Tuesday's NCAA Tournament Pick: BYU to Cover Spread Over Ole Miss

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 1:59 PM GMT

When Ole Miss and BYU meet in Dayton for an 11th seed playoff game, those interested in making profitable Tournament picks would be well-advised to read this intriguing preview article.

 

Mississippi vs. BYU (-4) 9:10 ET TRU TV
Ole Miss and BYU meet in Dayton for an 11th seed playoff game in this 9:10 ET tip as televised by TRU TV.  In a college basketball season which has seen scoring dip to possibly the all-time low in the shot clock era, this game will be a breath of fresh air.  The total of 158 points offered in the contest is your first clue!  At first glance, it may appear that offense will rule the day.  Particularly in the case of BYU, however, the extraordinary number of possessions per game belies the fact that the Cougars play an increasingly effective brand of defense.   The same can be said of Ole Miss, who to their credit, allows just 40% from the field.  There is a good chance that the team with the lead will extend any late game margin, as each of these entities converts 78% from the stripe.  Each of these teams is also among our 67% Roadrunners (win better than 67% of their road or neutral games), which has translated into a solid 11-7 ATS mark as traveler for BYU and an incredible mark of 13-3 ATS for Ole Miss when away from Oxford.  With the many similarities in this game, let’s take a look at the offensive side of the ball and current form for clues to this evening's winning NCAA Tournament Pick.

Ole Miss limped to the finish line with a 1-4 SU, 1-5 ATS finish.  This included consecutive losses as favorite in their regular season home finale vs. Vandy (86-77) and in their Quarter Final loss of the SEC Tourney to S. Carolina, when the Rebs would go over 10 minutes in the 2nd half without scoring a basket.  The Rebs can run hot and cold, depending on Stefan Moody, who averages 16 PPG.  But, his dominance with the basketball has led senior lead guard, Summers, to be a virtual afterthought.  This “one-man show” type of offense approach is seldom successful in NCAA play.  

As if BYU needed more perimeter power, it has now been confirmed that a pair of perimeter shooters, Winder (knee) and Halford (leg), will be available for this game.  Winder is good for 13 PPG, while Halford knocks down nearly 50% of his 3 point shots.  But, the real perimeter power comes from Tyler Haws, who averages 22 PPG and his running mate, Collinsworth.  Doing his best Russell Westbrook imitation, Collinsworth has recorded no fewer than (6) triple-doubles this season, while averaging 15 PPG.  While Ole Miss plays in the Power Six conference of the SEC, BYU, not only toils in the underrated WCC (where they defeated Gonzaga 73-70 in Spokane on February 28th), but also faced a representative pre-season slate, including San Diego St., Purdue, Utah and Stanford.

Tenth year HC Dave Rose has a long history of pointspread success in the role of favorite, as opposed to underdog.  This year, the Cougars were 9-3 ATS as favorite away from Provo.  Though the line is running away a bit (after the announcement that Windsor and Halford would play), must believe that BYU is still the right side with their plethora of perimeter power and the solid play down the stretch of interior force, Kaufusi.  Lay it with the hope that the Cougars can convert their foul shots down the stretch and that Moody does not get hot from behind the arc.

NCAA Tournament Picks: Take BYU -3 at YouWager