NCAA Basketball Picks: Pacific vs. Miami

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:17 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013 12:17 PM GMT

The Miami Hurricanes are the first ACC team to not earn a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance despite winning the regular season and tournament title, as they prepare to take on the Pacific Tigers Friday.


Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this second-round matchup in the East Region, with the opening tip scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET at the Erwin Center in Austin, TX.

Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament betting headquarters.

No. 2 seed

Miami won and covered the spread in all three of its games in capturing the 2013 ACC championship, but it wasn’t enough to secure one of the four No. 1 seeds in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

The Hurricanes enter with a 27-6 straight-up (SU) record, while going 20-7 against the spread (ATS) versus lined competition.

Retiring on top

Pacific earned an automatic bid by capturing a 64-55 victory over the UC Irvine Anteaters as two-point neutral-site favorites in the Big West title game, while going UNDER the posted total for the third time in four contests.

Tigers coach Bob Thomason will retire at the end of the season—his 25th at his alma mater—compiling a 488-344 overall record (436-321 at Pacific).  The program is 2-4 under his direction in NCAA tournament games. 

Pace

College basketball handicappers need to realize that both of these teams want to play a game in the 60’s, as they’ve demonstrated a similar tempo on the court offensively throughout the 2012-13 campaign.

I’m not too concerned about the upward movement in the betting total when looking over the SBR Odds page, considering that most early action is likely reacting to these programs averaging a combined 136.7 points per game—well above the current number in the market.

Larranaga will preach defense 

Information is king in my opinion as a sports handicapper, which is why I was all ears when Miami coach Jim Larranaga appeared on ESPN Radio Sunday night after his team arrived back in the Sunshine State after winning the ACC tournament.

He mentioned offseason meetings with his roster about the importance of defense, which was the main reason for this team’s rise in the rankings throughout the year.  

After allowing 77 and 71 points to North Carolina and NC State, I’m expecting a huge performance on the defensive end from this veteran squad Friday.

[gameodds]14/225016/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the Hurricanes fell UNDER the posted total in six non-conference games when  it was offered in the market.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Under 125 at Pinnacle

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