Stuckey: Why I’m Betting Both Over/Unders in Saturday’s Elite 8 Games

Stuckey: Why I’m Betting Both Over/Unders in Saturday’s Elite 8 Games article feature image
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Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Purdue’s mascot

We have only seven games left in the college basketball season. That’s the bad news.

The good news? We have an awesome Elite Eight on tap — and I’m seeing betting value in both of Saturday’s games: Texas Tech-Gonzaga and Purdue-Virginia.

Let’s get to it.


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


#1 Gonzaga vs. #3 Texas Tech NCAA Tournament Betting Odds, Pick

  • Spread: Gonzaga -4.5
  • Over/Under: 137
  • Date: Saturday, March 30
  • Time: 6:09 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS
  • Location: Anaheim, Calif.

I think this total is too short based on what we saw on Thursday night — a little recency bias. Texas Tech played in a game where many didn’t know if either team would get to 40 for a long stretch, while the Zags played pretty slow in the second half in a game that easily went under.

But let’s not forget that this Zags team is the highest-scoring team in the country at more than 88 points per game, and they love to push the tempo. And it’s not like Texas Tech has an incompetent offense. Before its game against Michigan, the Red Raiders averaged just shy of 80 per game over their previous 10 games.

I think you will see Gonzaga push it in transition as much as possible to avoid having to face the elite Texas Tech half court defense.

This is the lowest total of the year for Gonzaga — even lower than the WCC tourney final against St. Mary’s, which was 139. And the Gaels are true snails, ranking 348th in the country in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom.

Texas Tech doesn’t play fast, but it isn’t molasses at 235 in that same category. I make this 140, which means I will definitely be hitting the over. — Stuckey

The Pick: Over 137


#1 Virginia vs. #3 Purdue NCAA Tournament Betting Odds, Pick

  • Spread: Virginia -4.5
  • Over/Under: 126.5
  • Date: Saturday, March 30
  • Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS
  • Location: Louisville, Ky.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. For a third straight time, I’ll be going back to the well with a Virginia under.

We know the Virginia defense will be there; it has held its three opponents to 56, 51 and 49 points so far this tournament. The Hoos certainly have one of the three best defenses in the country and arguably the best.

We also know the tempo will be there; Virginia ranks dead last nationally out of 353 Division I teams in Adjusted Tempo.

What we don’t know is if the Virginia offense will be there. Kyle Guy is such a key cog of that offense and his shot has just been off. The junior is a shocking 3-of-26 from deep in this tourney. The UVA offense in general has looked a little off and Guy’s shooting woes are certainly a major part of those struggles.

If Guy gets it going, I think UVA covers, but the side doesn’t present enough value for me to bet on that happening. I’ll go under here in a game that I think Virginia’s elite perimeter defense shines.

I expect a ton of forced 3s from Ryan Cline and Carsen Edwards. That duo shoots the second-most 3s of any in the nation and is certainly capable of getting hot enough from the outside to win any game. But this isn’t Tennessee’s vulnerable perimeter defense. This is one of the best 3P defenses in the country.

The Pick: Under 126

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