Year to date we are 93-87-2 for +.23 units. With another month left before March Madness and more data to use to make our picks, we anticipate a hot streak in the near future, and we think tomorrow might be the kick off.
2U UNC/Virginia under 129.5:
Tony Bennett has Roy William’s number in this matchup. In UNC’s last 5 trips to Charlottesville, they’ve only been able to muster up 47 (2020), 49 (2018), 43 (2017), 61 (2016) and 52 points (2013) for an average of 50.4 ppg (all losses). Most of these games UNC came in with some of the most prolific offenses in the country. This year, they’re just a middling offense (59 Kenpom, 77 Torvik) and a poor shooting team who makes their hay on the offensive glass. Throwing the ball at the hoop and chasing misses won’t work here, though. UVA is 10th in defensive rebounding and should dictate the tempo. That tempo I’m referring to is ranked 357th in the country… dead last! Yes, UVA is efficient on offense but I don’t think the number of possessions will be there (unless both teams shoot the lights out) for a total around 130. This total belongs in mid-low 120s and I love the under look here.
- I also think UVA -6.5 isn’t a bad look but in a game that I expect to have suppressed scoring, 6.5 could turn out to be a lot of points. Think UVA as a ml parlay piece is a beautiful play
- Another derivative is UNC team total under if your book offers it. Like that more than the total itself
Since Auburn ripped off a 7 game in a row cover streak after Sharife Cooper started playing, they’ve since returned to Earth. One of their wins during that 7 game span came against this Kentucky team. In that game, Kentucky defended superbly well but just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. In their last 3 games, Kentucky has put up 70, 71 and 80 (3 straight overs), so maybe the offense is starting to come to life. I also don’t think Kentucky is as bad as their 5-13 record says. They rank 354th in luck according to Kenpom and suffered some of the most heartbreaking losses this season. They are 1-6 in games decided by 5 or less and with this one lined right around a pick, I think maybe we see some of that positive regression here.
Loyola Chicago/Drake under 133
In Loyola’s last 10 games, the under is 8-2. They play elite defense (8) to go along with a very slow tempo (310). Drake, on the other hand, has found themselves in plenty of shoot outs this year. They run a pretty efficient offense and check in at 44 for offensive efficiency, but their tempo ranks 205. But I think their offensive efficiency is largely due to a weak schedule. Through 20 games, they haven’t played a single team in the top 100 of Kenpom. Now, they face a top 20 team in the nation and while Loyola is a known commodity, Drake is not. I think Drake will struggle the first game out in this matchup as they haven’t seen a defense that could be mentioned in the same paragraph as Loyola. We also like Loyola -3.5 as mentioned on the pod.