NCAA Basketball Picks: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Miami Hurricanes

Virginia Cavaliers at No. 2 Miami Hurricanes
Tuesday, 2/19/13, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -8
Current Betting Line:  Miami -7.5
Opening Total:  116
Current Total:  117
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Miami Hurricanes are 3-0 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points this season
The Miami Hurricanes are 3-0 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points this season

Virginia had its three-game win streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a 93-81 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels as five-point road underdogs, while going OVER the total for the seventh time in eight contests.  The Cavaliers rank fourth nationally in scoring defense allowing 54.0 points per game, while going 6-12 against ranked opponents during the Tony Bennett era, including an 0-3 mark versus top-five foes.  Virginia is 3-0 ATS as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball betting lines Tuesday night.

The Cavaliers have held nine of their 12 ACC opponents under 60 points, but they’ve gone 0-5 against the Hurricanes in Coral Gables, including an 0-4 mark at the BankUnited Center.  Virginia has lost its last 15 games in the state of Florida, with its last such victory coming on Feb. 17, 2001.  Junior guard Joe Harris is the player to watch on the offensive end, averaging 16.7 points per game.

Miami kept its perfect conference record intact by capturing a 45-43 victory over the Clemson Tigers as six-point road favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the posted total of 119.5.  “Preparation will be very short, which is unfortunate because Virginia is such a good team,” commented Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga.  The Hurricanes are on an eight-game home ACC winning streak, while they’ve gone 11-2 in that situation since Larranaga arrived on campus.  Miami is 3-0 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points this season, with the OVER cashing in each of those contests.

The Hurricanes have compiled a perfect 11-0 record at home thus far, while notching double-digit wins at this particular venue nine times in 10 full seasons.  Miami has shot better than 42 percent from the field in 10 of its 11 home games, which is important to consider when making your college basketball picks.  The team has been tremendous in the final 20 minutes of games this season, outscoring foes by an average of 7.6 points in the second half.

Sports bettors will likely back the Hurricanes due to their 14-3 ATS run at home, while the Cavaliers are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 road games.

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