The Virginia Cavaliers take on the Miami Hurricanes. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Virginia Miami prediction and pick.
The Virginia Cavaliers finally lost a game this season. They fell at home to the Houston Cougars in a top-five showdown this past weekend. Houston and Virginia have two of the best teams in the country. They have two of the best defenses in the country. They have two of the best coaches in the country. Virginia, however, did not have a fully healthy Reece Beekman against Houston. Virginia’s guard, who plays great defense and facilitates the Cavaliers’ offense — averaging nearly five assists per game — scored only four points in 34 minutes. He simply wasn’t as effective as he needed to be for the Hoos, who fell to 8-1 but learned a lot about themselves against Houston. The Cavaliers and Cougars could certainly meet in the NCAA Tournament, maybe the Final Four. No one would be especially surprised. Both teams are contenders for their respective conference championships and should both be very high seeds in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Virginia, under coach Tony Bennett, has regained its winning edge. The roster isn’t dramatically different from last season, but a year of practice and training has sharpened this team and its instincts. Virginia reacts well to game pressure and the actions of its opponents. The Cavaliers scored over 50 points in the second half to beat Baylor in November. They beat Illinois in another very tough game. They won at Michigan in a very close road game, part of the ACC Big Ten Challenge. They answered a lot of challenges against good teams before running into Houston. Playing at Miami will not be an overly intimate experience for them.
Courtesy of FanDuelhere are the Virginia-Miami College basketball odds.
College basketball odds: Virginia-Miami Odds
Virginia Cavaliers: -3.5 (-115)
Miami Hurricanes: +3.5 (-105)
Over: 130.5 (-114)
Under: 130.5 (-106)
Why Virginia Could Cover the Spread
The Cavaliers won a lot of big games so far this season. Reece Beekman was unable to solve Houston, but he is likely to play better against Miami. If he does play better against Miami, Virginia has a more complete team. It will have the necessary ingredients to beat a backcourt-dominant Miami team which made the Elite Eight of last season’s NCAA Tournament. Virginia plays great defense. That’s how to handle Miami, which loves to get up and down the court in transition and play a fast-paced game before Virginia’s defense can set up in halfcourt situations. The old saying in basketball (at least one old saying) is that it’s easier to slow a game down than to speed it up. Virginia can slow down Miami.
The other point to make is that Miami hasn’t played as tough a schedule as Virginia. Miami hasn’t played cupcakes, but Virginia’s collection of opponents has been very strong. Miami needed a second-half rally from a 10-point deficit to beat North Carolina State earlier this month. Virginia has taken down Baylor and Illinois and Michigan, all teams which are better than NC State. Virginia should be able to get the job done.
Why Miami Could Cover the Spread
Miami will benefit from Reece Beekman not being 100-percent healthy. Virginia is a great team when it is whole, but taking away just one piece — or merely reducing the effectiveness of one piece — has a big effect on the Cavaliers, who are not especially deep and depend on their core group to function well together. Miami’s backcourt might have had a worse problem if Beekman was fully healthy, but since he’s not at full strength, the Canes’ guards can control the tempo of this game. They can get steals and run the floor, playing the kind of basketball UM and coach Jim Larranaga want in this game.
Final Virginia-Miami Prediction & Pick
The questions surrounding Reece Beekman and how effective he will be offer you good reason to stay away from this game. Just watch, learn, and enjoy — maybe gather some information for the next time you bet on either one of these teams.
Final Virginia-Miami Prediction & Pick: Miami +3.5