Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM
It’s our final college basketball report of the season, as Virginia and Texas Tech play for the National Championship Monday night in Minneapolis.
Sharps aren’t particularly excited about the matchup, except for the quants betting the Under. Everybody’s Power Ratings have lined up…so that odddsmakers and the Wise Guys are in agreement about there the team side number should be.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (in Minneapolis)
9 p.m. ET: Texas Tech vs. Virginia (-1)
The first number up offshore was Virginia -1.5. That drew interest from sharps on underdog Texas Tech. Later stores opened at Virginia -1. We’ve been see-sawing back and forth ever since. Differing Wise Guy factions will take Virginia at -1, or Texas Tech at +1.5.
Now, if the public decides it LOVES one of those teams between now and tonight’s tip-off, sharps would aggressively fade a line move out of that tight range.
*Dog lovers would POUND Texas Tech at +2, particularly all the guys that have been betting the Red Raiders as a defensive dog the past few games. This is a team that just knocked out Michigan, Gonzaga, and Michigan State in succession getting points. Virginia isn’t playing any better than those teams were at the time. This is expected to be a very slow, low scoring game. A line of +2 is much more important in that kind of scenario than in one where the Over/Under is in the 130’s, 140’s, or 150’s. Remember, a lot of guys hit Tech at the opener of +1.5 because they figured the two wouldn’t ever be available.
*Quants would hit Virginia HARD at pick-em. This line would have been around -4.5 or -5 back when the tournament began. Virginia had earned that much respect. Texas Tech was a potential spoiler, but wasn’t seen at the time as a serious championship threat given their Big 12 tournament loss to West Virginia and their tough Dance draw (Buffalo was even a tough opponent in the round of 32!). Math projections don’t change THAT much in such a short period of time. Virginia at pick-em would seem like a steal to bettors thinking about the whole season rather than just the past two weeks. If you had told them before this event began that they could bet Virginia -1 in a championship matchup with Texas Tech, they wouldn’t have believed you.
As weird as it may sound to many of you, Virginia at pick-em is probably a great percentage bet, and Texas Tech at +2 is probably a percentage great bet. Virginia winning by exactly one or two is a strong enough possibility to swing the math that hard.
That’s why I don’t expect the game to move beyond the -1 to -1.5 range during the day. If it does, that won’t last long.
The Over/Under is interesting. The public loves betting Overs…but that’s very hard to do after watching Virginia play such slow basketball in recent TV games (they’re the slowest team in the nation out of 353 teams)…and watching Tech grind out Michigan State in a semifinal that only reached 112 points.
An opener of 120 was bet down to 119 right away, and then 118 soon after that. As I put together this report Monday morning, some stores were testing 117.5. Who could have imagined a total that low in a championship game?!
So, quants really like Under 120 and 119, and some are still going Under 118. Computer models are going to get low totals for this matchup because they standardize three-point percentages and free throw counts. The margin for error is pretty low though. If one team gets hot from long range, or one or two refs decide they want to be the stars of the night, the Over has a good chance of getting there.
I think we’ll see some public money on the Over between now and tip off, particularly if most of the stores go to 117.5. That would set up a tug-of-war between quants betting Under 118 or higher, and square betting Over 117.5 or lower. We’ll see.
I will have something for paying customers in this season finale. You can always purchase my BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155.
You regulars know college basketball is my favorite sport to handicap and bet. I had a lot of fun last month helping out the South Point here in Las Vegas with their openers on Selection Sunday. Thanks again to all of my old friends who contacted me after reading about that in the New York Post. Sports betting journalism has finally gone national. Glad to see that happen.
Thanks for reading. Best of luck to you with your final choice or choices tonight. I hope I’ve helped all of you think like a sharp and bet like a sharp with my web articles.