Our college basketball handicapper, Mark Lathrop, started the season on a huge ATS run. Here he looks at the good chance of a moneyline upset to give some juice to his final NCAAB 2016-17 season record.
2016-17 NCAAB Record 63-49-3, +9.51 Units
There will be Ducks fans everywhere in Phoenix this weekend, as they find themselves the closest team in the country to the venue of the Final Four. A listed 5-point underdog against the University of North Carolina, and sitting at +190 on the moneyline at Heritage, the question is, what does Oregon have to do to pull off the upset?For Whom the Bell Tolls
Having improved every year over his last three with the Ducks, 6’ 9” senior forward, Jordan Bell, has reached supreme territory when it comes to one statistic – blocks. Now the all-time leader in school history in blocks, Bell has compiled 64 this season alone for Oregon while also putting in a career-high in minutes and a career low in personal fouls. All this while also increasing his scoring from 7.2 to 10.8 points per game year over year. Jordan Bell is a force to be reckoned with inside and can make a difference in a single game situation. Just ask Kansas, who had 8 blocks by Bell against them in their Elite 8 matchup.Dorsey Picking up Boucher’s Slack
When Chris Boucher went down in early March, the Oregon rotation didn’t have much time to adjust. What did happen was that 6’ 4” sophomore guard, Tyler Dorsey, picked up all of the offense that left and then some. Dorsey’s attempts per game skyrocketed since Boucher got injured, and the results have been fantastic. He’s scored more than 20 points in seven games straight, including dropping 6 3-pointers on Kansas in the Elite 8.I Haven’t Even Mentioned Oregon’s Best Player Yet
Leading the Ducks with 16 points per game is 6’ 7” junior swingman, Dillon Brooks, who has played big minutes for Oregon in the tournament. At 225 pounds and still a decent ball handler that doesn’t turn the ball over, Brooks can create his own shot if the rest of the offense is struggling. He was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year in a conference that includes some superstars.Defending the 3
With a 33-5 SU and 22-13 ATS record, it really is strange to me that this game isn’t close to a pick’em against North Carolina. The record advantage isn’t the only one they have though, as the Ducks both shoot and defend the 3-point shot better than North Carolina. I would expect that a poor 3-point shooting team would be even worse in an NFL football stadium, so this will allow the Ducks to double-team inside and bait North Carolina to try to beat them over the top. Oregon allows teams to shoot just 31.1% from beyond the arc this year. North Carolina’s advantage is on the inside, so if Oregon can neutralize that somewhat the +190 moneyline odds at Heritage appears to have great value.