Virginia Tech +5.5 vs. Wisconsin O/U 136
Recommendation: Virginia Tech
Contrasting styles in this East Regional late tip-off which features teams who enter in very different form against the spread. For Virginia Tech the last 10 games have seen their supporters collect nine times. The only loss in the Hokies current 90% ticket cashing streak came on March 4 when they were -1.5 point favorites against Wake Forest in the second round of the ACC Tournament. VT is 7-1 ATS since losing third leading scorer Chris Clark. At the time, that injury to the Hokies most athletic player seemed devastating but they’ve gone 6-0 ATSas an underdog winning four of those straight up. A huge part of the success goes to their offense which posted a 57.1 effective FG% in ACC play which ranked #1 in the conference. Buzz Williams’ team was also #1 from 3-point range in league play shooting a stellar 41.4% led by Seth Allen (45.1%), Justin Bibbs (42.5%) and Ty Outlaw (48.2%. In all, five players have at least 107 3-point attempts and they all shoot 36.4% or better. That perimeter marksmanship will keep Wisconsin busy while they’ll also have to contend with Tech’s interior force, leading scorer Zach LeDay (16.7 ppg). The Hokies diverse offense is enhanced by Allen’s ability to get to the rim, and the fact that six of their seven player rotation shoots between 73.7% to 80% from the free throw line.
Wisconsin has struggled offensively this season but they will have advantages they can capitalize on in this game. Starting center Ethan Happ has an significant opportunity to exploit the smallish VT who’s only player over 6-7 is freshman Khadim Sy (11.4 mpg). Add to that, 6-8 Nigel Hayes and it’s obvious that the Badgers can have offensive success inside. Wisky has their own crew of long range shooting specialists in starting guard tandem Bronson Koenig (38.7%) and Zak Showalter (39.7%) plus reserve D’Mitrik Trice (43.9%). Inside out offense could flourish for Wisconsin in this matchup.
Getting outside of the conference is the best thing for a lot of teams at this time of the season since opponents lack familiarity with each other. In this game, Wisconsin enters as a money burner since the start of February going 4-8 ATS and they were 1-7 before closing on a 3-1 run. Virginia Tech has faced the rigors of the ACC all season long and as mentioned above, they continue to cover pointspreads despite being small, without one of their top players, and depth shy. Each team has some fundamental advantages here and with that being the case, recommendation goes to the hot team and taking the points.