NCAA TOURNAMENT – Final Four –Saturday, April 6
6:09 PM EST/3:09 PM PST @ U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
803 Auburn +5.5 (-110) 131 Moneyline: (+200) TEAM TOTAL: O/U (62.5)
804 Virginia -5.5 (-110) 131 Moneyline: (-245) TEAM TOTAL: O/U (68)
- Tigers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Cavaliers are 45-20-1 ATS in their last 66 games overall.
- Over is 5-0 in Tigers last 5 overall.
- Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
Talk about going from the doghouse to the penthouse, well that is how you would describe the Virginia Cavalier basketball program the last two seasons. Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to ever experience defeat at the hands of a No. 16 seed, when UMBC shocked the world in last year’s Tourney.
Not only did the Cavaliers lose, but they also got absolutely blown out (74-54) as 22.5 point favorites with a more than 99% chance to win by the boys here in desert.
Virginia’s players and Head Coach Tony Bennett used that embarrassment to fuel their drive for success this season in reaching the Final Four for the 3rd time in school history. For more than a full calendar year, the Cavaliers and their fans have endured the endless memes and torment that comes with being on the losing end of the biggest loss in college sports history. This season, Duke and Florida State are the only team to have beat Virginia. They won the ACC regular season title, again, and won 22 games this year by double-digits en route to a 1-seed. However, after their Elite Eight overtime win over Purdue, thanks to a buzzer beater to tie the game at the end of regulation, the Cavs now get to play perhaps the biggest Cinderella team left in the tourney–the Auburn Tigers.
Auburn’s last three wins in the tournament are nothing to sneeze at as they have come against Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky: only the three winningest programs in college basketball history. Bruce Pearl will do everything he can to get the Tigers to speed up Virginia, because if this game is played at Virginia’s pace their size advantage across the board will become the biggest factor to a War Eagle club playing without its best player in Chuma Okeke who was lost with a torn ACL in the Sweet 16. Auburn will need star guard Bryce Brown to step up like he did (24 pts) in the Elite Eight victory over Kentucky, but it may be the ‘smallest’ player on the court who will need to play the ‘biggest’ again–PG Jared Harper (26 pts).
Auburn is going to the Final Four for the first time in school history, thanks to the diminutive Harper who played with the biggest heart scoring 12 points in the overtime win over Kentucky.
The public money is backing the underdog Tigers (75%), however the sharp money behind Virginia has forced the opening line of -5 to move up a tick to -5.5 around most shops here in the desert. The over has seen solid support as well as the opening total of 130 now stands at 131.
Record: 30-9, No. 5 seed in Midwest Regional
Road to Minneapolis: 78-77 over No. 12 New Mexico State; 89-75 over No. 4 Kansas; 97-80 over No. 1 North Carolina; 77-71 (OT) over No. 2 Kentucky
Biggest Strength: Ranked No. 1 in defensive turnover %.
X-Factor: Jared Harper
Season: 21-16 ATS
Last 10: 8-2 ATS
Record: 33-3, No. 1 seed in South Regional
Road to Minneapolis: 71-56 over No. 16 Gardner-Webb; 63-51 over No. 9 Oklahoma; 53-49 over No. 12 Oregon; 80-75 (OT) over No. 3 Purdue
Biggest Strength: Ranked No. 2 in adjusted offensive efficiency.
X-Factor: Kyle Guy
Season: 25-11 ATS
Last 10: 6-4 ATS
NCAA TOURNAMENT – Final Four –Saturday, April 6
8:49 PM EST/5:49 PM PST @ U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
801 Texas Tech +2.5 (-110) 132.5 Moneyline: (+135) TEAM TOTAL: O/U (65)
802 Michigan St -2.5 (-110) 132.5 Moneyline: (-155) TEAM TOTAL: O/U (67.5)
- Red Raiders are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
- Red Raiders are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Spartans are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 with a winning record.
- Under is 5-1 in Spartans last 6 overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Red Raiders last 5 NCAA Tournament games.
- Under is 19-7-1 in Spartans last 27 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Tom Izzo out-coached Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in leading Michigan State to its 11th Final Four appearance in school history in the Elite Eight.
Izzo is clearly the best coach left in the field, with 22 NCAA tournament appearances, the same number as Texas Tech’s Chris Beard, Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Auburn’s Bruce Pearl combined.
No one in that trio has taken a team to the Final Four before, whereas Izzo has led Sparty there seven times heading into this tournament, including a national title in 2000. The Spartans are ranked eighth in the country, per KenPom, and hold opponents to the fourth-lowest effective field goal percentage. Star PG Cassius Winston scored or assisted on 19 of of Sparty’s 30 field goals (63% of offense) vs Duke in the Elite Eight. On the season, more than two-thirds of Michigan State’s made field goals come via an assist–the highest rate in the nation–many of which are due to the passing skills of Big Ten Player of the Year, Winston.
Texas Tech made it to the Final Four for the first time in school history on the back of its suffocating team defense and via Big 12 Player of the Year Jarrett Culver (18.9 pts, 6.4 reb, 3.7 ast ppg)–who we have been highlighting as this year’s version of Kemba Walker for weeks.
The Red Raiders aren’t just the best defense Michigan State has played all season—they’re the best in the country, ranked first in defensive efficiency.
The Red Raiders block shots at the sixth-highest rate in the nation and that is most thanks in part to Tariq Owens who transferred from St. Johns last season. In his one season at Texas Tech, as a graduate transfer from the Big East’s Red Storm, Owens has set a school record for blocks and his two biggest of his career came against Gonzaga’s NBA bound foward Rui Hachimura in the final minutes helping to seal the victory for the underdog Red Raiders. Texas Tech has held its four opponents in the NCAA Tournament to a combined 91 points under its season scoring average while only allowing five opponents to score 70 points or more the entire season.
The line here in the desert opened at -2.5 and saw significant Sparty steam driving the line up to -3, before sharp action on the Red Raiders drove the line back down to its opener of -2.5. The total has fluctuated between 132 and 133 depending on the shop both globally and in town.
Michigan State Spartans
Record: 32-6, No. 2 Seed in East Regional
Road to Minneapolis: 76-65 over No. 15 Bradley; 70-50 over No. 10 Minnesota; 80-63 over No. 3 LSU; 68-67 over No. 1 Duke
Biggest Strength: Ranked No. 1 in assist ratio in nation.
X-Factor: Tom Izzo
Season: 27-11 ATS
Last 10: 9-1 ATS
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Record: 30-6, No. 3 seed in West Regional
Road to Minneapolis: 72-57 over No. 14 Northern Kentucky; 78-58 over No. 6 Buffalo; 63-44 over No. 2 Michigan; 75-69 over No. 1 Gonzaga
Biggest Strength: Ranked No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
X-Factor: F Jarrett Culiver
Season: 19-16 ATS
Last 10: 8-2 ATS
Final Four : Updated Future Odds To Win 2019 NCAA Men’s Tournament
Michigan St +180
Texas Tech +400
Final Four : Possible Championship Match-up Future Betting Lines
Virginia -1 vs Michigan St
Virginia -2 vs Texas Tech
Michigan St -4.5 vs Auburn
Texas Tech -2 Auburn