Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 12:00 PM
A long and thrilling college basketball season comes to an end Monday night in Houston when the North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Villanova Wildcats for the National Championship. It’s a battle of a #1 seed vs. a #2 seed. But Villanova has played so much like a #1 throughout this event that you should really see it as a battle of two #1’s. Frankly…two #1’s who have played so consistently great in the Dance that it’s impossible to envision any other matchup.
Check this out…
*Villanova is 5-0 straight up, 5-0 ATS in the tournament
*Villanova has won by a combined 121 points, covered by a combined 93 points!
*North Carolina is 5-0 straight up, 4-1 ATS in the tournament
*North Carolina has won by a combined 81 points, covered by a combined 23 points!
Both deserve exclamation points. Remember that North Carolina entered as a national superpower that was always going to be priced to perfection. Yet, they still covered by an average of almost 5 points per game. The only non-cover was in the opener vs. Florida-Gulf Coast when they were coasting a bit too much. Versus any legitimate threat, they dominated.
And, Villanova has dominated even more impressively against a tougher schedule. Let that sink in for a minute…the Wildcats COVERED their five games by 93 points…more than NC won by straight up even though NC won all five games by double digits!
North Carolina has been better than great. Villanova has been unbelievable.
What’s going to happen when they play each other? Let’s see how sharps have been betting since the openers went up very late Saturday…
VILLANOVA vs. NORTH CAROLINA: 9:15 pm ET on TBS
The first line up at most places was North Carolina by 2.5. Some early offshore places posted two and saw it get bet up. Any store testing the three saw Villanova money come in. That’s consistent with how these teams have been priced through the whole tourney. Remember that Villanova was +2.5 vs. Kansas…and that Kansas and North Carolina were seen as virtual equals in the marketplace all through March.
There was some initial talk in the media (both mainstream and market analysts) talking about how Villanova probably couldn’t play two great games in a row. That hinted at a line higher than North Carolina -2.5. But…Villanova’s actually played a few great games in a row! And, oddsmakers these days tend to stick close to their initial Power Ratings anyway. This was going to be in the -2 to -4 range regardless unless there was an injury to a key player.
Sharp betting to this point has generally been on Villanova. We’re seeing that more early Monday than on Sunday. Dog lovers were hoping that +3 might become widely available after public betting. That wasn’t in the offing…so some Monday morning sharp money has been coming in on Villanova +2.5. Many stores are currently on a solid two. Though, that may encourage the favorite-loving public to jump in on the Tar Heels. It wouldn’t surprise me if a tug-of-war develops between North Carolina -2 and Villanova +2.5 throughout the rest of the day. Sharps who have been riding Villanova will keep riding them. Squares who just won four in a row laying a lot of points with Carolina think a line this low is a gift.
The Over/Under opened at a tall 151, after the two games Saturday landed on 146 (over the closer but under the opener) and 149 (over, period) respectively. Talk about the difficult backdrop in Houston is still worth listening to. It’s true that Villanova shot a great 11 of 18 on three-pointers Saturday, but the other three teams were 18 of 69 combined (26%). Though, both of tonight’s teams attack the basket so well (and back off defensively at the rim to avoid foul trouble), that we could see a high scoring game based only on close-in shooting. (Note that NC shot 65% on two-pointers Saturday, Villanova and amazing 77%.)
Quants did bet the Under in Monday’s Championship game at 151, 150.5, and 150. The public tends to bet Overs when they play totals because it’s more fun to root for scoring. That could set up a tug-of-war here at stores who drop below 150.
My only release for clients on Saturday was North Carolina (-) over Syracuse. Will Richie B. be trying to win on the Tar Heels again? I’ve made up my mind and posted my Monday selection. You have to be a paying customer to find out! I will tell you that both teams have really impressed me throughout this event. I believe I’ve found the best “value” strategy for this final game of the season in my favorite sport to handicap and bet!
My daily selections in all sports can always be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155.
Thanks so much to all of you who have been reading throughout the season. My sharps reports will be returning in the Fall for both college and pro football. I appreciate that your interest has made this the most widely read sports betting market report in cyberspace. Best of luck to you tonight and in all of your Las Vegas sports betting.