Iowa vs. Virginia NCAA Basketball Picks for November 29

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Patrick McCaffery of the Iowa Hawkeyes blocks a shot. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

I rarely get to bet on the biggest games on the slate, but this one caught my eye. Can Iowa continue their undefeated season with a road matchup against Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge? Here’s our preview and pick to make at top betting sites.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Monday, November 29, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at John Paul Jones Arena

Virginia has not looked good at all this season with two losses against Navy and Houston. The Houston one makes sense but the Navy one was pretty ugly, losing 66-58. On the season, Virginia has only scored 70 or more points in one game this season. And that was against Radford, in a 73-52 outburst. In the other six games, Virginia hasn’t reached 70 points.

The defense usually bails out the offense for Virginia. The Cavs have allowed just 53.6 points per game this season. Going up against Iowa will be a challenge defensively, however, as Iowa has scored 97.2 points per game this season. With the slow pace of play by Virginia, Iowa will likely not reach anywhere close to 100, but even if Iowa gets near 75 points, that should be more than enough to win this game, on the road, against Virginia.

Iowa hasn’t played a power-five opponent yet this season but against the mid-major competition, the Hawkeyes have won those games by an average of over 30 points per game. The offense has scored 108 and 109 points in games against real D-1 opponents this season.

Iowa is shooting a 57.7 percent effective field goal percentage and turning the ball over just 12.1 percent of the time. It could increase slightly against Virginia, but so far, Virginia has really had great chemistry this season. On the glass, Iowa is 21st in the nation in offensive rebounding and the Hawkeyes are also shooting 38.5 percent from deep and 57.7 percent from inside the arc. Iowa is also shooting 83.2 percent from the foul line.

The Hawkeyes is currently 6-0 and has been led by twin brothers Keegan Murray and Kris Murray. Together they’ve combined for 38.5 points per game with Keegan Murray averaging 25.7 points per game in just 24.5 minutes per game.

The reality is, the star players on Iowa aren’t getting a whole lot of minutes because with 10 minutes to go in games, the Hawkeyes already leading by 20 or more points. With 30 or more minutes of action, Keegan and Kris could average 50 points combined. And that could be as many points as Virginia scores as a team.

The Cavaliers are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 47.4 percent and have turned the ball over 18.7 percent of the time. They’re also not fantastic on the offensive glass, ranking 155th in that category. Virginia is shooting 32.5 percent from long range and 46.8 percent from inside.

Prediction

Of course, Virginia wants to slow things down and Iowa wants to speed things up. Virginia won’t shoot many threes and they’ll try to score inside. Virginia doesn’t want long rebounds and breakaways from Iowa. If Iowa gets their way, the Hawkeyes will find ways to get open looks and get to the line at a solid pace. The more Virginia misses, the better Iowa will be on the offensive end.

Even in the halfcourt, Iowa is very capable of scoring at a high rate. So, for our college basketball pick, let’s grab Virginia -125 in this ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup.

NCAAB Pick: Virginia -125 via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.