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2019 Final Four Betting Cheat Sheet: Odds, Picks, Trends, Analysis for Michigan State-Texas Tech, UVA-Auburn

Credit:

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cassius Winston and Jarrett Culver

UPDATE: If you’re looking for opening odds for Virginia-Texas Tech in the national championship game, click here.

We’ve been talking a lot about the Final Four this week. Like, a lot. Don’t wait until right before tip to catch up on all the chatter and analysis.

Below we’ve compiled snippets from all our previews, trends pieces and analysis this week on UVA-Auburn and Michigan State-Texas Tech for your perusal.

2019 Final Four Betting Odds, Trends, Picks

Virginia vs. Auburn Betting Guide

How often can Auburn get out in transition? That’s the key to the game in my eyes.

While Virginia’s defense does almost everything at an elite level in the half court, it is actually really vulnerable in transition. The Cavaliers rank 317th in the nation in transition Points Per Possession allowed, per Synergy Sports.

That could spell trouble against an Auburn team that loves to push it (one of 36 teams that gets out in transition at least 20% of the time) and does so successfully, ranking in the top 40 in that same PPP category.

Virginia only allows transition opportunities in a little more than 10% of its possessions but when it does, it struggles to defend. The Hoos are so elite the other 90% of the time that it would behoove the Tigers to speed this game up.

I think the game will come down to this number — if Auburn can get it in the neighborhood of 20%, it will have a really good shot and the game will fly over the total. If it’s closer to 10, UVA likely wins a grinder.Stuckey

Check out more expert analysis and our favorite bets for Virginia-Auburn.


Texas Tech vs. Michigan State Betting Guide

Texas Tech is 8-0 in the NCAA Tournament against the second-half spread under Chris Beard, covering by 7.7 points per game. In his past two seasons in Lubbock, he’s the most profitable coach against the second-half spread in the country.

Beard is 32-8-1 (80%) against the second-half spread when facing a non-conference opponent over his career, including 23-4 (85.2%) against the second-half spread when facing those opponents on the road or on a neutral court. Evan Abrams

Check out more expert analysis and our favorite bets for Virginia-Auburn.


Our Staff’s 7 Favorite Bets for Saturday

Getting just 41% of bets, the Michigan State-Texas Tech over is pushing to be among the least popular in our database for an NCAA Tournament game past the Round of 64. I usually like to fade the public in general in heavily bet games, but I’m especially high on the strategy when public bettors decide to go against their usual tendencies of taking favorites and overs.

Since 2005, there have been 48 instances of an over receiving the minority of bets in an NCAA Tournament game past the first round, and those overs have gone 28-19-1 (59.6%).

I’ll bank on that trend continuing on Saturday and take Over 132.5. — Danny Donahue

Check out more of our experts’ favorite bets of the Final Four.


Freedman’s Favorite Player Props

Virginia G Ty Jerome: Over 4.0 Rebounds (+100), Over 5.5 Assists (-114)

What Jerome really has going for him is playing time. In the regular season, he had a respectable 32.7 minutes per game. But in his six postseason games, he’s averaged 38.8 minutes.

With that much time on the court, he has a good chance to drop more than five dimes and grab more than five boards.

Jerome has played at least 35 minutes in each postseason game, and in his 18 games this year with 35-plus minutes, he’s averaged 4.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

I have him projected for 4.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists.

I’d bet over 4.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists to -130. — Matthew Freedman

Check out the rest of Freedman’s prop-betting card.


Vegas Report: Bettors Piling on Auburn

It seems like public bettors definitely love the Tigers, but some bookmakers in Las Vegas think they also may just hate Virginia.

“The public is just piling on Auburn here,” Jeff Davis, sportsbook risk manager at Caesars Palace, said. “The ticket count is almost 3 to 1 on Auburn and the moneyline ticket count is even higher.” — Adam Staple

Get more info on the action bookmakers are seeing in Las Vegas.


Wilson: My Final Four Live Betting Strategy

While first halves have been lukewarm for the Red Raiders, the Texas Tech defense in the first 10 minutes of the second half has been outstanding. Through their first four tournament games, the Red Raiders hold a scoring differential of +43 in the first 10 minutes after halftime.

Chris Beard has been a wizard with halftime adjustments, putting games away before the final minutes. As for a live betting script, I would attempt to get Texas Tech at +5 or better in the first half. — Collin Wilson

Read more on what else Collin Wilson is looking to live-bet on Saturday night.


Football Stadiums Affect Shooting, But Don’t Cause Unders

  1. Common sentiment is correct that teams shoot poorly in football stadiums compared to standard basketball arenas. This trend remains true even over the last four years when we’ve seen a reversal in over-under results.
  2. Despite this confirmed “football stadium” effect, Final Four scoring has still increased markedly since 2015, in part due to a holistic increase in college basketball’s 3-point shooting rate and overall pace.
  3. Final Four closing totals have also increased in recent years to try to keep up with the increase in scoring, but they have still undervalued the recent scoring trend — and perhaps still overvalue the “football stadium” effect. This has resulted in a 7-1 record for the over since 2015. — Ryan Collinsworth

Read more of Ryan’s research on how playing in football stadiums impacts Final Four scoring + what it means for your bets.

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