NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan vs. Louisville Betting the Total

Steven Suarez

Sunday, April 7, 2013 6:10 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 7, 2013 6:10 PM UTC

Is there any value to be had when making a play on the national championship game's total? Let's run over the odds and see what we find.


Odds Overview 

There are some varying numbers on the basketball odds board at the moment. Some books have 136.5 or 137 as their total, but that number rises to as high as 138.5 at other sites. 

More movement is a near certainty, so keep your browser locked on to make sure you get the best possible value you can. 

Louisville Cardinals Offense/Defense 

The Cardinals may have endured some slow starts, but they seem to always find a way to get into a rhythm offensively eventually. 

After getting held to 25 points in the first half against Wichita State, with nerves and obviously the Shockers' defensive intensity playing a part, the Cardinals were more aggressive in the second half and were able to find much better looks. 

Russ Smith and Luke Hancock were the lifelines of Louisville, totaling 41 points between them, while Tim Henderson came out of nowhere to hit two huge three-pointers in the second half. That made up for off nights from Peyton Siva (1-of-9 FG), Gorgui Dieng, and Wayne Blackshear, who combined for a grand total of 10 points. 

Over five tournament games, the Cardinals have averaged 79.0 points per game on 53.2 percent shooting, with Smith in particular proving mighty hard to contain for the full 40 minutes. 

Defensively, they've allowed 60.8 PPG over those five wins, while holding opponents to 41.9 percent shooting. Their best defensive effort so far came against Duke, whom they limited to just 63 points.

Michigan Wolverines Offense/Defense 

It was not the type of game Michigan had gotten accustomed to in the tournament, but the Wolverines still held their nerve in a 61-56 Final Four win over Syracuse.

Though Trey Burke had his worst game of the Big Dance so far, his teammates covered for him, especially Mitch McGary. The high-energy big man had 10 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks to continue his amazing run throughout the tournament. 

Other than the win over Syracuse, offensive production hasn't been an issue whatsoever for the Wolverines. 

In those five tournament victories, they've averaged 75.2 PPG on 47.7 percent shooting overall and 38.7 percent from three. Michigan dropped 87 points against Kansas and went for 79 against an excellent defensive team in Florida in the Elite 8.

As for their defensive showings, they've been right there with Louisville. Other than the back-and-forth encounter with Kansas in the Sweet 16, the Wolverines haven't allowed a team to score 60 or more points. They held San Diego State to 56, VCU to 53, and Florida to 59.


It wouldn't be surprising whatsoever to see another slow start for these teams, as nerves are going to be at an all-time high. That being the case, you may want to consider a small play on the UNDER for the first half. Total Pick

However, for the full game we like the look of the OVER, considering both teams have fantastic talent on the offensive side of the ball. Smith and Burke are two of the most exciting guards in the nation, while there will be plenty of good shooters on the floor surrounding them.

With so many players who live for performing on the big stage, we can't help but go with the OVER with our college basketball picks. Both of these teams love shooting the three ball, as they hoisted up 49 long-range efforts between them in the Final Four matchups. 

In addition, Louisville and Michigan are no strangers to playing at a fast pace, so in the end we have to recommend the OVER. Best of luck! 

NCAAB Pick: OVER 136.5 at 5 dimes

Check out my pick against the spread as well, right here!
comment here