The first round of March Madness got off to an exciting start yesterday as 16 games were played. There were several notable upsets, including the 15th seeded Saint Peter’s upsetting Kentucky in the East Regional. The East Regional was the most active region yesterday, with six of eight games being played. Today the final two East Regional matches will be played, including the game between Texas and Virginia Tech.
Texas enters the tournament as the 6th seed, and Virginia Tech the 11th seed. They come from the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast conferences, respectively. Texas finished as the 4th seed in the conference, but they were upset by TCU in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. Conversely, Virginia Tech was the 7th seed in the ACC, but they won four straight games to win the ACC Tournament in impressive fashion.
Before the conference tournaments were played, Texas would have been looked at as a huge favorite in this matchup. However, Texas’s disappointing run in the Big 12 Tournament, along with Virginia Tech’s impressive performance in the ACC Tournament changes everything. 7th seeds do not typically win conference tournaments, and as a result, we need to reassess the quality of the team with recent history in mind.
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So, will Texas get their season back under control and get a win, or will Virginia Tech continue their impressive run with a win in the first round of March Madness?
Texas vs Virginia Tech Odds
Before we looked at the odds, those of us at Bet Lions believed that this would be a fantastic matchup to bet on the lower seed. Virginia Tech is on an impressive run, and Texas is trending in the wrong direction. However, the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook make it difficult to figure out how to place your bets.
- Spread: Texas -1 Virginia Tech +1
- Total: Texas U 123.5 Virginia Tech O 123.5
- Money Line: Texas -115 Virginia Tech -105
This game is in the interesting position of having no team with plus odds. Texas is the slight favorite, but you get minus odds betting on both teams to win. As a result, you need to be very confident in your pick to make a bet on this game at all.
Texas Betting Outlook
Making a bet on Texas to win is a difficult decision to make here. They had a strong regular season, but that was mostly on the back of an impressive first half of the year. Their second half was less than impressive, and they failed to get out of the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. As a result, it is difficult to have a lot of confidence in Texas as the favorite. We would not recommend a bet on Texas here. You aren’t getting great odds, and as a result, it is not worth the risk.
However, when it comes to the spread, it’s reasonable to bet on Texas’s side of things. The spread is set at -1 for Texas, which essentially means that whichever team wins the game will meet their spread qualifications. So, if you have faith in Texas to turn things around, you should bet on the spread but not the money line.
Finally, the total is set at 123.5, which immediately seems very low. While Texas is an elite defensive team, very few of their games have finished with 123 points or less. As a result, betting the over is the clear choice here.
Virginia Tech Outlook
The odds of this game make it clear that the oddsmakers know what they’re doing. If you just look at the seeds, you would expect Virginia Tech to be a big underdog. You could then take advantage of their odds and place a big bet on them to win given the circumstances. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and Virginia Tech gets minus odds despite being the betting underdog and a massive underdog on paper. If you are going to bet the money line on one of these teams, it makes more sense to bet on Virginia Tech, but not by much. The Hokies get better odds than Texas, but not by much.
Texas vs Virginia Tech Prediction
Predicting this game is more difficult than most. As a result, we must look at all factors. Firstly, we think it’s important to look at recent form. The current form of a team is extremely important when March Madness starts. Its single-elimination style does not leave room for error, and as a result, a team’s body of work doesn’t matter as much. With that in mind, Virginia Tech is clearly the team that has performed better as of late. They closed their season on a 9-2 run before dominating the ACC Tournament. Conversely, Texas fell apart towards the end of the season and was immediately eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament.
The other major thing that we want to look at is advanced stats. Virginia Tech is the stronger offensive team, but Texas is the better defensive team. That being said, Virginia Tech is a much weaker defensive team than Texas is an offensive team.
While advanced stats favor Texas, it’s important to keep in mind that they cover the entirety of the season. As a result, we are going to favor recent form when making our prediction. We think Virginia Tech will defeat Texas today by the score of 76-68.
Where to Watch
You can watch this game at 4:30 PM EST on TBS.