three-point range.

What should make this matchup a real grinder until the end is a Miami defense that is allowing an average of just 57.3 points a game at home this season. It has not given up more than 63 points in any of its last six home games. It should also have the edge underneath the boards with an average of 36.4 rebounds a game.

Virginia vs. Miami Betting Odds and Trends by BetOnline

BetOnline has opened the Hurricanes as 8.5-point home favorites with the “over/under” line still listed as OFF on its latest board.

The Cavaliers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games following a SU loss but just 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games on the road. The total has gone over in their last four road games.

The Hurricanes are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 home games and 18-7-2 ATS in their last 27 games following a SU win. The total has gone over in four of their last six games against a team with a winning record.

The road team in this series is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and the total has gone over in three of the last five games. Miami is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in the last eight meetings.

College Basketball Picks: Virginia vs. Miami Betting Predictions

Depending on how low the total opens for this game, a play on the under could actually be the best way to go with two of the top defenses in the ACC on the court at the same time. If playing a side, Miami will win SU, but stick with the Cavaliers to make enough of a game out of this contest to cover with the 8.5 points.

Take # 545 Virginia (+8.5) over Miami (Tuesday, Feb.19, 9 p.m.)