Michigan vs. Montana Betting Guide: Can Grizzlies Get Hot from Deep in 2019 NCAA Tournament?

Michigan vs. Montana Betting Guide: Can Grizzlies Get Hot from Deep in 2019 NCAA Tournament? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ignas Brazdeikis and Ahmaad Rorie

# 2 Michigan vs. #15 Montana NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Michigan -15
  • Over/Under: 129.5
  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT
  • Location: Des Moines, Iowa

>> All odds as of Thursday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

Montana (26-8) won the Big Sky regular season and conference tournament titles. It had a solid 53rd best non-conference strength of schedule and has the experience of facing the Wolverines in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. This will be Montana’s eighth postseason appearance in the past 10 years. The Grizz were 14-18 against the spread including 8-7 on the road.

Michigan (28-6) returns a solid nucleus from last year’s National Championship finalist. The Wolverines boast nine Quadrant I wins and a perfect 10-0 record against Quadrant II opponents. Michigan was 18-12 ATS, including 8-6 on the road.

Montana’s Versatile Offense

Montana’s has still maintained a high level of offense despite losing leading scorer James Akoh in mid-February with a knee injury. The Grizzlies rank 12th in the nation in 2P efficiency and 25th in the country in 3P%. Montana also owns the seventh-best effective field goal percentage in the country.

Senior guard Ahmaad Rorie (15.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.1 apg) is a dynamic offensive player. He put forth a dominant performance against Weber State in the Big Sky semifinals, scoring 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field and going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

The Grizzlies feature three players –in Sayeed Pridgett (47.4%), Kendal Manual (43.2%) and Donaven Dorsey (45.3%) — who thrive from beyond the arc. With Michigan’s defense excelling in all metric areas, getting hot from 3 would greatly improve Montana’s chances.

Michigan Offensive Whole > The Sum of The Parts

The Wolverines lack a true go-to scorer, with freshman Ignas Brazdeikis (15.1 ppg) leading the way statistically. Their balance has been both a blessing and a curse. Michigan has struggled to score late in games and has blown late second-half leads in all three Michigan State games.

The biggest difference on offense is the reduced 2P efficiency. In the past two years, Michigan ranked eighth and 35th, respectively, in that category. This season, the Wolverines are ranked 105th. They shot much better from 3-point range earlier in the season and can struggle to get baskets in critical moments.

The Wolverines typically struggle at offensive rebounding but will find it even tougher against Montana’s 43rd best defensive rebounding percentage.

The Pick

Michigan head coach John Beilein is one of the best in college basketball, but this Wolverine team has struggled to put opponents away. They are just 3-3 in their past six games. Michigan will win this game but the 15-point spread is simply too many points.

The Pick:  Montana +15, would bet to Montana +14

Our Projected Odds

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Michigan -16.5
  • Total: 132.5
  • Proj Score: Michigan 74.5 | Montana 58
  • Win Probability: Michigan 96.5% | Montana 3.5%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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