A little better on our totals Thursday, going 2-1, along with 3-0 on our sides to make-up that ugly 1-4 run of the past two days and get us back on track a little bit. Just the four NCAA Tournament games on Friday and not really enthralled with any of them, as the numbers look to be pretty solid for this time of the year.
West Virginia vs. Villanova: The Wildcats are favored by 5 and the total is 152.5, as bettors have been pretty evenly split on the total. I made this one 83-77 for Villanova and as much as I don’t want to will have to take the over in this one. West Virginia is better than average defensively, but does allow 37.5% of 3-pointers to be made against teams who averaged 35.5% on the season. That’s not the greatest recipe against Villanova, as the Wildcats are better than 40% for the season. The Wildcats are pretty much in the same boat as West Virginia on defense, but do a better job defending the long range shot.
Both teams are decent on offense. West Virginia’s shooting percentage of 43.8% isn’t the greatest, but their foes allowed 43% on the year and the Mountaineers averaged five more shots per game than their opponents allowed, as they averaged 12 offensive rebounds. The Wildcats averaged two more shots than opponents allowed, so the numbers point towards the over in this one.
Texas Tech vs. Purdue: Purdue is favored by 2 and the total is 137.5 and even though I have this one 72-70 for the Boilermakers think the under is probably the right side in this one. Both teams play tough defense, with the Red Raiders holding teams to six fewer shot attempts than they average and 4.6% less on field goal percentage, while Purdue holds foes to 4.0% less than they average from the field. Both teams shoot the ball well, so will have to hope a slower pace and tough defense lead to a low-scoring game.
Duke vs. Syracuse: The Blue Devils are favored by 11.5 and the total is 133 in a game that seen two-thirds of the wagers come in on the under. I have this one at 140, but not real anxious to get involved. Duke did win 60-44 last month, which may have something to do with the number being a point or two lower than it should be. Syracuse will play faster if they’re behind in the second half, so don’t really want any part of this one.
Clemson vs. Kansas: The Jayhawks are favored by 5 and the total is 143, while I have Kansas winning 77-71, so will stay away from this one also. Clemson will have to slow the pace down a little bit to remain in this one and both teams play good defense.