Free College Basketball Picks: VCU at Virginia Odds
by Dave Schwab - 11/11/2013
This Tuesday night from the John Paul Jones Arena, the Atlantic 10’s VCU Rams will square off against the Virginia Cavaliers, out of the ACC, in an early-season matchup between two state rivals looking for a fast start to the season. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
VCU came into this season fresh off a run to the third round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, where it fell to Michigan 78-53 as a 3.5-point underdog. The Rams finished with a 12-4 straight up record in their first season in the A-10, and they went 27-9 overall.
The Cavaliers ended up fifth in the ACC last season with a conference record of 11-7. They went 23-12 overall in a run that ended with a 75-64 loss to Iowa in the NIT’s quarterfinals as 3.5-point favorites. They closed out the season by failing to cover in six of their last seven games.
Rams at Cavaliers Betting Storylines
VCU’s program has been in the national spotlight for the past few seasons ever since its incredible run to the 2011 Final Four as a No. 11 seed. This has obviously done wonders for head coach Shaka Smart’s recruiting efforts. He comes into his fifth season at the helm with his most talented team yet as noted by such favorable preseason ranking in both major polls.
The Rams opened the season this past Friday against Illinois State and made quick work of the Redbirds by jumping out to a 30-point lead after scoring 52 points in the first half. Four of VCU’s five starters ended the night in double-figures, led by Terrance Shannon and Treveon Graham’s combined 28 points. Melvin Johnson also turned in a strong performance off the bench with 11 points and four rebounds, VCU went on to win 96-58 as a 21-point home favorite..
The Cavaliers’ program continues to improve as well in the highly-competitive ACC. While they are not on the same level as the upper echelon of the conference, they still have a team that can successfully compete for a spot in the NCCA Tournament this season. A victory in this game would quickly establish themselves as the top men’s college team in the state as well as provide an early quality win for their tournament resume.
Virginia opened its 2013-14 campaign with a 61-41 victory over another in-state rival; James Madison, but it could not cover as a 22.5-point home favorite. The Cavaliers more than doubled-up the Dukes in the first half with a 32-14 lead, but they called off the dogs in the second half to keep this game closer than it actually was. Anthony Gill was the team’s leading scorer with 13 points, and a total of nine different players registered at least two points in this game.
Rams at Cavaliers College Basketball Betting Tends and Futures Odds
The Rams are 4-11 against the spread in their last 14 games against a team with a winning record SU and 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games on the road. The total has stayed “under” in their last four nonconference games.
The Cavaliers are 15-7-1 ATS in their last 23 games outside the conference but 0-4 ATS in their last four contests against the Atlantic 10. The total has stayed under in five of their last seven games.
These two programs met twice in the late 90s, with Virginia winning both games both SU and ATS.
Free College Basketball Picks: VCU vs. Virginia Betting Predictions
This will be a tough early-season matchup for VCU against a team that is noted for playing solid defense while capitalizing on opponent’s mistakes, especially on its home court. The Rams’ slight edge in overall talent will be able to keep this game competitive deep into the second half. I like them to actually win this contest SU with a late-game surge, so I am more than happy to jump all over the four points on the road.
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