College basketball best bets and projections

The stage is set. After dominating the box score against DJ Burns and NC State, the Purdue Boilermakers advanced to the national championship game. Against the Wolfpack, Purdue had the edge in virtually every notable stat, which isn’t all that surprising given NC State seemed to be living on borrowed time after surviving a miraculous run of wins, beginning in the ACC tournament. The Boilermakers held Burns to just eight points and one rebound on 40% shooting in the semifinal, while star center Zach Edey turned in a dominant 20-point, 12-rebound, four-assist performance to propel his team to the national championship. 

In the other semifinal, UConn outlasted Alabama after outscoring the Crimson Tide by 10 points in the second half. The 14-point Huskies’ win is even more impressive when you consider that Alabama shot almost 50% on 23 3-point attempts, although UConn hung in nicely in that regard, shooting 40% from distance themselves and extending its run of double digit tournament wins. 


Now, facing Edey and the Boilermakers, the question is, can that dominant run continue or will the 7’4” National Player of the Year be too much for the Huskies?

Compare my odds to the college basketball odds (Vegas odds) and also take a look at the college basketball betting splits for additional info.

As a refresher, the T Shoe Index (TSI) is my proprietary rating system that I use for college football, NFL, men’s and women’s college basketball, and WNBA. It is a tempo and opponent-adjusted rating that allows us to answer the question, “How many points would team A be expected to score and allow vs Team B”, based on a myriad of statistical factors. 

Here is my TSI projections for the Men’s National Championship Game:

Purdue vs. UConn (-7, 145.5)

TSI Projection: UConn -3, O/U 143

My T Shoe Index, which predicted both semifinal margins of victory within a point of the results, indicates we’re in for a nailbiter on Monday night, with a projected score of 73-70 in favor of the Huskies.

I noted coming into the semifinals that 75% of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games had gone under the total and that trend is now up to 79% after both semifinals went under the total. 

UConn is a 6.5 to 7-point favorite in this game, with an O/U of 145.5, so TSI is projecting the under trend will continue Monday night, with the Boilermakers covering the spread. Both defenses in this game have been solid all year, as UConn has only allowed opponents to score 87% of their scoring averages this year, while Purdue has held opponents to 95% of their averages. 

Offensively, both teams have been very difficult to stop – for different reasons – as the Huskies have scored 111% more points than opponents typically allow, while Purdue scores 117% of opponents’ defensive averages. 

Translation: both of these teams have been awesome this year and there is no surprise they’re squaring off in the national championship. 

Bet: Under 145.5.