Virginia vs Virginia Tech Preview & Free Pick [2/18/19]

Virginia (22-2) at Virginia Tech (20-5)
When: Monday, February 18th, 2019
Where: Cassell Coliseum,
Blacksburg, Virginia

Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Virginia -4.5/120

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Big Monday on ESPN kicks off with a terrific rivalry match between the Virginia Cavaliers and Virginia Tech Hokies with both teams looking to make their moves up the ACC standings. The Cavaliers are a perfect 22-0 against everyone not named Duke and have rebounded from their second loss versus the Blue Devils by taking care of both North Carolina and Notre Dame last week. The win over the Tar Heels was more impressive since they were just 48 hours removed from the Duke loss and it was on the road. Virginia brings their 10-1 record away from home into tonight’s contest in Blacksburg against a Hokies team that sits fourth in the ACC standings – 1.5 games behind Virginia and North Carolina. Virginia Tech has won two straight after a 70-64 win at Pitt on Saturday, improving to 3-2 since second-leading scorer Justin Robinson (14.4, team-high 5.4 assists) went down with a toe injury. Virginia is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings with the Hokies, but the series has been split in each of the last three seasons.

Duke penetrated Virginia’s top-ranked defense in both meetings, but the Cavaliers went back to their normal selves to shutdown both North Carolina and Notre Dame, holding them to 61 and 54 respectively. De’Andre Hunter made 13-of-21 shots and averaged 20 points while Kyle Guy made nine 3-pointers and scored 42 combined in the last two games. Hunter also connected on 5-of-6 from 3-point range in the last two games and is shooting 53.4 percent from the field overall this season while averaging 15 points – second on the team behind Guy (15.1). Junior point guard Ty Jerome averages 13 points per contest but was just 2-of-9 shooting against Notre Dame for eight points.

The Hokies have not covered the spread in the four games since holding N.C. State to a historic-low 24 points on Feb. 2nd and are just 6-6 ATS at home this season. Kerry Blackshear drained 8-of-9 from the field, including all three of his 3-point attempts, and recorded nine rebounds Saturday and is averaging 14.0 points and team-high 6.7 rebounds on the season. Sophomore guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker is the leading scorer at 16.9 but was held to nine points in 17 minutes against Pitt because of foul trouble. Virginia Tech will be at Notre Dame on Saturday before hosting Duke next Tuesday.

4 of the last 6 meetings between the Cavaliers and Hokies have gone Under the total.

Virginia Tech has played well without Robinson, but that loss will hurt on Monday when taking on Virginia. I’ve been on this Virginia team all season and they’ve really only let me down against Duke, but they take care of business against the rest. Five points on the road does seem like a lot, but I’m willing to lay that here, because the Hokies offense is not that good, and the Cavaliers will easily shut them down.

Pick: Virginia -5

UVA are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 road games.
Under is 36-14-1 in UVA last 51 road games.
UVA are 37-16-1 ATS in their last 54 games overall.

Under is 7-2 in VT last 9 games as an underdog.
VT are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Mon. games.
Over is 7-3 in VT last 10 overall.

Home team is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings.