Morehead State & Nevada ‘Under’ Is The NCAA Basketball Pick For CBI Game 3

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, April 1, 2016 5:28 PM GMT

The CBI Championship Series is now down to a winner-take-all Game 3 in Reno on Friday, and look for Morehead State and Nevada to stay ‘under’ the total with a title on the line.

After the first two games of the CBI Championship Series each had a differing tempo, look for lower scoring to prevail in the championship-deciding Game 3 when the Morehead State Eagles (23-13, 19-14 ATS) again pay a visit to the Nevada Wolf Pack (23-14, 20-15 ATS) at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, NV at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU, with this best two-out-of-three series tied 1-1.

The posted total at 5Dimes is 145½ or this contest with the current NCAA Basketball odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

 

Lower Scoring in Reno
The home teams have won each of the first two games of this series, but that is where the similarity ends. Game 1 Monday at Morehead was an entertaining high scoring affair where defensive stops were infrequent, as the home standing Eagles prevailed 86-83 while failing to cover the point spread as 5½-point favorites.

The scenery then shifted here to Reno for Game 2 on Wednesday, and the scoring was not as plentiful as the Wolf Pack improved to 2-0 ATS in this series while evening it up at 1-1 as the winning NCAA Basketball picks with a covering 77-68 triumph as four-point favorites. Now we would not be surprised to see even a little less scoring here in Game 3, as these schools are not accustomed to winning post-season tournaments, so they may be feeling a bit of pressure.

 

Trouble with Pressure Defense for Nevada
Nevada has actually continued its fine post-season shooting in this tournament by shooting exactly 50 percent in each of the first two games of this series, but the scoring for the Wolf Pack was held down in Game 2 due to its inability to solve the Morehead State pressure defense, as they committed a season-high 21 turnovers. That came on the heels of committing 11 turnovers in Game 1.

Those miscues are not an anomaly for Morehead State opponents this season either as that is what the Eagles do defensively, ranking 15th in the country in defensive turnover percentage at 21.6 percent while smashing the national average of 18.1 percent. Furthermore, the sloppy Wolf Pack turned the ball over on 26.9 percent of their possessions on Wednesday!

Yes, that is an insanely high percentage that does not figure to be repeated here, but given what Morehead does defensively, we are not exactly looking for a clean game by the Nevada offense either, especially if some jitters are added to the equation.

 

Heavy Reliance on Offensive Boards for Morehead
Morehead State is a bad shooting team ranked 255th in the country in effective field goal percentage, so it leans on its outstanding work on the offensive glass. The Eagles rank seventh in the country in offensive rebounding percentage at 38.9 percent vs. a national average of 29.8 percent. One could joke the Eagles get a lot of practice rebounding their own misses, and such was the case Wednesday when they shot 37.7 percent but grabbed 17 offensive boards.

Still, even with all of those second opportunities the Eagles managed just 68 points leaving the comforts of home for Game 2, and we do not see Morehead State exceeding that point output here without an abnormally good shooting night, which has been infrequent for a team shooting just 41.3 percent in true road games this year combining the regular season and post-season. Plus you can bet Nevada will make some adjustments to block out better on its defensive end.

 

Trending the ‘under’
Finally, the ‘under’ result here at the Lawlor Center Wednesday made it 7-3 in the last 10 Nevada home games vs. teams with losing road records, which applies here with Morehead State now being 8-10 in true road games this year following its defeat in Game 2.

Given that we expect a game more similar to Game 2 here as opposed to the Game 1 shootout in Kentucky as well as some butterflies for both teams with a stepping-stone post-season championship at stake, we look for that ‘under’ pattern to continue between Morehead State and Nevada in the deciding Game 3 of the CBI Championship from Reno on Friday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Morehead State, Nevada ‘under’ 145.5 (-108)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle