NCAA Championship Best Bets

Well, I’m sure it won’t surprise any of our regular readers that we weren’t too thrilled with Saturday’s Final Four games here in the Tuley’s Take’s home office. We had North Carolina State +9.5 against Purdue in the first matchup and Alabama +10.5 against UConn in the second game. Both of our dogs battled valiantly like we had hoped, but the two heavily favored No. 1 seeds (the two best teams all season) pulled away in the second halves to win and cover. Purdue beat NC State 65-50, and the game stayed way Under the betting total of 147 points, while UConn beat Alabama 86-62, and that also stayed Under 160. With favorites going 2-0 SU & ATS in the Final Four, it continued the chalky overall tournament as faves are 44-18 SU and 37-24-1 ATS (60.7%). Unders also swept 2-0 and lead 33-18-1 (54.1%) heading into Monday night’s game and my NCAA Championship Best Bets.

As for our record here, we dropped to a barely profitable 10-9 ATS (52.6%), though we’re going to be come out ahead overall thanking to winning two bracket contests if Purdue cuts down the nets and one if it’s UConn (though the old saying is “no one wants to hear about your brackets, right?).


So, let’s get to the title game, which opened at UConn -5.5 at several books and -6 at others before early money pushed it to -6.5 everywhere (and even some books, including DraftKings, going to -7 on Sunday). The Over/Under also looks like it has settled at 145.5 after opening between 145.5 and 149 here in Las Vegas.

Purdue vs. Connecticut

When I filled out all my brackets before the tournament, I had this matchup in the championship game and really thought Purdue was the more likely to prevail – and filled out my 20+ brackets accordingly, with Purdue my most-picked champ. Now, UConn has certainly been dominant, and the Huskies are a perfect 5-0 ATS, but don’t forget that Purdue is as well. Since I obviously like the Boilermakers to win outright, I have to love that we’re getting 6.5 points (but shop around, as some books went to 7 on Sunday).

But I’m not just basing this on my biased opinion (if you want to call it that). I have this line closer to UConn -2 is being totally objective. The Huskies are No. 1 in offensive efficiency and No. 1 in defensive efficiency at, but the ‘Makers are No. 3 on offense and No. 12 on defense, so this is a coin-flip.

It’s certainly scary that both dogs on Saturday stuck around before getting run over later and not covering, but I’m more confident in Purdue not suffering that same fate. This title game should come down to the wire.

Actually, I gotta say that I think the better bet overall on this game is Under 145.5 points. We always lean to more conservative play in the playoffs/championship games with so much on the line, and thus, the chance for the defenses to control the game. We saw that with both Unders in the semifinals and except the same here. In addition, Purdue is No. 211 in adjusted tempo at (average possessions per 40 minutes), while UConn is even slower at No. 328. This is all baked into the number – especially with early sharp Under money – but I truly believe the Under is the way to go.

NCAA Championship Best Bets: Purdue +6.5 or more, plus Under 145.5