College Basketball Betting Odds: Positive Regression For Memphis & Virginia?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
College Basketball Picks

With Selection Sunday approaching, there is still difficulty in determining which teams will see their efficiency rise or decline over the next few weeks. However, notable metrics can assist with handicapping. Before this weekend’s action is underway, let’s delve into two potential positive regression candidates for college basketball picks.

The odds below showcase the spread, moneyline, and total markets for each game. Click any of them to place a wager on sites with the best sportsbook promo codes.

No. 10 unc at Virginia; Saturday, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN

After taking a 31-point loss to the chin on Monday, the ‘Hoos are primed for a bounce-back offensive performance — even if this game finishes in the 60s. Their methodical offense can generate proficient performances in these instances. For one, they accrued 1.16 PPP in a 66-65 win at Clemson on Feb. 3.

On the flip side, the Tar Heels finally inherited some positive defensive regression with Va. Tech shooting 26.9% from downtown in their most recent affair. For context, they surrendered a 36.9% 3-point clip in their previous six games. Generally speaking, perimeter defense is largely driven by randomness. Remember that they were at the opposite end of the spectrum before that span, yielding a 22.8% clip from Dec. 20 to Jan. 22.

Nevertheless, Virginia should have success elsewhere given Tony Bennett’s patented mover-blocker offense. UNC’s interior defense has been a rim funnel lately, presumably allowing the ‘Hoos to attack the rim on motion and cuts. Tar Heels center Armando Bacot is extremely vulnerable in ball-screen coverage as well.

Granted, free-throw shooting is a concern with the market shading toward Virginia. Reece Beekman & Co. have manufactured the 11th-worst clip (64.2%) at the line nationally. That could wind up giving the Tar Heels the upper hand down the stretch. The ‘Hoos are also 7-0 in games decided by two possessions or less, so negative variance could be looming in that regard.

My raw numbers project this one at UNC -2. That is in line with the opener. You likely would’ve seen the Tar Heels initially laying four points in previous years. Even with North Carolina fighting for a No. 1 seed come the NCAA tournament, the betting market has adjusted more for home spots.

For more on this game, read my UNC basketball odds betting preview.

The Tar Heel State announced North Carolina sports betting will go live on March 11 — right in time for the ACC tournament.

fau at Memphis; Sunday, 2 p.m. ET on ESPN

Penny Hardaway’s crew has failed to take advantage of Houston’s departure from the AAC, falling out of the at-large conversation after dropping six of the last 10 games. The Tigers went 11-2 in the non-conference slate, including victories over Clemson, Virginia, and Texas A&M.

In spite of their recent slump, they’re one of the nation’s most talented units, exhibited in Wednesday’s drumming of Charlotte. Enter FAU, which has been a market darling despite failing to cover 11 of its last 15 contests. After the Owls’ 2023 Final Four run, their inflated power rating shouldn’t come as a shock.

While Vladimir Golden & Co. are fighting for their at-large hopes, their paint defense has been thrashed over the last five games, ranking in the 28th percentile (per CBB Analytics). Overall, they’ve let up a top-100 scoring rate inside the arc. That doesn’t bode well against an ultra-athletic frontcourt, led by Nae’Qwan Tomlin, a midseason transfer from Kansas State.

Yet, Malcolm Dandridge’s reported absence hurts the Tigers’ depth. If Tomlin avoids foul trouble, expect them to make a statement at the FedEx Forum, especially after falling to the Owls in last year’s NCAA tournament. Dusty May’s squad ranks No. 284 in Haslametrics‘ “Away From Home” metric, to boot.

Although NCAA basketball odds for this game aren’t available yet, my raw numbers are a bit lower than Haslametrics’ projection of FAU -2.

watch outside shots: college basketball picks

Erik Haslam owns and operates the analytics site above and will return to Outside Shots when conference tournaments are underway.

TheLines.com’s managing editor Stephen Andress co-hosts with me biweekly to discuss the slate and a bevy of betting odds. Catch this weekend’s preview below.

  • You can subscribe to the audio-only version of the show on AppleSpotify, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

Where Can You Bet On College Basketball Player Props?

Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia all outlaw betting on college props. Other states match the guidance of banning in-state school prop betting.

Virginia allows betting on in-state schools but not props on in-state players. The remaining states with sportsbooks allow wagering (plus live bets) on college basketball props picks, including in-state teams.

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