Furman vs Virginia March Madness Betting Preview
Betting Odds Suggest Furman Can Give Cavaliers a Battle
Those looking for a first-round upset could very well be looking at this game in the South Region. No. 4 Virginia is favored by just 5 points over No. 13 Furman with a total of 132.5. The Furman vs Virginia moneyline shows the Cavaliers are -210. The game is being played at 12:40 p.m. ET at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Broadcasting the game will be truTV. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
Furman: Paladins Are Best 2-Point Shooting Team in NCAA
Furman is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1980. Despite a 27-7 record, the Paladins had to win the Southern Conference Tournament or they’d be looking at a hopeful NIT bid. The Southern Conference had no chance of sending two teams to the Big Dance.
Furman will be bringing its inside game against Virginia and the Paladins hit 59.1% of their 2-point shots. That was the best in the country. The Paladins are a little above average from 3-point range and at the foul line. Furman’s defense is a little below average.
How They Got Here
The Paladins breezed through conference play with a 15-3 record but were tested a little in the conference tournament. Furman needed overtime to get past Western Carolina in its second game.
Furman finished the season with an 18-13 record against the spread, sputtering a little at the end with a 3-4 ATS mark over the last seven games. The Paladins were priced a little too high and their backers paid for it.
How Far Will They Go
The Paladins should be a one-game team, although nothing is certain in the NCAA Tournament. The small line tells you that some people like Furman’s chances a little bit against the Cavaliers. If Furman can pull the upset, San Diego State will most likely bring an end to its season in the second round.
Virginia: Cavaliers Still Slowing it Down
Virginia is making its 25th appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1976 and are back after missing the Big Dance last year. The Cavaliers won it all in 2019 but don’t look to have the horses to get that far this year.
The Cavaliers aren’t going to change what works. With Virginia, that means slowing the pace down. The Cavaliers were No. 360 in adjusted tempo this season. Virginia is a decent 3-point shooting team and scores 30.1% of its points from 3-point range. But the Cavaliers’ strength is defense, as West Virginia was No. 25 in the adjusted defensive rankings this season.
How They Got Here
Virginia was pretty much considered a safe bet to make the tournament, but impressive wins over North Carolina and Clemson didn’t hurt. At the very least, the wins probably bumped up the Cavaliers for seeding purposes.
The Cavaliers were 25-7 on the season but they weren’t kind to their backers. Virginia was just 12-18-2 against the spread this season. The Cavaliers stumbled down the stretch spread-wise, dropping six straight before getting the covers against UNC and Clemson in the ACC tournament.
How Far Will They Go
After winning the NCAA Tournament in 2019, the Cavaliers are likely thinking big. But a more realistic goal is a Sweet 16 berth. And even that won’t be easy, with San Diego State likely facing the winner of this game. If things play out as they should, Alabama will be waiting should the Cavaliers win their first two. It’s hard to pencil the Cavs past Alabama in your brackets March Madness style.
Handicapping the Game
Furman vs Virginia is a classic example of strength against strength. The Paladins’ 2-point shooting is what drives the team. Virginia’s strength is defense and the Cavaliers are No. 37 in the nation at stopping the 2-pointer. Virginia also played much tougher competition.
Despite Furman’s 2-point shooting prowess, the Paladins shoot a lot of 3-pointers. The Cavaliers aren’t as good at defending the 3-pointer, which makes Furman vs Virginia an interesting game. Virginia is going to be the best defense Furman has seen this season.
The line seems a bit low here and it’s lower than it was, as Virginia opened as 5.5-point favorites. Ken Pomeroy has Virginia 8 points in his college basketball rankings. The moneyline is pretty much where you would expect considering what the spread is.
The total is a little on the high side, but the Cavaliers can play a little faster when it’s needed. Considering Virginia has the talent advantage, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them pick up the pace a little bit. When you have the talent edge, the more possessions, the better it should be for you. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
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