Stuckey: How I’m Betting the National Championship Game

Apr 08, 2019 01:52 PM EDT
Credit:

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured:Virginia Cavaliers guard Kyle Guy

  • The 2019 national championship between Virginia and Texas Tech tips off at 9:20 p.m. ET on CBS.
  • Stuckey gives his full breakdown of the game, including his favorite side, over/under and player prop.

National Championship Monday has arrived. No, it’s not Duke vs. Kentucky, but Texas Tech and Virginia brings us a fascinating chess match to determine which team will cut down the nets in Minneapolis.

Nobody can question the legitimacy of Texas Tech’s run. It has won five games by an average margin of 14 points — and three of those wins came against top two seeds. And don’t forget the blowout win over Buffalo, which had one of the most explosive offenses in the country.

On the other hand, Virginia is more than lucky to be here. From overcoming a 14-point first half deficit against Gardner Webb in the first round to a miracle overtime win against Purdue followed by grand larceny against Auburn, the Cavaliers have had anything but an easy road.

That said, the paths don’t matter. What matters is these are the two teams we have left standing. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup from a betting perspective of two teams that are pretty similar in principles on both ends of the floor.


National Championship Game Betting Odds, Breakdown

  • Spread: Virginia -1.5
  • Over/Under: 118
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Date: Monday, April 8
  • Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS

Texas Tech’s dominant run continued on Saturday when its defense suffocated another opponent. The Red Raiders have allowed a minuscule 0.729 points per possession in the half court, which is tied for the third-best rate since the 2013-14 season.

Tech’s predominantly man-to-man defense excels for many reasons, but you can start with its ability to switch everything. That enables Chris Beard’s bunch to defend ball screen action at a historically great level.

Virginia had been running a ton of ball screen continuity offense (pick-and-roll based), which would have been a nightmare against Tech However, it went back to running a lot of Tony Bennett’s bread-and-butter blocker-mover action on Saturday. And I think we will see that again tonight.

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