Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Virginia Cavaliers Prediction 11/29/21

by | Nov 29, 2021 | cbb

Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS)

When: Monday, November 29, 7 p.m.

Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.

TV: ESPN2

Point Spread: IOWA -1.5/UVA +1.5 (MyBookie - Go through our special link and use bonus code PREDICT100 and they’ll give you a 100% CASH bonus on your first deposit of $50 to $300!)

Moneyline: IOWA -120/UVA +110

Total: 133

Last Time Out:

Iowa beat Portland State 85-51; Virginia beat Lehigh 61-43.

About the Matchup:

It’s speed vs. defense as the ACC-Big Ten Challenge gets underway with a matchup that would have been excellent a year ago and is now merely a good game. Iowa and Virginia were both top-four seeds a year ago, but neither lasted very long in the NCAA tournament: Virginia fell in round one to an underseeded Ohio, and Iowa met an opponent that it couldn’t keep up with by falling to Oregon.

This time around, Iowa might be just as good as it was a year ago, thanks to the emergence of the Murray twins. Much like the Mobleys did last year at USC, the Murrays have proven a matchup nightmare for defenses, and unlike the Mobleys, they’re sophomores who were mostly reserves a year ago, so they’ve got a full year of basketball under their belts and have now established themselves as genuine stars.

Virginia has no stars, but it has a system it believes in on defense. The Cavaliers’ offense leaves a lot to be desired, but they can play defense better than just about anyone, and they remain the most frustrating team to play against at the Power 6 level. Virginia grinds down its foes for 40 minutes, which is exactly the way Iowa doesn’t want to play. Whichever team can play at its tempo is almost certain to have this game go its way.

Scouting the Hawkeyes:

Luka Garza was the big cog for the Hawkeyes a year ago; now, it’s Keegan Murray. Murray came from just up I-380 in Cedar Rapids, and he’s scoring even more now for Iowa than he did in high school, averaging 25.7 points per game and snagging 8.8 boards per game. Behind him, the Hawkeyes get several contributions, but they’re dependent on rebounding more than they are on good shooting.

Iowa shoots the ball well inside, but the 3-point shooting is only middling, as Patrick McCaffery isn’t really hitting right now, and Jordan Bohannon has only been slightly above average from deep. Having both Garza and Joe Wieskamp made Iowa dangerous from deep a year ago, but this team is more dependent on getting good midrange shots and cleaning up on the glass when they don’t get a bucket. Of course, good shots against Virginia are a lot like finding water in the desert: precious when it happens, but incredibly rare.

Scouting the Cavaliers:

This is a Virginia team in flux, which might end up working out before the season is over but is very much a work in progress. Jayden Gardner has proven a quality scorer and rebounder on the interior, but he’s got to get some help to be effective. He’s also got to stop turning the ball over, which has been an issue throughout his time in Charlottesville. He’s averaged more than two per game throughout his college career, and with Virginia’s assist-to-turnover ratio holding at just over 1, the Cavaliers as a whole are just making too many mistakes.
What Virginia still does better than anyone is play defense, and it’s a rare sight to see an opponent score more than 60 in a game against the Cavaliers. In fact, the Cavs are 5-0 when they’ve held the opponent to 60 or less and 0-2 when they haven’t. On the other hand, Iowa has had two games out of six in which it got to 60 in a half.

More Picks: Get Dan’s SEC Title Game Predictions >>>

Iowa will Cover If:

The Hawkeyes are able to run and pass at the same time. Virginia is not great at forcing turnovers; it’s great at forcing bad shots. Iowa passes the ball incredibly well, and if the Hawkeyes can work the ball around well and find good shots rather than settling for the first thing that appears, they’ll be able to put Virginia behind the eight-ball.

Virginia will Cover If:

The Cavaliers can force the Hawkeyes to play at their pace and frustrate Iowa’s offense. Iowa is built on scoring a lot and taking a lot of shots, such as the win over Western Michigan in which the Hawkeyes took 72 shots. Virginia’s most recent game with Lehigh saw the Cavaliers have to defend against just 51 attempts. Virginia has to keep Iowa’s shot total to 60 or less.

Dan’s Best Prop Bets

Virginia’s lack of scoring means that it’s pretty hard to see the Over cashing here. Even if Iowa is able to get off to the races against the Cavaliers, the Hawkeyes would have to get close to the 80s against Virginia if the Cavaliers can’t break the 65-point mark. That seems unlikely.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

Virginia is playing at home with no expectations, and Iowa hasn’t seen a defense to this caliber yet. The Cavaliers are capable of making anyone play ugly, and the Hawkeyes really don’t seem to know how to win this type of game. Give me Virginia with the points. Bet your Cavaliers vs. Hawkeyes pick and ALL your college basketball picks for FREE this week by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at BetNow Sportsbook!