Tourney Picks: Generous Number Hard to Pass Up On Chattanooga +12 vs. Indiana

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 1:45 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 1:45 PM UTC

Our handicapping expert breaks down Thursday’s NCAA Tournament game between UT-Chattanooga and Indiana. Go inside to get his NCAA basketball pick.

#12 UT Chattanooga (29-5) vs. #5 Indiana (25-7) 7:10 PM ET
Chattanooga will look to play the part of giant killer when they face 14th ranked Indiana in a NCAA Tournament first round matchup on Thursday. At the time of this writing (3/15), NCAA Tournament odds, displays Indiana as a 12.0 point favorite, and the posted total is 144.5. There’s been some interesting early point spread movement on this contest at Indiana opened as an 11.0 point favorite, and then thirty minutes later went down to 10.0, before escalating to 12.0 early Monday morning. The number has held steady since that time. The winner of this contest will face either #13 seed Stony Brook or #4 Kentucky on Saturday.


Beware of the Moccasins
Despite moving up considerably in class for this contest compared to their Southern Conference slate, I don’t expect Chattanooga to be intimidated whatsoever. The Moccasins already own quality non-conference wins this season against Georgia, Illinois, and Dayton. All of those victories came on the road. They’re a very balanced team which has eight players averaging 6.0 points or more. Although the level of completion they faced in conference play isn’t the who’s who of college basketball.  A 29 win season no matter how you cut it is quite impressive, and makes them an enticing betting value as an underdog of this magnitude.


Which Indiana Team will Show Up?
Indiana surprised the majority of the experts this season by being Big Ten regular season champions. Unfortunately they were abruptly ousted in the conference tournament quarterfinals, losing by 3 to Michigan as a 7.5 point favorite. The Hoosiers were a perfect 17-0 at home this season, and that includes being an extremely profitable 12-5 ATS in those contests. However, on the road and at neutral sites they weren’t as successful. Indiana was a mediocre 8-7 in those contests, and was an absolute fade at 5-10 ATS. They’ll have to alleviate that Jekyll and Hyde personality if they hope to make a deep run on college basketball’s grandest stage.


Final Analysis
Indiana is an outstanding shooting team, ranking third nationally in offensive field goal percentage (50.1%), and fifth with their three point shooting (41.5%). What’s interesting about the aforementioned three notable non-conference wins by Chattanooga, was the fact they allowed each of those opponents to shoot 50% or better, and still came out on top every time. I have a strong professional inclination that this game will be much closer than anticipated. I’m not going to go out on a limb by calling for an outright upset, but I’ll surely take the generous amount of points for one of my NCAA Tournament picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: UT-Chattanooga +12
Best Line Offered: at Bet365


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