National Championship Odds - Texas Tech vs Virginia Live Betting

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

By Phil Simon
NCAA Championship Game Odds

They say defense wins championships and that is definitely the case when the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Virginia Cavaliers square off in the national title game on Monday night. The explosion of offense in the game of basketball has led to plenty of excitement, but two of the best defensive clubs in the country will match wits in this one. Nobody has been able to figure out Tech’s scheme in the NCAA Tournament and UVA allows the fewest points per game of any team in the country, bringing in a low total on the college basketball betting lines.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Date and Time: Monday, April 8, 2019, 9:20 p.m. ET

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Opening CBB Odds: Virginia -1.5, O/U 119

Texas Tech vs. Virginia TV Coverage: CBS

Somebody will have to score and for Tech the likely options is Jarrett Culver, who many of the so-called experts are predicting to be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Culver didn’t help his cause in the win over Michigan State, going without a point in the first half and totaling 10 for the game. That the Red Raiders won was a testament to just how good they are. They do just enough offensively to win games and Matt Mooney was the hero on Saturday.

With Culver and Davide Moretti having difficulty finding the bottom of the basket, Mooney had no such problems, and the Red Raiders are moving on because of that and their stifling defense. Mooney finished the game with 22 points making four three-pointers along the way. In a two-and-a-half minute stretch in the middle of the second half, Mooney drained three of his triples to keep the Spartans at bay.

Michigan State focused its defensive efforts on Culver, and they should have. He leads the team with an average of nearly 19 points per game while shooting over 47 percent from the field. The move paid off with Culver going scoreless in the first half. He finished the game shooting 3 of 12 from the field with 10 points.

With their leading scorer having an off night, Tech turned to Mooney and its defense. According to several advanced analytical websites, the Red Raiders have the best defense in the country. Their adjusted defensive efficiency rating at kenpom.com is three points better than the second ranked team. And Virginia is fifth in that category.

Basketball Sports Betting

It doesn’t take a PhD in statistics to figure that out. Just ask Northern Kentucky, Buffalo, Michigan, Gonzaga and now Michigan State. Four of those teams were held to less than 60 points with the Zags’ highest scoring offense managing only 69 points. The defense could be impacted by an injury to Tariq Owens, who crumbled to the floor in the second half and limped to the locker room. He returned to the game later and showed no signs of distress, but adrenaline, tape and who knows what else worked wonders at the time.

The basketball Gods were looking down on the Cavaliers again on Saturday. After getting past Purdue in the Elite Eight with some magical play in the final seconds, they did it again. Kyle Guy made three free throws with 0.6 seconds on the clock after getting fouled attempting a desperation three-pointer. The Cavs erased memories of early Tournament exits and put that memorable loss in last year’s first round to rest.

As efficient as the Cavs are defensively, they’re pretty good at the other end of the floor, too. They slow the game down because they can. The Cavs average over 71 points per game, which is the most it Tony Bennett’s tenure, they can shoot the three and they don’t turn the ball over much. The trio of Guy, De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome combined for 50 points against Auburn and they will have to work extra hard to crack Tech’s defense, but they are up to the challenge.

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Texas Tech vs. Virginia Live Betting

I said this in the semifinal games and I’ll say it again. There won’t be a lot of points scored in this game. The total was quickly wagered down to 117.5 after opening at 119, and that’s getting too low, especially considering how good the Cavs are at shooting the three-ball and that Culver will make an appearance in this game. Tech pulled away from MSU at the end in a game that was much closer than the final score. Both teams will play suffocating D, which is their style, keeping the score down. The Cavs are more efficient on both ends and they will outlast Tech for the cover win, and they will score enough to clear the closing total.

NCAA Championship Score Prediction: Virginia 63, Texas Tech 59

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