2019 Final Four Trends: Texas Tech Undefeated ATS in March Madness

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is just 2-7 straight-up in the Final Four and 1-4 ATS over his last five appearances. Photo from Wiki Commons
  • The 2019 Final Four takes place this Saturday (April 6) at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
  • Auburn’s offense has been on a tear
  • Tom Izzo has struggled at this stage of the NCAA Tournament in his career

The 2019 Final Four (Sat., Apr. 6) will kick off with  #5 Auburn vs #1 Virginia at 6:10 PM ET, followed by #3 Texas Tech vs #2 Michigan State at 8:50 PM ET.

Smart bettors know that each year’s matchups have to be analyzed anew, yet some interesting and thought-provoking trends have emerged over the 34-year history of the NCAA Tournament as we know it.

This year’s semi-finalists also bring some undeniable streaks into the crucible of the college basketball season.

Final Four trends

Auburn Games are Flying OVER

For the year, the Tigers have gone over the game total 57% of the time (22-16). During their late-season win streak, which has now reached 12 straight games, they are 9-3 O/U (75% overs).

It’s hard for oddsmakers to make the total high enough when Auburn hits 17 three-pointers.

Note, however, that their Elite Eight game with Kentucky needed OT to go over the total of 141. The game ended 77-71, but went to overtime tied at just 60-60.

The Tigers finally cooled off from deep against UK, hitting just 7/23 (30%) from beyond the arc.

Virginia and Auburn betting trends

Their Final Four game with Virginia had a total of 131 as of Wednesday evening. Virginia games have averaged 124.5 points in the tournament; Auburn games have averaged 161.

Texas Tech has Dominated the NCAA Tournament ATS

The Red Raiders are the only team that’s 4-0 against the number. After covering by two as 13-point favorites against #14 Northern Kentucky, they really flipped the switch.

They beat Buffalo by 20 as 4.0-point chalk; they routed Michigan by 19 as 1.5-point underdogs; and, most recently, they distanced Gonzaga late to win by six as 5.0-point ‘dogs.

On average, the Red Raiders have crushed the number by 15.8 PPG over their last three and 12.4 PPG for the tournament. After their last pair of wins, they now have a 4-3 record straight up as an underdog this year.

The spread for Texas Tech vs Michigan had the Red Raiders as a 2.5-point underdog as of Wednesday.

Tom Izzo has Struggled in the Final Four

The trends for high-scoring Auburn and low-scoring Virginia are working against each other. However, the trends for streaking Texas Tech and “struggling” Tom Izzo are working in concert.

Texas Tech and Michigan State betting trends

As great as MSU has been against the spread this year — their 27-11 ATS record is the best among tournament teams — Tom Izzo has been a terrible bet at this stage of March Madness in his five most-recent trips.

Tom Izzo’s Last Five Final Four Results

Year/Seed Matchup Spread Score
2015 #7 MSU vs #1 Duke +5 81-61 Duke
2010 #5 MSU vs #5 Butler +1.5 52-50 Butler
2009 #2 MSU vs #1 UConn +4.5 82-73 MSU
2005 #5 MSU vs #1 UNC +5.5 87-71 UNC
2001 #1 MSU vs #2 Arizona unknown 80-61 Arizona

Even without knowing the exact spread for MSU vs Arizona in 2001, it’s safe to assume the Spartans did not cover in that 19-point loss. That makes Tom Izzo 1-4 ATS since 2001. He’s also 2-5 SU lifetime in the Final Four.

As mentioned, the Spartans are laying 2.5 points to Texas Tech in Saturday’s semi-final.

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