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2019 NCAA Championship Game Betting Preview – Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Apr/08/2019

They say defense wins championships, and whoever ‘they’ are nailed this one. The only problem is that we don’t know which teams defense will help win the NCAA Tournament on Monday night.

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This article courtesy of Bookmaker.eu

The Virginia Cavaliers are the best this season at keeping opponents off the scoreboard while the Texas Tech Red Raiders are the most efficient defensive squad. The first ever meeting between the schools isn’t going to produce a lot of points and oddsmakers have the total as the lowest for a title game in the last 20 years.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Date and Time: Monday, April 8, 2019, 9:20 p.m. ET

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Opening CBB Odds: Virginia -1.5, O/U 118

Texas Tech vs. Virginia TV Coverage: CBS

Odds Analysis

Both teams have an uplifting story ahead of their first national championship game. Texas Tech advanced to the Elite Eight last season, but that team took a hit with the departure of several players. The Red Raiders weren’t expected to do much this season and were picked to finish eighth in the Big 12. They’ve been underdogs all season and they continue to defy the odds. Tech won a share of the Big 12 regular season title, but they fell to West Virginia in the conference tournament by allowing 79 points to a bad Mountaineers squad. Tech took that game lightly, but it helped them regain their focus. They covered all five Tournament games, the last three as an underdog, and held four of their five opponents to less than 60 points.

The Cavaliers’ redemption tour has one more stop, and after pulling out dramatic victories in the last two games UVA is looking like a team of destiny. The Cavs will always be remembered as the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed, but this group can also go down in program history as the first to win a title. The Houdini act against Purdue in the Elite Eight was exciting and the Cavs outdid themselves on Saturday by toppling a stunned Auburn. Not only can the Cavs play defense, they’ve also proven they can win close games. Some might call it luck, but you have to be good to have that kind of luck. And the Cavs certainly are good with their 34-3 overall record.

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Texas Tech

Tech smothers opponents on defense and does just enough on the other end to win ball games. The strategy has paid off with 31 victories and a maiden trip to the national title game. Just in case Michigan State wasn’t a believer, Tech gave the Spartans a firsthand look, holding them to 15 field goals and 31.9 percent shooting in the 61-51 win. And the Red Raiders did a number on Cassius Winston, holding Sparty’s best player to 4 of 16 shooting and 16 points.

Tech was able to pull away for the victory without much help from Jarrett Culver, who was scoreless in the first half and ended with 10 points. The team’s leading scorer hit a big three-pointer late, but he was just 3 of 12 from the floor. Culver will have to play like a potential lottery pick if Tech is to win this game, because you can’t rely on Matt Mooney to duplicate his semifinal performance. Mooney dropped four triples and scored 22 points, picking up the slack for Culver and Davide Moretti.

Virginia

One year after hanging their heads in shame following a historic first-round loss, the Cavs are one win away from having their emotions do a complete 180. Tony Bennett used that loss to UMBC as a learning experience and motivational tool, and the Cavs responded. They own the best scoring defense in the country surrendering just about 55 points per game, but the difference between last season and this one is that they can do more offensively. The Cavs average over 71 points, which isn’t a lot, but it is the highest number in Bennett’s tenure. And the Cavs have been more efficient on the offensive end of the floor.

That’s due to the three-guard formation of Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter, who combined to score 50 points in UVA’s win over Auburn. The Cavs don’t beat themselves, which is huge against Tech’s swarming defense. UVA values the basketball, they can do damage from behind the arc and they are a good free throw shooting team. Guy nailed all three on Saturday to get the Cavs a victory.

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It might take overtime for this game to go over the total of 119, and that’s not out of the question considering how closely matched the teams are. I do like the Cavs simply because they have more options offensively. Guy warmed up after a slow start in the tournament and Hunter is relishing his time after missing last year’s festivities. Culver will show up for the Red Raiders, but UVA has experienced close games and came through by keeping their cool. They won’t be rattled by the pressure and will escape with the national title.

Championship Game Score Prediction: Virginia 61, Texas Tech 57

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

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