Virginia vs. Texas Tech Betting Guide: Has Market Overreacted for National Championship Game?

Virginia vs. Texas Tech Betting Guide: Has Market Overreacted for National Championship Game? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: De’Andre Hunter, Matt Mooney, Jarrett Culver

Virginia vs. Texas Tech Betting Odds, 2019 National Championship Game

  • Odds: Virginia -1.5
  • Over/Under: 118
  • Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minn.

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

It’s being billed as “The Ugliest National Championship” in history. It features two defensive stalwarts, with one operating at a historically slow pace. That doesn’t mean we can’t make money off it, right?

Virginia is a short favorite over Texas Tech, but should the Cavaliers be getting a little more respect?

Our analysts dive in to break down the X’s and O’s, discuss a key Texas Tech injury and try to set a true line. Let’s get to it.

Odds Moves for Virginia vs. Texas Tech

Many bettors don’t care how historically low this total is. After opening 120, it was bet down to 117 and rebounded Sunday to 118.

The spread has ping ponged between Virginia -1 and -1.5, with the Texas Tech moneyline sitting at even money. Most books were originally offering plus-money at +105 and lowered it despite not moving the spread.

Check out live data and odds on our game page.

Trends to Know

We’ve touched on it before, but it bears repeating. Under Chris Beard, Texas Tech is 9-0 against the second half spread in the NCAA Tournament, covering by 7.9 points per game.

In his career, Beard is 33-8-1 (80.5%) against the second half spread when facing a non-conference opponent, including 24-4 (85.2%) when facing non-conference opponents on the road or a neutral court. — Evan Abrams

Can Virginia Handle Texas Tech’s Ball Pressure?

With 5:24 left in its Final Four contest, Virginia held a 10-point lead against Auburn. But Tony Bennett’s unit subsequently went silent for five-plus minutes — only to be saved by Kyle Guy’s heroics.

The Cavaliers proved they’re just as susceptible to a scoring drought as Texas Tech, and it’ll be an issue against a Red Raiders team that pressures the ball more than any team they’ve faced in the NCAA Tournament.

Texas Tech forced Michigan State into countless contested jump shots because of Sparty’s inability to feed the ball inside cleanly, and Virginia bigs De’Andre Hunter and Mamadi Diakete likely won’t boast much room to operate, either. After all, MSU was limited to a season-low 0.85 points per possession.

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured:Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver

Even though Virginia owns the ninth-highest 3-point clip (39.3%), look for Texas Tech do-it-all wing Jarrett Culver to lockdown on either one of its hot shooters in Kyle Guy or Ty Jerome.

Beard threw a wrench at Spartans coach Tom Izzo by putting Culver on point guard Cassius Winston, so he won’t hesitate to throw Culver on whichever UVA shooter finds his rhythm first.

The Cavaliers have had a double-digit turnover performance just once in the big dance (vs. Gardner Webb), but led by Culver’s ball pressure, Texas Tech’s 11th-ranked opponents’ turnover rate should find a way to wreak havoc. — Eli Hershkovich

Owens’ Status Looms Large

Texas Tech’s 6-foot-10 Tariq Owens is expected to play after suffering an ankle injury against MSU on Saturday, which will help Tech maintain its elite interior defense. He has the 10th-best block rate in the country.

Owens was seen in a walking boot on Sunday, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be at 100%. Coach Chris Beard said if it were any other game, Owens would not play.

Owens is not just Tech’s best defender — he’s one of the biggest difference-makers in the country. He leads the nation with a +10.3 defensive plus/minus, so his team is 10+ points worse per 100 possessions without him, and he’s fourth in overall plus/minus. He’s not quite Zion Williamson by that metric, but he’s not all that far behind.

Texas Tech relies so heavily on its defense and doesn’t have a rim protector like Owens anywhere on the bench. The Red Raiders need him at 100%. — Steve Petrella

Can Culver Get It Going?

The Red Raiders have suffered scoring droughts in each NCAA Tournament game, but have offset that with timely second-half scoring explosions.

  • A 23-12 run in the first 10 minutes against Northern Kentucky
  • An 18-3 run over the first seven minutes of the second half against Buffalo
  • A 12-2 run after the break that finished off Michigan
  • Scoring 40 points in the second half against a top-10 Gonzaga defense

On Monday night, Texas Tech will face a Virginia defense that ranks 235th in forcing turnovers. The Red Raiders will be able to run their offense comfortably and create spacing for their outstanding 3-point shooters. Davide Moretti ranks eighth in the country in 3P%, while Matt Mooney (38.8% 3P) was 4-of-8 from deep against Michigan State.

The most important part of Texas Tech’s offense will center around Culver, the Big 12 Player of the Year. The 6-foot-5 sophomore has struggled from the floor in the past two games, shooting 26.3% (5-of-19) against Gonzaga and then 25% (3-of-12) in the win against Michigan State.

Defenses are forcing him to take long 3-pointers, choosing to live with his mediocre 31.6% 3P efficiency, and you’d have to imagine Virginia’s pack-line defense will make him do the same. Texas Tech needs to get him touches on the block and try to get its leading scorer into an early rhythm. That would open up the driving lanes and 3-point opportunities for others. — Mike Randle

Stuckey: Why I’m Betting Virginia

We all know these teams extremely well by this point after seeing them for the last month. Both are elite defensively and it wouldn’t surprise me to see either win. But from a pure numbers standpoint, I have to play Virginia.

This is a market overreaction to another fortunate Virginia win and another impressive TTU cover and win. Books were right to open at -1.5 and -1 because folks are betting Tech, but the lookahead line was 3.5 headed into the Final Four (yes, low limits), and I personally make it UVA -3.2.

Remember that the market closed Michigan State -2 against Texas Tech. This is implying that Sparty would be favored by a half a point over UVA on a neutral court now, which I don’t buy.

I just don’t think you can adjust this game more than a half point from what happened on Saturday. UVA moneyline for me. — Stuckey

Sean Koerner’s Virginia-Texas Tech Projections

These ratings were 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: Virginia -2
  • Over/Under: 117.5
  • Score: Virginia 60 | Texas Tech 58
  • Win Probability: Virginia 55.9% | Texas Tech 44.1%