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Miami vs Virginia Tech – 3/8/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Predictions

Miami Hurricanes vs Virginia Tech Hokies College Basketball Friday Mar 8, 2019 (7:00pm est) Current Odds: Virginia Tech -9.5, Total Points 132

Miami Hurricanes Betting Trends:

Miami is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami’s last 7 games
Miami is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Miami’s last 18 games on the road

Virginia Tech Hokies Betting Trends:

Virginia Tech is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Virginia Tech’s last 6 games
Virginia Tech is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Virginia Tech’s last 8 games at home

Virginia Tech lost the opportunity to earn a double bye in next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament due to a Tuesday overtime loss at Florida State, reducing the urgency ahead of the Hokies’ matchup with Miami on Friday night in Blacksburg, Va.

The 15th-ranked Hokies already have clinched a spot in the ACC tournament’s second round, and they will look to clinch fifth place Friday when they square off with the Hurricanes in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The Hokies (22-7, 11-6 ACC) can finish no worse than sixth, which also would earn them a spot in the second round against one of the Tuesday first-round winners.

The Hurricanes (13-16, 5-12) enter play Friday in a three-way tie for 10th. They are assured of playing in the first round next week at Charlotte, N.C.

Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams took his team’s midweek loss to the Seminoles in stride.

“I think it’s pretty remarkable that in Year 4 we would play for the fourth seed in the best league in the country,” Williams said. “And then considering all that’s transpired this season, to have played the way that we’ve played over the last nine games, it’s scarred my heart in a good way.”

The Hokies are 5-4 since losing point guard Justin Robinson, their career assist leader and a double-figure scorer for his career (11.1 ppg) and season (14.4 ppg). Robinson has been out since injuring his foot in the Hokies’ 82-70 win at Miami on Jan. 30.

Among the wins was a 77-72 decision over No. 3 Duke last week.

Robinson will not play against Miami, and he is status moving forward is undetermined, though according to the latest report, he is out of the boot he had been wearing.

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Junior forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. has picked up the scoring in Robinson’s absence. He averaged 20.5 points a game over an eight-game span — nearly eight points more than his season average prior to that stretch — until running into foul trouble in Tallahassee and scoring only nine points in 23 minutes against the Seminoles.

Miami coach Jim Larranaga called Blackshear’s recent performances “first-team all-caliber.”

“The thing I’ve always been impressed with KJ is his team defensive concepts,” Larranaga said. “He does a great job with his teammates on ball screens.

“He really does a good job of defending in the post. He does a good job of blocking up the interior, very similar to what Tonye Jekiri did for us for four years.”

The Hurricanes are coming off a 76-63 win over Pittsburgh that saw seniors Anthony Lawrence (career-high 27 points, 11 rebounds) and Ebuka Izundu (14, 14) notch double-doubles. However, Miami mired deep in the ACC’s second division and will be playing a first-round game in the ACC tourney for just the second time in Larranaga’s eight seasons.

Larranaga said of his team’s Friday opponent, “What I’ve been so impressed with about Virginia Tech is when we played them they had Justin Robinson and now they’ve played their last, I don’t know, 10 games without him and they’re still in the Top 20. They’re still competing for the first division of the ACC and have had a great year.

“So they’re coming into the March Madness, I think, in a very good position. If Justin Robinson is back and healthy, he just now adds to an already deep and talented team.”

Today’s Free Pick: Over 131.5 -120

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