The college basketball betting season is just one game away from commencing, as the National Championship game is here. Virginia will take on Texas Tech in what is an unexpected title game to say the least.
How should fans of March Madness betting approach this game, considering the unpredictability we’ve seen over the past few rounds?
There are traditional strategies for NCAA title game betting, but each game has its own twists.
Virginia is the Favorite
The Cavaliers enter Monday’s title game as a slight favorite. The moneyline is currently (-122) with 888Sport, as the spread for Virginia is (-1.5).
This actually seems like a pretty favorable bet, considering it will be a pretty cheap cost for those leaning towards Tony Bennett’s team.
Virginia has escaped many close games in the March Madness tournament, as they have won by no more than five points in their last three games.
With the recent results for Virginia, it seems that a (-1.5) spread is doable for the Cavaliers to cover.
Anything over the current spread will be a reach, as Texas Tech enters with the top defensive rated school in the nation.
For that reason, picking Texas Tech to cover any spread offered may not be a bad bet either.
An Alternate Option
Texas Tech also enters this title game only giving up 58.8 points per game, which ranks third-best in the nation.
The Red Raiders just held Michigan State to 51 total points in their Final Four game, the first time Tom Izzo’s team has failed to reach 60 points this season.
Texas Tech has also beaten opponents by an average of 14 points per game this tournament, something Virginia has not been able to do.
If you plan on taking an alternate line for betting the spread, try starting with Texas Tech and working from there.
It seems more likely that Texas Tech can cover an alternate spread as the underdog rather than Virginia covering an alternate spread as the favorite.
Betting Over Under
The current line for this game’s over/under total is 117.5, with the under currently favored at -110.
This seems very likely, considering the stats we just went over with Texas Tech’s defense in this tournament.
This line seems even more likely because Virginia matches Texas Tech’s defense better than any other team in the nation.
Virginia enters this title game only allowing 55.5 points per game this season, which ranks best in the nation.
The Cavaliers also have an insanely balanced attack on both sides of the ball. Virginia has the fourth-best offensive rating in the country, along with the sixth-best defensive rating in the country.
The Cavs don’t score a ton of points despite the high offensive rating however, so a low point total is justified to take.
There are two factors that may spoil any bettors considering taking the under: Ty Jerome and Matt Mooney.
Players to Bet On
Virginia’s Jerome has been a terror in this tournament, including back-to-back games with 20-plus points.
Jerome has connected on 46.7% of his 3-pointers over the last four games, including 8-for-19 from beyond the arc over his last two games.
If Jerome continues his onslaught from deep-range, along with the likes of Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter producing, then Virginia can touch the 60-point mark.
Matt Mooney has been a savior for the Red Raiders. As good of defense as the Red Raiders play, they still need to score to win.
Mooney has been exactly what Chris Beard’s bunch needs, as he helped carry Texas Tech into the title game by burying multiple threes against Michigan State.
Mooney has shot an 50.6% from beyond the arc over his last three games, going 11-for-21.
If the winner pick or over/under line seems a bit too close for your comfort, perhaps going with some player prop bets on Jerome or Mooney may be the way to go.