Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Virginia is coming off that high-profiled game on Saturday against Duke that the network was pimping for 48 hours like it was “the event of the year”. Duke beat Virginia by 10 and now another blue-blood is priced in almost the same range over Virginia. That’s nuts because the Tar Heels are not in the same class as either Duke or Virginia and will get badly exposed at some point.
The market is willing to overlook UNC’s scare this past weekend, where, as a 16-point favorite over Miami in North Carolina no less, the Tar Heels squeaked by in OT. No question that was a “look-ahead” spot for UNC but its entire body of work this season is not that impressive and looks prettier on paper. North Carolina is 9-1 in the conference and 19-4 overall but they have beaten up on ACC weaklings like Miami, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The Tar Heels have not played Duke, Virginia or Syracuse yet and split with Louisville. They also lost to Michigan by 17, to Kentucky by 8 and to Texas by three but seven conference wins in a row combined with their overall records masks the flaws that are going to do this team in.
Yeah they can score but but we can’t shake the feeling that the Tar Heels are soft. The loss to Kentucky was galling given how poorly the Cats had been playing to that point. North Carolina took a punch early on and never mounted a credible counterattack. The defense is efficient but not disruptive, and while the Heels have two potent scorers in senior forwards Cameron Johnson and Luke Maye, they are both jump-shooters, not drivers, and neither plays like an alpha male. The development of freshman point guard Coby White is intriguing, but he is still learning to decide when to get his own buckets versus setting up his teammates. Sloppy, indecisive and needing to hit a high % of their shots, UNC has proven they are not on the same level as the other powers in the league. Virgins is one of those powers.
One 10-point loss to Duke (probably the best team in America) and another fluke loss in the first round of last year’s NCAA’s drives the way the market views this program, but that’s what makes the Cavaliers such a smart Buy right now. This might be the most versatile offensive team Tony Bennett has coached. Virginia has three players (Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter) who can get their own buckets late in the shot clock. That is crucial given that this is the slowest team in the country and ranks second nationally in turnover percentage. You have to beat the Cavs playing their way, not yours, and they are better playing their way than you are. Plus, they have the mental makeup to play through the shadow of last year’s pratfall against UMBC. Dump this stock at your financial peril and we’ll eat it up as fast as you drop it and watch Virginia methodically put this host in its rightful place, which is a top 25 team and not close to being in UVA’s range.
Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
Virginia +106 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.12)