Schools near the bottom of the ACC standings will cross paths again when the Boston College Eagles (11-13, 10--14-0 ATS, 5-8 ACC) play the Virginia Tech Hokies (14-9, 9-14-0 ATS, 4-8 ACC) in Blacksburg, Virginia. Boston College took down the Hokies 70-65 in OT in December. That game dropped Virginia Tech from #21 to out of the top-25 rankings, and they haven't been ranked since. The last four meetings between these schools have been decided by five or fewer points, with Boston College winning each one. This game is at Cassell Coliseum, and tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. EST.
A Grounded Eagles OffenseBoston College has lost two of its last three, averaging only 62.3 points in those three contests. Their offense all season has struggled, only putting up 65.8 points per game, 14th in the ACC and 324th in the country. They play at a slower pace, but they're also inefficient, as evidenced by their 43.1% shooting as a team which is 13th in the conference.
Their defense only gives up 69.4 points per game, but again, efficiency is an issue. They allow opponents to make 44.8% of their shots, 13th in the conference. Even worse, foes are drilling 37.2% of their threes on them, 339th nationally, and last in the ACC.
Syracuse had no problem scoring on Boston College on Saturday, hitting 51.0% of their shots. The Eagles also put the Orange at the free-throw line 24 times while only taking four free throws. Boston College was up 59-56 before a 10-0 Syracuse run gave the Orange the lead for good. Quinten Post led the Eagles in scoring with 18 points.
The Eagles have struggled on the road this season, with a 1-6 record, although their lone win was recent. KenPom has Boston College 179th in the nation, ahead of only two ACC schools. Their only path to The Big Dance is through winning the ACC tournament at this point.
Happy to be HomeVirginia Tech has won three of four, with all three wins coming at home. Overall they're 11-2 at home this season with two of the wins coming over teams that were ranked heading into the game. KenPom has Virginia Tech as the 48th-ranked team in the nation this season. Yet, Bracketology has them out of the NCAA tournament in their most recent update.
Like Boston College, Virginia Tech plays at a slower tempo. Unlike Boston College, they are very efficient offensively. The Hokies are hitting 47.3% of their shots this season, second in the ACC and 43rd in the country. They also knock down 35.5% of their three-pointers.
Their offense led the way in their upset win over Virginia, one of the nation's toughest defenses, on Saturday. The Hokies hit 50.1% of their shots and 38.9% of their threes in the 74-68 win. Sean Pedulla led the way with 22 points and five boards. Virginia Tech never trailed in the game.
Play Sum 2 Prove by Lil Baby 🎶— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) February 4, 2023
😤 @PedullaSean pic.twitter.com/LjtuEkLSfv
Virginia Tech's defense is a middle-of-the-pack unit in the ACC. They only allow 67.5 points per game which is fourth in the conference. Opponents shoot 42.8% against them sixth in the ACC, and 32.4% against them on threes, also sixth.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Hokies should run away with this game. They've been monsters at home this season, and Boston College hasn't done well on the road. If Virginia Tech wants an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament these are the games that they need to dominate wire-to-wire. Their offense should dominate a weak Boston College defense, unlike last time, while their defense should have no issues stopping an awful Eagles offense again. Coming off a huge win, I think we see the Hokies start to remind people why they were ranked earlier in the season. Virginia Tech covers in this game.
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Full-Game Total Pick
While I'm expecting Virginia Tech to run away with this on the strength of their offense, I think the under is the move here. The first game finished with only 135 points despite overtime and was at 118 total points when the second half ended. Both teams play at a slower tempo which will limit the number of possessions in the game. The pace of play coupled with Boston College's ugly offense against a solid Virginia Tech defense has me confident that this game won't come near 139 total points. The over hit last time, but the under will hit this time.