NCAAM Pick November 29, 2020 – Virginia Tech Hokies at South Florida Bulls

The wins just keep on coming, as we picked up another winner last night, when we backed the Virginia Tech Hokies as underdogs against the Villanova Wildcats. I felt that the Hokies weren’t getting as much love as they deserved this year, as they are a talented team that is going to finish in the top half of the ACC this season and should solidly be an NCAA tournament team in March. I was surprised that I could get them as such big underdogs, getting +9.5-points, in a game that I thought they could win if they got hot.

The Hokies shocked the nation yesterday when they indeed got hot and knocked off the Wildcats outright, but those of you that read my pick weren’t shocked, as we knew all along that this team could play with the big boys and could win this game. The Hokies shot a sizzling hot 50% from deep, nailing 10 three-pointers enroot to the huge upset victory.

In my pick, I mentioned that if Villanova allowed the Virginia Tech guards to get hot like they did in their previous game against Arizona State, that they would regret it. And they are waking up regretting it, as sixth man guard Nahiem Alleyne was making it rain all evening long, scoring 20-points on 7-12 shooting, with 4 three-pointers.

The win gave us our sixth winning bet in seven games so far this season, and we are returning cash at an absurd rate north of 60%! We are going to crank up the free money machine again today when we stick with the Hokies as they look to stay undefeated in their final game in the ESPN bubble against the South Florida Bulls.

Today’s Game

  • Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0) South Florida Bulls (1-1)
  • Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, Connecticut
  • 5:00 PM PST
  • TV: ESPN2

The Virginia Tech Hokies shocked the world last night when they knocked off the Villanova Wildcats in a thrilling overtime affair. Despite not getting much preseason hype in the ACC, the Hokies are sitting at 25th right now on kenpom, and if they can take care of business today against South Florida, to run their record to 3-0, they are nearly certain to see their name in the newest edition of the AP Poll when it is published tomorrow morning.

For South Florida, the Bulls picked up their first loss of the season last night, losing 84-68 to Rhode Island. The Bulls have had a rough start to the season, as their lone win came against the NAIA Florida College Pelicans, by just 10-points. The Bulls are being projected to finish in the bottom half of their league, the American Athletic Conference, and are currently outside of the top-100 nationally.

Spread:

  • Virginia Tech Hokies (-7.5)
  • South Florida Bulls (+7.5)
Money line:

  • Virginia Tech Hokies (-400)
  • South Florida Bulls (+310)
Total Points:

  • Over 124.5 (-110)
  • Under 124.5 (-110)

Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0)

Just how good is this Virginia Hokies team? They showed last night that they can play with, and beat, some of the best teams in the nation, but are they ready for primetime? I think so, as they just might be a sleeper Sweet 16 level team. Obviously, I liked the Hokies last night against Villanova, as I took them as my free betting pick of the day, and part of that pick was the stylistic matchup between those two teams, but at the end of the day, I feel like Virginia Tech just isn’t being priced properly in the betting market right now.

I really like Wofford transfer Keve Aluma and think that he could end up being the top newcomer in the ACC this season. Akuma was recruited and coached by Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young when he was at Wofford, and he has quickly turned into a go-to guy for the Hokies.

In his first two games as a Hokie, Akuma led the team in scoring in both contests with an average of 21 points a game. He is shooting 66% from the field, which might seem high, but in his last season of action at Wofford, he finished the season by making, get this, 66% of his shots. If Akuma can continue to be a force like he has been so far this season, you need to keep your eyes on the Hokies as a team that could make a run in the ACC.

South Florida Bulls (1-1)

For whatever reason, they just don’t seem to be able to score the ball efficiently at South Florida. It is easy to blame current head coach Brian Gregory for their struggles on the offensive side of the floor as the Bulls have finished outside of the top-200 in offensive efficiency rating in each of his three seasons running the program. But the year before Gregory took over the program, South Florida was even worse, as they ranked 313th!

Those struggles on offense showed in their last game when they managed just 68-points against a limited Rhode Island Rams team. The Hokies have been great of defense so far this season as they are currently ranked 32nd in defensive efficiency, and the Bulls are going to struggle to find open looks tonight.

South Florida does have a very experienced lineup, with lots of upperclassmen, but these guys have shown for several seasons that they just don’t score the ball well, so I am not sure that is experience that you really want on the floor.

Who Do I Like?

This game is a mismatch. Virginia Tech was completely disrespected by the betting public in last night’s game against Villanova, and again they are being disrespected tonight against South Florida. You hate to call a team full of seniors bad, but this South Florida team is bad. I see them finishing near the basement in the AAC, and they are outside of the top-100 right now nationally.

I understand that there is letdown game potential here for Virginia Tech, but in a game where they are just the far superior team, I don’t think they are going to be daydreaming about last night and let this one slip away.

But the public sure does, as they have been backing South Florida in droves! This line opened up at Virginia Tech -9-points, which is exactly where the data tells us the line should have been. But with all of this early action coming in on South Florida, the number has now shifted to Virginia Tech -7.5-points.

The Bet

I don’t know how they manage to do it, but the public just always seems to get it wrong. My college basketball betting philosophy can be summed up pretty simply most of the time. Watch the lines move, fade the public, get paid. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

In a spot like this one where the data never supported the line move, and it was driven by the public betting action, I get to make one of my favorite plays and position myself on the other side.

Every once in a while, the public gets it right, but not often, and not in this one. I see Virginia Tech being much better than South Florida in this game, and I don’t know if the Bulls will break the 60-point mark tonight. I’ll back the Hokies for the second straight night and expect the same results, a winning ticket. Give me the Virginia Tech Hokies laying -7.5-points tonight in their final bubble game against South Florida. I’ll call it an 80-62 final score!

The Bet: Virginia Tech Hokies -7.5

My Pick
Virginia Tech Hokies -7.5
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL