It will be a contest between two exceptional defenses when the Pittsburgh Panthers (15-12, 6-10 ACC) clash with the Virginia Cavaliers (18-7, 10-5 ACC) at Petersen Events Center. Action gets underway at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 22, 2020, and can be seen on ESPN2.
Virginia Cavaliers at Pittsburgh Panthers ATS Odds
In their last outing, the Panthers fell to the eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles, 82-67, while the Cavaliers beat the Boston College Eagles, 78-65.
The Cavaliers knocked down 16 of their 22 free throws (72.7 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.689 (above their season average of 0.463). Pittsburgh, on the other hand, did a terrific job of getting to and converting from the charity stripe (21-26; 80.8 percent). Xavier Johnson played well for Pittsburgh with 12 points, seven assists and five steals. Meanwhile, Braxton Key had a solid performance for Virginia, contributing 17 points and six rebounds.
The Cavaliers won the only contest between these two teams last year, 73-49. One of Virginia’s largest strengths was their ability to convert at the free throw line. They were 16-20 (80.0 percent), while the Panthers were just 9-13 (69.2 percent). This is the first time these teams will meet this year.
Half-court execution will be critical when two of the country’s slowest-paced teams square off. Pittsburgh currently ranks 332nd in possessions per game (65.0) and Virginia is 350th (60.7). Furthermore, the Cavaliers’ fifth-ranked defense (effective field goal percentage allowed of 0.435) will face off against the Panthers’ 335th-ranked offense (effective field goal percentage of 0.454).
Virginia Cavaliers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Free Pick
College Basketball Prediction: SU Winner – Virginia, ATS Winner – Virginia, O/U – Over
- Virginia ranks fourth in assists allowed per game (9.0) while Pittsburgh ranks 203rd (13.8).
- The Cavaliers rank 11th in blocks allowed per game (2.3) while the Panthers rank 148th (3.9).
- Virginia ranks 229th in three pointers attempted per game (19.3) while Pittsburgh ranks 262nd (18.1).
- The Cavaliers rank 17th in rebounds allowed per game (30.7) while the Panthers rank 199th (36.1).
- Pittsburgh ranks 50th in steals per game (7.7) while Virginia ranks 191st (5.5).
- The Cavaliers’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.2, down from 4.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Panthers have scored an average of 64.2 points per game (1.7 below their season average) and allowed an average of 73.0 points per game (8.4 above their season average).