The #14 Virginia Cavaliers (11-3, 7-1 ACC) will be tested by the North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-6, 3-5 ACC) in Atlantic Coast Conference action on Wednesday night. These two teams originally were scheduled to play on January 20th, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues. Tipoff of Wednesday’s contest starts at 9 p.m. EST at PNC Arena in Raleigh. Virginia is a 7.5-point road favorite against the Wolfpack, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia suffered a rare conference loss their last time out to in-state rival Virginia Tech. The 65-51 defeat snapped a 15-game conference winning streak for UVA. Virginia sits a half-game atop the ACC standings entering the final full month of the regular season and needs every victory possible to close out their position.
UVA averages 71.8 points per game offensively while allowing opponents a 59.9 average on the defensive end. Virginia’s scoring defense ranks eighth in the country, limiting opponents to 60 points or less in seven contests.
Sam Hauser leads the Cavaliers in scoring averaging 14.6 points per game. Jay Huff is second on the team with a 13.8 per game output, including a team-high 13 points in Saturday’s loss to the Hokies. The third Cavalier averaging double figures this season is Trey Murphy III, who adds 10.8 points per game.
Virginia is 8-6 against the spread this season with a 3-1 mark on the road. In conference play, the Cavaliers are 5-3 ATS and 4-2 ATS in their last six games against the Wolfpack.
What to Know – NC. State Wolfpack
The Wolfpack have sputtered in 2021, losing five of their six games against conference foes. In addition to the losses, the Wolfpack did not play for ten days during January due to two postponed contests. NC State sits near the bottom of the conference pecking order, four games out of the top spot.
The Wolfpack are playing the remainder of the season without their leading scorer, Devon Daniels, who tore his ACL in a victory over Wake Forest last Wednesday. Daniels averaged 16.5 points per game before the injury.
NC State pours in 76.2 points per game and surrenders 71.2 points per game defensively. Without their leading scorer, the Wolfpack will lean to Jericole Hellems, who notched a team-high 24 points in their last game. Hellems enters the week averaging 12.7 points for the host.
NC State has gone 5-7-1 ATS the spread, but just 1-4 in their last five outings. The Wolfpack are 2-5-1 in ACC contests and 1-4 in games on their home floor.
The Pick is In
The Wolfpack handed the Cavaliers a loss their last time facing each other last season, but this is a different NC State team playing without their leading scorer. Virginia will not wow you offensively, but their defense is one of the best in the country. It was always going to be tough for the Wolfpack to compete with the Cavaliers, but without Daniels, the visiting Cavaliers should pull away late and take care of NC State.
The Pick: Virginia Cavaliers -7.5