The No. 8 Virginia Tech Hokies (21-11) will be 2-point favorites in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena when they square off with the No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide (19-15). The game’s Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 141.5 points and action begins at 9:20 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Betting Odds
Both teams lost in their last matchup. The Hokies fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 71-65, while the Crimson Tide were blown out by the Kentucky Wildcats, 86-63.
Alabama held Kentucky to an offensive rebounding percentage of 5.3 (below their season average of 36.0) while Virginia Tech had a better turnover percentage (13.5 vs. 14.7). Virginia Tech was lifted by Justin Robinson, who recorded 15 points and seven assists. Meanwhile, Collin Sexton played a key role for Alabama with 21 points and five rebounds.
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, this will be a balanced contest. The upper-echelon Virginia Tech offense ranks 12th in the nation in that metric at 0.575, while the elite Alabama defense is ranked 35th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.472). Furthermore, the Crimson Tide rank 53rd in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.279), while the Hokies rank 53rd in opponents’ FTA rate (0.201).
Vegas is known to set the total high when the Crimson Tide are involved, as 21 of their 32 games have finished under the total. Alabama comes into the game with records of 19-15 straight up (SU) and 17-15-1 against the spread (ATS).
Games involving the Hokies also have gone under the projected point total 51.9 percent of the time. Further, Virginia Tech owns records of 21-11 SU and 17-11 ATS.
Collin Sexton has been playing at a high level as of late for Alabama, averaging 22.0 points and 4.4 assists over the last five games.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Virginia Tech Hokies ATS Pick
Prediction: SU Winner – Virginia Tech, ATS Winner – Virginia Tech, O/U – Over