Brad Powers | CBB Sides
601 North Carolina -1.0 (-105) Pinnacle vs 602 Gonzaga
First, let’s understand the line and why there was a lot of money coming in on Gonzaga after this line opened North Carolina -2. There are two major power ratings numbers that drive the college basketball betting markets. They are KenPom and Sagarin. Right now, KenPom has Gonzaga power-rated as 4.9-point favorites in this game while Sagarin has the Bulldogs power-rated as 1.36-point favorites. I believe my basketball power ratings are superior this time of year (not necessarily in January) than those two because I add in a little Vegas “flare” to mine. Right now, my pure power rating on the game has North Carolina as 0.68-point favorites which obviously is much closer to the actual line than those two sources. I thought that outside of Meeks/Jackson, North Carolina played a sub-par game against Oregon. I know we cashed taking the UNDER in Joel Berry’s point total on Saturday and obviously he had an awful shooting night (2 of 14). However, I actually thought he looked more mobile and aggressive than I expected. According to him as recent as this morning, this is the best he’s felt in awhile and I expect a bounce back performance out of both him and Isaiah Hicks in this one. I know I am going against the early line move, but I picked North Carolina to win the tournament before it all started and I’m standing by it here. I like NC’s experience edge, I like that they have the higher ceiling (if they play their “A”, they win by 5+) and I think there is a 11:30pm ET curfew on Cinderella tonight!
Brad Powers | CBB Total
602 Gonzaga / 601 North Carolina Under 155.0 Sportsbook.ag
Look I know both UNDERS weren’t good looks on Saturday night (particularly the Gonzaga UNDER). Both games were played a decent pace but keep in mind, out of the four teams, only Gonzaga (48%) shot better than 38% from the field. Had you told me that stat prior, I would’ve thought we would cashed one if not both UNDER tickets. I thought both games were called tight and that hurt us. The two games combined for 90 free throw attempts and to the teams’ credit, they made 70 of them (78%), which is far above average. Also the four teams shot an above average amount of “3-pointers” hitting 31 of 86 which means there was at least one 3-point attempt per minute on average. If you’re wondering about how this line compares to other championship games in recent memory, it’s actually the highest total in a NCAA Tournament Championship game since 2003! I don’t mind playing against that outlier number and it should also be noted that the UNDER has cashed in 5 of the last 7 championship games. Again, we have the No. 1 defense in the country in Gonzaga and they should limit North Carolina’s size advantage that they normally have on most teams (that means no easy NC put backs). However a negative for the Zags’ offense is that they are coming off a game where they hit nearly 60% from the field in the first half vs South Carolina (outlier performance considering it came against the No. 2 defense).