The Virginia Cavaliers, the defending NCAA Tournament champions, will begin its defense in March Madness with a game against the upset-seeking Ohio Bobcats, whose offense will be put to the test by the Hoos’ defense. Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the Ohio Bobcats vs Virginia Cavaliers NCAA College Basketball Game on March 20 2021
Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
When: Saturday, March 20, 2021, 7:15 PM ET
TV Broadcast: truTV
Betting on the Ohio Bobcats (+8)
Record: 16-7 Overall / 9-5 Conference
Not many people think much of Ohio, but the Bobcats at least are being led by a guard that could become a legitimate NBA star one day in Jason Preston. The 6-4 Preston is averaging 16.6 points, 7.2 assists, and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Bobcats play a whole lot better when he’s on the floor, and the team needs every second from him against a tough Virginia squad. The Bobcats are more than just about Preston, though. Apart from Preston, the Bobcats have four players averaging at least 10.0 points per game. As a team, Ohio is fourth in the nation with 80.9 points per game. Ohio, on paper, looks like a legitimate threat to Virginia, which may have flashes of its first-round loss to the UMBC Golden Retrievers when it sees how Ohio operates this Saturday.
Ohio is 9-1 against the spread in its last 10 games overall.
Betting on the Virginia Cavaliers (-8)
Record: 18-6 Overall / 13-4 Conference
Tony Bennett’s Cavs team is known for its defense, but Virginia’s offense this season seems like its bigger asset between the two. The Cavaliers are 12th in the nation with 115.7 points per 100 possessions and 16th with a 38.1 3-point shooting percentage. The Cavs still play a deliberate style that tries to slow down the game to a snail’s pace, which could leave Ohio’s gun silenced as the Bobcats are not as efficient in scoring as the Cavs. Virginia’s defense remains a big threat to any team. The Cavs can clamp down on Ohio’s scorers with Virginia’s renowned pack-line defense that is the rock Virginia’s defense is built upon. On the season, Virginia is allowing just 60.5 points per game, sixth-best in the nation. Virginia is led by Sam Hauser, who is averaging 16.0 points per contest on 51.8 percent shooting from the floor.
The over is 4-1 in Virginia’s last five games overall.
Virginia wins, 75-66.
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