No. 20 Virginia Tech at Notre Dame
Meeting for the second time this season, No. 20 Virginia Tech visits Notre Dame for an ACC battle on Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind. The Hokies outscored the Fighting Irish 42-21 in the second half and won the first meeting 77–63 on Jan. 10 at home. Virginia Tech easily covered the spread as a 6.5-point favorite. These teams met once last season and Notre Dame posted a 64-56 victory at home.
Virginia Tech (11–3, 5–2 ACC) is playing a third straight road game and is looking to rebound from a 78–60 loss to Syracuse on Jan. 23. Prior to that, the Hokies had a home game against Boston College cancelled and defeated Wake Forest 64–60 on the road. Virginia Tech has signature wins against No. 3 Villanova (81–73 OT), No. 24 Clemson (66–60) and No. 19 Duke (74-67) so far this season. The Hokies are third in the ACC standings behind Virginia and Florida State.
Notre Dame (5-8, 2-5 ACC) is back at home following a 73-59 road win over the Miami Hurricanes. The Fighting Irish led 30–22 at halftime and cruised to an easy win as three-point underdogs. Prior to that, Notre Dame had a road game against Howard cancelled and posted an 80–70 win against Boston College at home. The Fighting Irish have struggled against ranked opponents as they are 0–6 straight up and against the spread in games against AP Top 25 teams.
The Hokies enter this contest averaging 73.3 points per game (ppg) and the Fighting Irish aren’t far behind as they are scoring 71.3 ppg. Virginia Tech has an edge on defense as they are allowing just 65.6 ppg while Notre Dame is giving up 73.4 ppg. Virginia Tech is missing a key part of their offense as second-leading scorer Tyrece Radford was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday. While that’s a big loss, I am betting on the Hokies winning this contest straight up.
Pick: Virginia Tech +102 Moneyline at DraftKings
Penn State at No. 13 Ohio State
Big Ten Conference rivals clash when Penn State visits No. 13 Ohio State tonight. This game was originally scheduled for Jan. 6 and it’s the first of two meetings this season. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. These teams split the season series last year as both teams cruised to a blowout victory at home. The Buckeyes won the first game 106–74 in Columbus and the Nittany Lions won the rematch 90–76 in Happy Valley.
Ohio State (12–4, 6–4 Big Ten) returns home following an impressive 74–62 win on the road over No. 10 Wisconsin on Jan 23. The Buckeyes drained 15 of 18 free throw attempts and defeated the Badgers as 5.5-point underdogs. The win was a solid rebound after Ohio State lost 67–65 at home as 5.5-point favorites to unranked Purdue. That was the Buckeyes first loss at home as they won their previous eight as hosts by a 640–499 combined margin of victory.
Penn State (5–6, 2–5 Big Ten) heads to Columbus following a pair of home wins as they posted a 75–67 victory over Rutgers and an 81–78 win against Northwestern. Prior to that, the Nittany Lions lost a pair road games 79–65 against No. 22 Illinois and 80–72 against Purdue. The losses followed a stretch of four games that Penn State had to cancel due to COVID–19 issues. The Nittany Lions are 1–4 straight up and 3–2 against the spread on the road this season.
These teams have almost identical numbers on offense as Ohio State is scoring 76.6 ppg and Penn State is averaging 76.5 ppg. The Buckeyes have an edge on defense as they are allowing 67.3 ppg while the Nittany Lions are giving up 76.2 ppg. A recent same team opponent provides some insight into how this game might play out. Ohio State defeated Illinois 87–81 who posted a 79-65 win over Penn State. I am laying the point spread and backing the Buckeyes.
Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -7.5 (-110) ATS at DraftKings
2020–21 NCAA Basketball Betting Record: 16–6 ATS
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