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Picks, predictions for No. 5 Houston vs. No. 2 Virginia on Saturday, December 17

Charlottesville will the sight of a top-five showdown on Saturday with No. 2 Virginia hosting No. 5 Houston.

James Madison v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The game of the day in college basketball on Saturday will be a top five showdown featuring the No. 5 Houston Cougars hitting the road to meet the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers at 2 p.m. ET. The game will take place at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA, and will air on ESPN2.

Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.

Houston vs. Virginia odds

Spread: Houston -1.5
Over/Under: 112
Moneyline: Houston -120, Virginia +100

Houston (10-1) rebounded from last weekend’s loss to Alabama by pummeling North Carolina A&T in a 74-46 beatdown on Tuesday. The Cougars held control for the entire contest and clamped down defensively, holding the Aggies to a just 15 points in the middle 20 of the game. Ja’Vier Francis made a huge impact off the bench, providing 17 points and 15 rebounds in the win.

Virginia (8-0, 1-0 ACC) kept its unbeaten streak going on Tuesday, edging local rival James Madison in a 55-50 victory. The Cavaliers kept the Dukes at an arm’s length for the entire contest, holding them to just 27.3% shooting for the night. Kihei Clark delivered 18 points and seven assists in the victory.

The Pick: Over 112

The inclination to assume this will be a defensive rockfight is tempting. Both of these teams are very deliberate and rank in the 300’s in adjusted tempo while both also bring Top 20 defenses in adjusted efficiency to the court. However, 112 seems a bit low for two talented offenses and UVA has had several games this season that have crossed this threshold. I’ll buck my initial instinct and take the over in this one.