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Free Sports Picks for Tuesday: Miami Welcomes No. 1 Virginia in ACC Clash

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Oskeim’s free sports picks have achieved a win rate exceeding 55.0 percent since 2007.  On Tuesday, Oskeim previews the ACC basketball game between Virginia and Miami Florida.  Oskeim’s free pick in that game?  Miami Florida plus the points!

Miami Florida is coming off a heartbreaking 72-70 loss at Boston College but that defeat was somewhat predictable in light of the fact that the Hurricanes had tonight’s game against No. 1 Virginia on deck.

In other words, a trip to Massachusetts in the dead of winter was not exactly high on Miami’s priority list.  Prior to Saturday’s loss, the Hurricanes had won four of their previous games, including solid wins over North Carolina State (86-81), Louisville (78-75) and Virginia Tech (84-75).

Miami has gone 2-2 over the past two seasons against Virginia’s suffocating pack line defense.  The Hurricanes are averaging 75.5 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field against teams that would combine to allow 71.8 points per game to a mediocre attack.

The Hurricanes are 9-1 at home this season where they are averaging 80.0 points per game on 47.5% shooting from the floor.  Let’s also note that Miami is averaging 81.1 points in its last seven games, scoring 80 or more points in four of those affairs.

Miami possesses a well-balanced offense with seven players averaging at least 8.4 points per game.  The Hurricanes have received solid production from freshmen Lonnie Walker and Chris Lykes, who are on pace to rank among the top-scoring Miami freshmen since the 2004-05 season.

That production was critical for the Hurricanes this season because seven of their ten active scholarship players are underclassmen. Ja’Quan Newton, who is averaging 8.7 points across 26:18 minutes per game this season, is the lone scholarship senior.

Sophomore center Dewan Huell has more than doubled his production from his freshmen campaign.  Specifically, Huell is currently leading the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game (5.6 last year) and is averaging 6.8 rebounds per game (3.1 last year).

Miami has won 36 of its last 39 home games and its 86-23 at the Watsco Center under head coach Jim Larranaga.  The Hurricanes are outscoring opponents by an average of 15.2 points per game on their home floor.

The Hurricanes are 12-9 SU all-time against Virginia, including 7-1 SU in Coral Gables.  Since 2011, nine of the last 10 meetings in this series have been decided by single digits, including four in overtime.

In each of Miami’s six losses this season, the Hurricanes have led or been within two points in the final four minutes of regulation.  Not surprisingly, all of Miami’s defeats this season have come by ten points or less.

Like Virginia, the Hurricanes possess an outstanding defense that rates 7.6 points per game better than average (66.6 points per game to teams that would combine to average 74.2 points per game against a mediocre defense). Miami is limiting opponents to just 39.7% shooting from the field at the Watsco Center.

Virginia’s offense is 3.7 points per game worse than average this season and is averaging just 63.4 points per game away from home and 64.2 points per game in conference play.  Miami has held ten of its opponents to fewer than 60 points this season and is 78-9 across seven seasons under Larranaga when limiting foes to fewer than 60 points.

I also like the fact that Miami ranks third in the ACC and 26th nationally in fewest turnovers with 282 (11.8 per game).  Finally, Miami is 86-23 (.789) at home under Larranaga, including 41-16 in conference play.

Grab Miami Florida as a live home underdog as one of Oskeim’s free sports picks for Tuesday!

Oskeim Sports Math Model Projection: Virginia (-4.6) at Miami Florida

Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Picks for Tuesday, February 13:

  • Miami Florida (+6) over Virginia
  • Missouri (-1) over Texas A&M
  • Akron (+3) over Ball State