LSU/Mizzou over 155: Two teams that pose a lot of problems for each other. For LSU, their offense runs at one of the fastest tempos in the country and they look to drive and kick every time they have the ball. Their pace and style of play creates many looks in and around the paint and also creates a ton of fouls. Queue Missouri: the Kings of Fouling. We have talked ad nauseum about Missouri’s fouling troubles but we see it every single game. It seems like a minor miracle if they aren’t in the double bonus both halves. However, Missouri has some mismatches of their own on offense (as most do when they play this LSU “defense”). LSU has had their own troubles giving up points inside the arc and this is where Missouri thrives. They aren’t a great 3 point shooting team, but with Tilmon inside they work through him. LSU is 250th in opponents shooting 2 point field goals so this should bode well for Missouri. Put it together with the schoolyard pace that LSU will play with and I think we are looking at the game in the 160s and above.
Georgia/Alabama over 156: Honestly, kind of dumbfounded on this total. The last time these two teams played there were a combined 197 points. Yes, Alabama shot 60% from 3 that game and hasn’t been shooting as well recently, but do we think this Bulldogs D is really going to shut them down? Look at Torvik and you will see red (red = very bad) all over the place for Georgia defensively. First, their Defensive efficiency field goal % ranks 323 in the nation. Next, Georgia is 302 in turnover rate offensively. They’re 339 in defensive rebounding and conclude by being 324th in 2 point D. Against the 3rd most efficient D and 30th most efficient offense, this won’t work. Lastly, these offenses rank 7 and 18 respectively in tempo, so even if they aren’t the most efficient, the sheer number of possessions could help push us over the total.
Vandy +8.5: Love what I’ve seen out of the Commodores this year. Sure, they have had a few clunkers, but for the vast majority of games they’ve fought tooth and nail to the bitter end. Even in the games when Pippen and Disu were out they left it all on the court – and were able to get a win against the Ole Miss team. I do think when they met last Saturday it was a tough spot for Ole Miss, but Vandy getting 8.5 with Pippen back is disrespectful. Scotty Pippen Jr’s impact cannot be understated. His first game back just two nights ago he erupted for 33 on 10/13 shooting in an outright upset at Cincinnati. He is the heart of this team and depending on who returns next year, Vandy could potentially find their way into the tournament. Get this one now as i think it keeps working down, but I do like it down to 7.5. Also, don’t be afraid to sprinkle the moneyline.
Louisville/Virginia Over 121.5: This is a fade of Virginia’s defense. I am completely out on Virginia as a team, and I think that they are prime for an early exit in the tournament due to their inefficiency on defense. However, Virginia should have two big offensive matchup advantages against Louisville. For starters, Louisville has not had consistent rim protection or defense against ‘close twos’ all year. Adding to this, Louisville allows 42% of their shots against them from the three point line, where Virginia has been very efficient all year long. Expect Louisville to thrive offensively from the perimeter and to be able to collect more second chance points than Virginia normally allows.