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Robinson Returns for the Hokies, Will Play Against St. Louis

Justin Robinson St. Louis vs Virginia Tech Betting Odds Preview NCAA Tournament March Madness

Virginia Tech is just 6-5 over its past 11 games, but senior guard Justin Robinson will return for the NCAA Tournament after missing the past 12 games with a foot injury. His leadership, 14 points and five assists per game are a welcomed postseason upgrade for a Hokies team that held its own in a loaded ACC. Tech finished 24-8 overall and 16-14-1 against the spread this season.

After trailing St. Bonaventure by nine at the half of the Atlantic 10 championship game, St. Louis held the Bonnies to 19 second-half points and rallied to win 55-53 to earn the automatic bid. The Billikens have won six of their last seven games, but are 23-12 overall and 16-18-1 against the spread this season. Virginia Tech opened as a 12-point favorite before a pullback to Hokies -10. The total opened at 126.5, but is now 126.

St. Louis vs Virginia Tech Game Center

STANDOUT STATS

  • Virginia Tech is on the fringe of a “live by the three, die by the three” mantra. Of the 54 shot attempts it averages per game, 24 of them – or 44.9 percent – come from beyond the arc. The good news for Hokie Nation is that their team ranks eighth nationally in three-point percentage, connecting on 39.4 percent of triple tries.
  • KenPom views Virginia Tech as one of the most balanced and efficient teams in the field. The Hokies rank 11th in offensive and 25th in defensive efficiency. Their 56.4 effective field-goal rate on offense ranks eighth nationally, which is tops among teams from Power 5 conferences.
  • St. Louis ranks outside the top 230 D-I programs in points per game and field-goal, three-point and free-throw percentage. KenPom ranks the Billikens’ adjusted offensive efficiency 205th overall.
  • St. Louis will attempt to compensate for its offensive malaise on defense. The Billikens have allowed just 63.7 points per game this season and held the opposition below 47 percent from the floor and to 31.3 percent from beyond the arc. This will be tested by the Hokies’ elite three-point shooters.
  • Tournament No. 4 seeds are 17-3 straight up, but just 8-12 against the spread over the past 20 matchups. The UNDER hit in each 2018 No. 4 vs No. 13 game.
  • Since 2004, No. 4 seeds favored by 10 or more points against No. 13 seeds are 18-2 SU but just 6-14 against the spread.
  • Virginia Tech is 6-5 ATS when favored by 10 or more points this season, but just 1-3 over its past four. The Billikens haven’t been underdogs of 10 or more points since December 2017.

MY LEAN

Virginia Tech moneyline, OVER 126

Nothing like teams from Missouri and Virginia playing a late game in San Jose on a Friday night. This game won’t likely tip until well after 10 p.m. EST. These are two slow-tempo teams to begin with and now their game starts when one typically ends.

Though tempting to invest in the UNDER 126, I do believe the return of Robinson for Virginia Tech will spark a little more offense from the Hokies and they’ll win outright, but likely not by 10. I lean to take Tech SU and OVER.

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