Virginia’s in the Final Four. Virginia’s in the Final Four. I don’t think I can write that enough. While I’d likely be betting the games anyways, having the Hoos involved just adds a wee bit more attention. With only two games on the slate, I’m going to give you a take on both the side and the total. It’s been a fun year, let’s go make some money.
What a contrast in styles, first you have the run and gun Auburn Tigers matched against the grind it out Virginia Cavaliers. As Virginia fans, we’ve seen this movie before. The question will be how Auburn prepares and if they’re able to execute their style. This game is all about narrative. How does this game play out in your head? If you like Auburn, you have to think they’re able to play at their pace, and therefore you take the Tigers, the points, and the over. However, if you like the Hoos, the game is probably slow bringing the under into play. That being said, I can see a scenario where UVA covers in a shootout. But that’s not the way I’m going here. I think Virginia is able to grind the Tigers to a halt, they’ll take care of the ball, limiting Auburn’s transition opportunities, forcing them into a half-court offense. In the end, Auburn may make a bunch of threes, but they won’t have the inside/transition game to really rack up the points. Therefore, give me the Hoos and the Under.
Picks: UVA -5.5, Under 131
I love this Texas Tech team. While this column has focused only on the ACC, the Red Raiders have been one of my favorite teams to bet on outside of conference. There’s been a ton of value on them in a similar vein to Virginia. Because they don’t play a sexy style of basketball, the public doesn’t like them, and we reap the benefit of tilted Iines. And I sit here today kicking myself because when I did my initial brackets, I didn’t believe that a Texas Tech/Virginia National Championship game was realistic, even though that is what the clicks led to. So now is my shot to make amends. To pick the Texas Tech/Virginia final that the world wants, that the world needs. Can you imagine a Jarrett Culver vs. De’Andre Hunter championship game? I’ve gotta go Red Raiders, right? I can’t. Michigan State will be ready. They won’t be fazed by Texas Tech’s deliberate pace, and they won’t be intimidated by Texas Tech’s suffocating defense. The Spartans played Michigan twice, and prevailed each time. They won’t be surprised by anything the Red Raiders throw at them, and both teams will be able to score. Even though deep down I’m rooting for Matt Mooney, Davide Moretti, Tariq Owens, and the Red Raiders, I’m picking Michigan State to cover. Though I won’t be crushed if they don’t
Picks: MSU -2.5, Over 132.5
Season Total: ATS (42-30-2), O/U (27-21), Total (69-51-2)