Virginia Vs. Miami Predictions, Picks, Odds NCAAB (12/20/22)

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? We may finally get the answer to that question when the Miami offense goes against the Virginia defense in what will be a thrilling showdown of contrasting styles. After suffering their first loss against one of the best teams in the nation in Houston, Virginia will look to get back on track by bringing their patented defensive style of play against the Hurricanes. Get NCAAB betting analysis and Virginia Vs. Miami predictions (12/20/22)

Virginia Vs. Miami Prediction & Pick

With that said, I will back Virginia on the spread at -4 or better in what will set up as a nice bounce back for the Cavaliers. They are nearly back at their elite level they we have been accustomed to in their championship run in years past, proving that in a near loss to Houston in what could have been a championship preview between two elite squads.

They will have their hands full in this matchup as Miami brings back their high-powered offense from last season, even after a few NBA draft departures. They currently rank 12th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency per Kenpom, scoring at an elite rate from all over the court. While their perimeter shooting has dipped, they have made up for it with more of an all-court presence with lethal scorers all over.

Speaking of lethal scorers, they are primarily run thin by only playing seven players meaningful minutes with four of them in double digit figures. Isaiah Wong has claimed the mantle of leading scorer, averaging 16.7 points per game on 46.1% field goal percentage. He’s capable of stretching out the defense as well, shooting 36.2% from deep. He is accompanied by senior stud Jordan Miller who averages 15.1 ppg to help spread out the floor.

With a majority of their scoring production coming from guard play, that is exactly what Miami will try to do once again by spreading out the Virginia defense. The issue is that Virginia excels at stretching out their perimeter play, smothering opposing shooters into low quality looks for well below average three-point completion percentage per league average.

Miami is also one of the worst rebounding units in the nation, losing out on precious second chance opportunities that a team needs to possess when going against an elite defense that thrives in a slow tempo style of play. With limited possessions expected in this one as Virginia grinds the game to a halt, every scoring opportunity matters that much more, and I fail to see how Miami capitalizes on it.

Prediction: Virginia -3.5

Virginia Vs. Miami Odds

As for their chances of pulling off the win? Oddsmakers slightly lean towards their chances of winning by opening the Cavaliers as a -2 favorite. Bettors were quick in agreement, taking the Cavaliers up to as high as -4 in some shops. This comes on the belief that the Virginia defense will be able to slow down the high-powered Miami offense, a feat that is easier said than done.

As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will come at a premium as they opened the total at 135. Betters believe that as well, taking it down to as low as 131 as of writing. That is a drastic downward spiral with money indicating that it will continue to move down. Virginia’s style of play leans heavily in favor towards the under, playing at a snail’s pace while being able to limit Miami’s scoring production.

Virginia Vs. Miami Key Matchups

Can Virginia’s offense take advantage of the poor Miami defense? 

Virginia scoring production vs Miami defense

We must be in the upside down because while Virginia’s defense has slowly rounded back into elite form, it’s the production of their offense that has propelled them to one of the best teams in the nation. For reference, they are more efficient than Miami’s high powered offense, ranking 11th in the nation in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. 

They maintained the same offensive identity, draining the clock with elite facilitation while looking for the most efficient look possible. Their starting five all contribute nearly the same, all within two points of each other on scoring averages. An excellent metric to see how well they share the ball while leading to high quality scoring opportunities.

They get an excellent chance to display their offensive dominance once again as Miami currently ranks 124th in AdjD. 

Verdict

While better on both ends of the court and containing a defense more than equipped to limit Miami’s only hope of getting the upset, I will back Virginia at -4 or better in what will be a bounce back win for the Cavaliers.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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