I have written up the Virginia Tech Hokies twice in the last two days, both times screaming that they are being criminally underpriced in the betting market. In both games, I felt that the Hokies weren’t getting nearly as much respect as they deserve, and I backed them and felt like I had made high value plays. And just like they did when they knocked off the 3rd ranked Villanova Wildcats two days ago, they did not disappoint last night, as they won and covered with ease in their game against the South Florida Bulls.
I predicted that the Hokies would win 80-62 and easily cover the -7.5-point spread, and when the clock hit zero in the second half, the Hokies took home the 76-58 victory, and we cashed our ticket with little sweat. For some inexplicable reason, the public was hammering on South Florida, moving the line towards the Bulls, and I got to sit back, relax, fade the public, and get paid.
— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) November 30, 2020
This Virginia Tech team is absolutely the real deal this year. I am not saying that they are going to win the ACC or anything like that, but this is a tournament level team, potentially a second-weekend tournament team even. The Hokies are now ranked 22nd on kenpom, and I would be shocked if they aren’t in the top-25 of the AP Poll when it is released later today.
Mike Young has turned things around quickly in Blacksburg, and if the public keeps disrespecting them, I am going to keep looking for ways to back them profitable every time that they play. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will head back to Bubbleville for a non-conference game between Boston College and St John’s.
- Boston College Eagles (1-1) at St. John’s Red Storm (2-0)
- Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, Connecticut
- 3:00 PM PST
- TV: ESPNU
The St. John’s Red Storm are hoping to keep their undefeated season alive tonight when they play host to the Boston College Eagles from Bubbleville in Uncasville. The Johnnies are 2-0 with wins over Saint Peter’s and La Salle and are hoping to add a power conference victory to their resume before heading into what is sure to be a challenging Big East conference play schedule.
— St. John's BBall (@StJohnsBBall) November 30, 2020
For Boston College, the Eagles played Villanova tough in their season opener, leading late in the second half before eventually coming up short. They rebounded in their second game of the year, though, as they knocked off the Rhode Island Rams, and they would love to find a way to keep that momentum going tonight and pick up back to back victories.
Boston College Eagles (1-1)
The Boston College Eagles will have almost an entirely new team on the floor this year than the one they rode last season to a 13-19 record. BC gets back Wynston Tabbs, who missed all of last season with an injury, and they have added a slew of transfers as well. Makai Ashton-Langford (Providence), Rich Kelly (Quinnipiac), James Karnik (Lehigh), and Frederick Scott (Rider) are all newcomers that are going to get minutes right away.
Tabbs has looked solid in his return to the floor as he led the Eagles in scoring in their win over Rhode Island, and they need him to get back to scoring double-digit points per game like he did in 2018 when he averaged nearly 14-points a contest. If all of these new pieces can come together quickly, the Eagles could finish in the middle of the pack in the ACC, which might be good enough to send them dancing in March.
St. John’s Red Storm (2-0)
Mike Anderson is in his second season as head coach at St. John’s, and while last year wasn’t overly successful, the Johnnies did have some high points that he can build upon this year. St. John’s looked great in the non-conference as they ran up an 11-2 record and picked up quality wins over Arizona and West Virginia.
But hidden in those eleven wins were also a lot of wins against teams ranked outside the top-200 like Wagner, Central Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Columbia. The win total looked great, but there wasn’t a lot of substance there, and when the Red Storm hit league play, they got blitzed, losing 12 of their first 15 league games in the Big East.
While I do think Mike Anderson is a heck of a basketball coach, he lost his best player from last season in LJ Figueroa, and he is going to have to rely upon a bunch of transfers to step in and play well right away if he wants to win games this year. They did manage to win their first two games of the season, but they again scheduled soft in the non-conference, as neither of those wins came against teams inside the top-150 nationally, and they barely snuck past Saint Peters, winning by just one point.
Who Do I Like?
This is an interesting matchup. Both of these teams have rehauled rosters, and both of them are ranked very similarly, with St. John’s sitting at 75th on kenpom and Boston College currently ranked 77th. Both of these teams would need to overachieve in order to finish in the top half of their respective leagues, and even getting on the bubble at all, would be a successful season.
So, in such an evenly matched game, where do I see the value at? I like BC. The win over Rhode Island wasn’t a great one as the Rams are going to be down this year, but it was a decent one, and remember, the Eagles led by as many as 9-points in the second half against Villanova. They couldn’t finish that game out, but if they had upset the Wildcats, this team would be viewed a lot differently right now.
And when you look at the other side of this game, St. John’s, the Red Storm struggled badly against Saint Peters, a team from the Metro Athletic that has zero chance of picking up an at-large bid this season. That is an awfully small sample size to be having too strong of opinions on either of these teams, but in a spot where both teams have brand new rosters, we don’t have much else to go off of, and some data is better than none.
This line opened up at an even pick ‘em, and the early betting sharps backed BC and moved the number towards the Eagles to where it stands now at BC -1-point. I don’t normally like to side with the betting public, but the overnight bettors are almost always sharp, and they saw a bad number and took advantage of it, so I am going to follow suit and do the same thing.
This isn’t Joe public standing at the betting counter with a Boston College hat on firing on his team that is moving the number, this is sharp money, and I don’t mind siding with the sharps, even if they did cost me a point for being late. This one will likely be competitive, and we are going to sweat it out, but at the end of the day, I see Boston College gutting out the win and cover. Give me the Boston College Eagles as -1-point favorites tonight from Bubbleville!