Two Betting Systems Point To Value In Monday’s National Championship Game
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Matt Mooney
- Virginia is a 1.5-point favorite against Texas Tech in Monday's national championship game (9:20 p.m. ET, CBS).
- Using Bet Labs, we share two winning betting systems for the NCAA Tournament title game.
The 2019 National Championship game is set, with No. 1 seed Virginia facing 3-seed Texas Tech on Monday (9:20 p.m. ET, CBS). The Cavaliers opened as 1.5-point favorites after a controversial foul call helped the Hoos beat Auburn 63-62 in the Final Four.
Bettors like the Red Raiders chances in the title game, as a majority of spread tickets are on the underdog. Chris Beard’s team has a chance to become just the seventh squad in the past 20 years to go 6-0 against the spread (ATS) in the NCAA Tournament.
The oddsmakers favor UVA, but the public is on Texas Tech. Which team is offering bettors value? To find out I dove into the Bet Labs database to identify two winning betting systems for tonight’s championship game.
Casual bettors overvalue elite offensive teams. Squares tend to wager on up-tempo offenses while ignoring slow-paced teams. Pace is measured by the number of possessions per 40 minutes. The higher the number, the faster the team’s tempo.
Since 2010, when we started tracking pace data, slow-paced teams averaging 70 or fewer possessions per game have gone 312-288-18 (52.0%) ATS. Slow-paced underdogs offer the most value.
Underdogs in the tournament with a pace of 70 or less have gone 168-125-11 (57.3%) ATS since 2010. Teams with a slow and methodical offense can shorten the game by milking the shot clock, which allows these underdogs to stay competitive and cover the spread.
Texas Tech averages 69.1 possessions per game — 270th in the nation — and is a match for this system. Some bettors might be hesitant to back the Red Raiders since Virginia has the slowest offense in the country (62.4 possessions per game).
Don’t worry, when two slow-paced (70 or fewer possessions) teams play, the underdog has gone 90-70-5 (56.3%) ATS.
Defense Wins Championships
Defense is often undervalued by the public, as casual bettors tend to overlook teams following strong defensive showings in the tournament. That is a mistake. Since 2005, teams that held their previous opponent to fewer than 60 points have gone 224-178-10 (55.7%) ATS in their next game during March Madness.
With defense being undervalued, oddsmakers are less likely to inflate the lines, making it easier for defensive teams to cover.
Underdogs following a great defensive game are the best bets. Texas Tech limited Michigan State, which had averaged 77.6 points per game (48th in nation), to 51 points in their Final Four meeting.
A first-time champion will be crowned on Monday night. With a slow pace and strong defense, Texas Tech looks like the team that will cut down the nets based on these betting systems.