The Virginia Cavaliers look to stay undefeated at home this season and run their win streak to four games on Tuesday when they play host to the NC Central Eagles.
NC Central Eagles vs. Virginia Cavaliers (-20.5, 122.5)
The slow and deliberate style that has become a hallmark of Virginia has manifest tremendous efficiency with the team having had four of their seven victories come by a margin of at least 22 points despite ranking 360 out of 362 teams in possessions per game.
While some teams give up a lower amount of points just by playing slowly, like Virginia does, the amount of points allowed per possession backs up the low point totals Virginia is allowing, ranking ninth in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis with having yet to allow an opponent to exceed 70 points and surrendering 56 points or fewer in five of their eight games this season.
The biggest reason for Virginia’s uptick in defense after the team was 42nd in the country in points allowed per possession is forcing more turnovers as the team is ninth in the country in turnovers forced per possession this season after ranking 95th in this category a season ago.
While Virginia has been stout on defense, NC Central has not been, ranking 300th in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis due in large part to allowing Division I opponents to shoot 56.8% from the floor on 2-point field goal attempts.
The poor interior defense of NC Central should allow the Virginia offense to keep NC Central off-balance on defense with the Cavaliers 32nd in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage at 38.8%.
While it is difficult for teams play slowly like Virginia to cover large point spreads, Virginia has had success covering these sorts of spreads, going 15-7 against the spread as a favorite of between 18 and 25 points since playing Hampton in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
With Virginia’s track record of dominating these sorts of games and NC Central entering Monday 232nd in the country in points scored on a per possession basis, it will lead to a resounding win for Virginia.
The Play: Virginia -20.5