NIT Betting Free Pick: Memphis Tigers at Creighton Bluejays
FREE PICK: Memphis Tigers at Creighton Bluejays
#830 UNDER 161 (Friday, March 22 @ 8:30 pm EST)
The minor tournaments have combined to average 6.44% higher totals than the current average in the NCAA regular season. It’s easy to look at the results and see that they are scoring more points than normal. It’s much more difficult to pinpoint a formula that can take advantage of this. Blindly betting every game over is not recommended, as usual. The experimental rule changes are only partly to blame for this trend. In the conference tournaments, teams tend to be more conservative, with more on the line. For the minor tournaments at the end of the season, the coaches and players have a tendency to relax more and play more free-flowing offensive basketball. The change in tempo is a major factor in the escalation of the average total.
The rule change that moved back the three-point line hasn’t really made much difference as players tend to shoot from a few feet back regularly. The widened lane has allowed more unrestricted driving to the basket to be sure. A noticeable difference has been the foul rules. Particularly, the rule that eliminates the one and one. During the last two minutes of each half, if a team has at least one foul, every foul after that is two shots. This is much, much different than the normal rules, where teams would be shooting pressure-filled one and ones, and in some cases, not even in the bonus at all. Every foul under two minutes is very likely to result in two free throws with the clock stopped. That can be big.
Taking into account that the market is slow to move and figure these things out, bettors can stay one step ahead of the market. Blindly betting overs in the NIT has come and gone. At this point it is important to pick and choose which games have been adjusted properly. I have isolated a game tonight that has been adjusted way too high. Memphis has been playing ‘under’ basketball lately, and the result is 7-2 down the stretch. In March their average total is 132. Creighton has had a similar hot streak of 6-1 to end the season, averaging 131 per game. Adjusting this total for current trends in the minor tournaments doesn’t even come close to the posted total of 161.5, which should still go up for the rest of the day (totals have average a 3.2 point uptick from open to close in minor tournaments). I am waiting to bet Memphis and Creighton UNDER the total of 161.5 at game time tonight to get the best number possible.