Sports B.I.T.: Getting The Betting Value In NCAA Tournament Final

Teddy Covers

Monday, April 4, 2016 9:25 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 4, 2016 9:25 PM GMT

On Monday’s SportsBIT, Teddy and Pauly take a deep dive into the National Championship Game tonight as Villanova and North Carolina battle for the rights to cut down the nets in Houston.

The discussion starts with the total of 149.5 on the NCAA Tournament Odds.  Despite heavy betting on the Under in both semi-final games, both contests sneaked over the total in the final minutes of play.  The books got legitimately middled on the Villanova – Oklahoma total.  It opened as high as 149.5, then got bet down as low as 144 before late Over $$ drove the total back up to 144.5 or 145 by tip-off.   Phil Booth’s late three pointer ensured the game landed 146.  Early Under bettors and late Over bettors were rewarded for their betting skills and line shopping abilities.

It was a similar story for the North Carolina – Notre Dame game, with one key exception – there was no late steam on this Over.  Perhaps there should have been, because this one sneaked Over late as well, finishing with 149 points on a game where the total was bet down from 147 to 142, a big win for the house.

Villanova was the only team to light up the scoreboard with their hot shooting.  The two games at a notoriously bad shooting venue at NRG Stadium lived up to expectations in one sense.  The four teams combined to go 29-87 (33%) from three point range and only 34-54 (63%) from the free throw line; shooting in the ‘mediocre to poor’ range in both statistical categories.  Yet the pace of play was just quick enough to cash a pair of Overs on Saturday; worth noting before you make a wager on the total tonight.

Villanova is coming off two stellar defensive showings, shutting down Kansas in the Elite Eight, then holding Oklahoma to 51 points in their blowout win in the semi-final.  Their defense had twelve steals, many of them leading to easy transition buckets in a game where the Sooners had more than twice as many turnovers (17) as assists (8).

But the Wildcats will have their hands full with North Carolina’s interior size.  Roy Williams’ Tar Heels haven’t shot well from three point range at any point this season, and they’ve shot just 8-30 from beyond the arc in their last two games.  Yet UNC won both contests by double digit scoring margins.  What gives?

For Carolina, it’s been all about the offensive glass.  The Tar Heels have more offensive rebounds (28) than defensive rebounds allowed (24) in their last two games combined, a truly impressive figure – it’s not easy to rebound more than half of your own team’s misses.  The show closes with the Play of the Day – both Teddy and Pauly agree what the ‘right side’ is likely to be this evening, for your NCAA Tournament Pick.

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Free NCAA Tournament Pick:  North Carolina -2 -102
Best Line Offered:  at 5Dimes

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