I was betting on Alabama in mid-January when Javon Quinerly, Herbert Jones and Jordan Bruner were injured at +6600. BetRivers is currently offering a +2000 line, which is about right, but the deciding factor in this game is the Michigan Wolverines’ point of attack. Isaiah Livers is currently sidelined with a stress fracture in his leg, which could keep him sidelined at least until the first weekend of basketball if Michigan manages to reach the Sweet 16. Livers is averaging 13.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG, so that’s a notable loss in the Big Ten tournament. Josh Primo is questionable for the Crimson Tide, but they are experienced after overcoming injury problems earlier in the season. Alabama is the best team in the East, so they are worth a shot for the future.
Outside of Baylor and Ohio State, Arkansas is better than any other team in the South. According to KenPom, they rank 14th in adjusted defensive efficiency, which always helps a Final Four team. The Razorbacks are the second-best team in the SEC behind Alabama and they have a fantastic coach in Eric Musselman, who led a Nevada Wolfpack team full of transfers to the 2018 Sweet 16 as a 7-seed. Arkansas is stronger than this team, and Moses Moody could take the lead, averaging over 17 PPG. Arkansas also plays at the 17th fastest pace in college basketball. It’s confusing for Texas Tech if they can beat Colgate in the round of 64. This team is not far behind Alabama, so +5000 is a nice gift.
The West Region is by far the weakest group of teams in the tournament. Creighton had a terrible performance in the Big East tournament. Virginia is struggling with COWID-19 issues and will not be able to appear in court before the end of the week. Kansas is without Jaylen Wilson, perhaps because of KOVID-19, and Iowa has a litany of defensive weaknesses. Gonzaga is the best team in the region, and to quote from the movie Miracle: If (Gonzaga) plays (Oregon) 10 times, they can win nine times. Oregon just needs to get into the Elite 8. They struggled against Oregon State in the Pac-12 tournament, but they have a top-20 offense and don’t tend to pass the ball. If they get past VCU and Iowa, they are in good shape. I think this team is in 5th place, so they have an easier road to the Final Four, so it’s very important that they get there.
UNCG is a top-100 KenPom team that has beaten competition in the Southern Conference, and is facing a Creighton team that has not played at its best. If they can beat the Blue Jays, it’s either WVU or Ohio State in the next round, and WVU will have to scramble to put together a game plan with their blazing COVID-19. There is a good chance Ohio can beat UVA given the pace of their game. Ohio +700 to reach the Sweet 16, while UNCG +2000. That’s a big difference, and it should be a much closer match, especially if these two meet in the round of 32. UNCG’s top-70 defense should be able to handle Creighton, or at least stop him. If they can do that, the Sweet 16 is within reach.
This is it, guys. As always, follow me on Twitter @cwsdjt, where I share my daily tips. Also, don’t forget to go to the BetRivers website and use the promo code ONTAP to get a free deposit up to $250, just in time for the tournament. Best bets, everybody!
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