Virginia Opens as 1.5-Point Favorite in NCAA Tournament National Championship

US Bank Stadium
The National Championship Game will be played at US Bank Stadium on Monday Night. Photo by Darb02 (wikimedia commons).
  • The Virginia Cavaliers and Texas Tech Red Raiders won their respective Final Four matchups
  • The two will play for the National Championship on Monday, April 8
  • See what the odds opened at for the game

The No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers and No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders will play in the National Championship Game on Monday night (April 8).

There’s no question that the oddsmakers will be cheering for Virginia as they’d rather not payout the 97/1 that Texas Tech was at times this season. But will the Red Raiders cash or is there a better bet?

NCAA Tournament National Championship Game Odds

Team Point Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Texas Tech +1.5 -110 +104 Over 119 -110
Virginia -1.5 -110 +104 Under -119 -110

Odds taken 04/07/19.

Virginia Continues To Scrape By

The Cavaliers might be a No. 1 seed but it’s hard to be impressed by them. They’ve needed miracles in the last two contests to get to this point and on one hand, it’s good that they’ve been able to execute. On the other hand, it makes you wonder if they’re a bit overrated as a result.

Remember, trailing No. 3 Purdue by three with five seconds remaining, they needed to miss a free throw, get the rebound and score again to force overtime. They somehow pulled it off and eventually won in the extra frame.

Against No. 5 Auburn, they were trailing by two with five seconds left and the referees missed a clear double-dribble that would have given Auburn the ball back. Then Virginia’s Kyle Guy was fouled shooting a three with less than a second left and he stepped up to drill all three free throws.

This is a team that trailed No. 12 Oregon with 5:44 remaining and No. 16 Gardner-Webb at the half. It feels like luck has been on their side in this tournament.

Texas Tech Continues To Be Overlooked

While Virginia has scraped by with some close wins, Texas Tech has been absolutely dominant.

They’ve won four of their five NCAA Tournament games by at least 10 points (average of 14 points per win). There has been nothing fluky about their performance.

Their defense, which led the country in the KenPom Adjusted Defensive Efficiency rating. Their current number of 83.3 in that category is in fact the best ever recorded. And while some people – including me – have doubted their offense, they are a multi-faceted unit.

Yes, Jarrett Culver is a star who will be a top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but this team can win without him.

He was just 5-of-19 against No. 1 Gonzaga in the Elite Eight (although he finished with 19 points). He had just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting in the Final Four and Texas Tech still beat Michigan State by 10.

What’s The Best Bet?

The bets here should be fairly obvious. Texas Tech continues to be underrated by the oddsmakers as they’re a dog in this spot.

Their defense is on another level right now and it’s hard to see them struggling against a Virginia offense that is challenged themselves at times. They shot 49% against Auburn and barely won. That figures to be trouble against Texas Tech.

As for the total, the under looks like the play here. Obviously, getting it at 121 makes more sense than where the number is now but it should be a game in the 50’s at most here. Both teams play at a snail’s pace and both teams are strong defensively.

Push coming to shove, I’ll stick with Texas Tech on the moneyline as I see them cutting down the nets at the end of this.

I’ll also back it up with a Texas Tech play at the half as they are now 9-0 ATS under Chris Beard in NCAA Tournament second halves, as he’s incredible at adjusting.

However, I can also endorse an under play as this game should be ugly, slow and low-scoring.

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