Sun Belt Tourney Battles Should Have Big Numbers

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 2:53 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019 2:53 PM UTC

Along with championship bids up for stake on Tuesday, so is the start of the ACC and Sun Belt tournaments and well will focus on the latter for totals.

Arkansas State (18-11 Under) at South Alabama (17-11-1 Over)

Tuesday, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN+)

Free NCAAB Pick: Over

Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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The lid lifter for the Sun Belt tourney is an 8 vs. 9 matchup. Both teams won on their home court with Arkansas State taking the first one 66-65 as a two-point favorite and South Alabama the second contest, 70-62 over the Red Wolves as 4.5-point home favorites.

The totals were both Under's priced 144 to 145.5 on the closing line. And despite neither total being threatened for a higher score, tonight's number though lower at 142, is still nowhere close to how these combatants have faced off against each other.

While oddsmakers definitely look at specific variables in determining any line, they also take the longer view and don't allow themselves to get caught up in looking at how average bettors see things.

For example, Arkansas State is 9-1 Over after two games with five or fewer steals and 13-2 Over playing with road revenge. Also, the average score of Red Wolves contests away from home this season is 151 total points. Now, it does make sense to be thoughtful of the Jaguars having an 8-7 Under mark at home, yet, that is really not a big cause for concern.

With Arky State 13-18 SU on the season, our research finds when the total is between 140 and 149.5 points and the visitor is off a home loss by three points or less, with a winning percentage of between 40-49% on the season, in the last five years they are 30-10 Over.

That is why for college basketball picks we have the Over. The winner plays No.5 Louisiana next.

App. State (15-13 Over) vs. Louis.-Monroe (16-11-1 Over)

Tuesday, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN+)

Free NCAAB Pick: Over

Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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The starting college basketball odds opened at 155.5 and that number had come down a point depending on the sportsbook. Louisiana-Monroe will be the home team, where despite a 16-14 SU record overall, they are 12-2 on their own floor (7-5 ATS) and are 34th in the country in scoring at 84.6 points a game. The Warhawks connect on 47.8 percent of shots in Monroe and drain an exceptional 42.1% from behind the arc, making 11 per game. Let that sink in for a moment and little wonder they were 9-3 Over this season at home.

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#DefendTheNest | #RiseAbove #SunBeltBBALL

— ULM Men's Basketball (@ULM_MBB) March 12, 2019

Appalachian State can also get up and down the floor and averages 79.9 PPG and a still very respectable 75 PPG when wearing the road uniforms. However, the real reason the Mountaineers are 10-6 Over on the road is that they are soft defensively at 82.3 PPG. Not only does App. State do a poor job in guarding in conceding 47.4 percent, they have outrebounded by 5 a game, which are extra chances for whom they are playing to score.

This season these SBC rivals split a pair of games and also were divided on the total. However, the last meeting on Feb.28 was trifle deceiving as the closing total was 156.5 and they came up a half-point short with ULM winning 81-75.

We are going to side with the Over, as Monroe is 14-4 Over versus SBC foes at home the last two seasons and App. State is 13-4 OVER in road games after one or more Under's the past three years. The winner takes on Coastal Carolina next.

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