NCAA Basketball Pick on Arizona, Wisconsin ‘under’ the Total

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, March 28, 2015 2:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 28, 2015 2:32 PM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Saturday.


It could be a much lower scoring game than the total suggests in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament Saturday evening when the second seeded Arizona Wildcats (34-3, 17-3 away/neutral) take on the top seeded Wisconsin Badgers (34-3, 19-2 away/neutral) in the West Region from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA at 6:09 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 133 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -108.

Two Biggest Threats to Kentucky?
Arizona may have been under-seeded as a two-seed, and it seems really unfortunate that the Wildcats ended up in the same region as Wisconsin to necessitate this early meeting, as more than a few experts feel that these two 34-3 clubs are the two biggest threats to Kentucky for the national title!

Arizona has now been the winning NCAA Basketball pick in 14 straight games as the Wildcats are seventh in the country in offensive efficiency and third in defensive efficiency, making them one of only two teams ranked in the top 10 in both categories nationally along with the other Wildcats from Kentucky. Arizona is ranked second overall on the Pomeroy Ratings.

And Wisconsin is right behind Arizona on Pomeroy at third overall while leading the country in offensive efficiency and rarely turning the ball over, leading the land in offensive turnover percentage also at just 12.3 percent to blow away the national average of 19.1 percent.

Pace Prevented Arizona from Being Undefeated?
Arizona failed to cover the 11-point spread in a 68-60 win over the Xavier Musketeers in the Sweet 16 on Thursday, although that contest did stay ‘under’ the total of 137 as we correctly predicted. And that has been the story of Arizona’s season as the Wildcats have has much talent as any team in the country but they often tend to play at a slower pace than they should under Coach Sean Miller given the fine athletes on the team.

Do not expect Miller to change his stripes here after getting the Wildcats to within one win of the Final Four, but there is a belief in some circles that Arizona would be undefeated right now just like the other Wildcats also if they quickened the tempo a bit. That is because the three Wildcat losses have been by two, three and four points respectively with their slow pace allowing three lesser opponents in UNLV, Oregon State and Arizona State to hang around and rally late.

The fact that all three of those losses can be deemed “bad” losses given the competition is probably the reason why Arizona is a two-seed, but the efficiency ratings are certainly legitimate as those are adjusted for schedule, and the Wildcats’ suffocating defense that allows an effective field goal percentage of 44.5 percent combined with not playing fast is a nice ‘under’ conducive combination.

So is the fact that Arizona hardly ever allows opponents to get second opportunities, leading the country in defensive rebounding percentage allowing opponents to rebound their own misses just 22.5 percent of the time vs. a national average of 31.1 percent.

Few Teams Play Slower than Wisconsin
Now Wisconsin does come off of an ‘over’ while covering the six-point spread by the slimmest of margins in a 79-72 win over North Carolina, but keep in mind that the Tar Heels are the polar opposite of these teams in term of tempo as they love to run the floor. The Badgers face no such foe here so they should be more in their comfort zone.

And when the Badgers play at their own pace, there are only four teams in the country that play any slower as they rank 347th in the nation in tempo rating! That is why despite leading the land in offensive efficiency and ranking 17th in effective field goal percentage at 54.7 percent Wisconsin is only 55th in scoring with its 72.5 points per game.

And we do not even expect them to reach that average here vs. one of the best defenses in the country, especially vs. another slow-paced team.

Trending ‘under’
The ‘under’ is now 5-1 in the last six Arizona games with those contests averaging 135.7 points, and that average is deceptive because the one ‘over’ had a 93-72 score in what amounted to a scrimmage vs. Texas Southern in the Round of 64. The five ‘unders’ in this stretch have averaged 129.8 points.

Look for more of the same here in the Elite Eight with Arizona and Wisconsin going ‘under’ in Los Angeles on Saturday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Arizona, Wisconsin ‘under’ 133 (-108)


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