Big Ten & SEC Tournament Semifinals Best Bets: UnderMania Is Runnin’ Wild

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Brandon Miller #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide battles for a rebound against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP.

NCAAB Top Pick for Today

Missouri vs. Alabama: Under 158 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 158 (-110)
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Picks Summary

  • Ohio State vs. Purdue: Under 134 (-108)
  • Missouri vs. Alabama: Under 158 (-110)

It’s almost eerie how these Big Ten Tournament games have played out. Once again, we had the Under in our two college basketball picks for Friday’s quarterfinal games, and it was yet another split here at the ranch – but a profitable one, thanks to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

As you may recall, we recommended a chunky bet on Ohio State’s game versus the Michigan State Spartans, and they sailed way Under 134.5 (down from 139.5 when we made our NCAAB picks, and 143 at the open) when the Buckeyes won 68-58.

Then, horror of horrors, the Penn State Nittany Lions and Northwestern Wildcats did indeed go to overtime before Penn State prevailed 67-65, just barely going Over the closing total of 130.5. Good thing we kept that bet fun-sized.

So now we’ve reached the semifinals, and of course, we’re going to keep hammering the Under at U.S. betting sites – but now we’re also bringing the SEC into the fray. Will we recommend the Under for them as well? I think you know the answer already.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 01:00 PM EST at United Center

We have to play it as it lays. The profit margin is still with the Under as No. 13 Ohio State (Over 16-13-2 during the regular season) take on the No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers (Under 17-13-1); there’s a total of 134 points on the NCAAB odds as we go to press, and the Boilers are projected to win 69-62 or thereabouts.

Should We Bet Big?

Not as big as we would have recommended at the open with the total at 136 points. If you’re serious at all about betting hoops, we hope you were one of the early birds who scooped up that value as soon as the first college basketball lines hit the board.

But given the projections we’re looking at, another two-unit wager seems perfectly cromulent at this price. We’ve already seen what Ohio State brings to the table; Purdue’s first game of the Big Ten Tournament was yesterday’s 70-65 win over Rutgers, which did go Over 127 points, but we’re not too concerned about that result.

Why the Under?

For one thing, the Boilermakers are one of the slowest teams in Division I. They rank No. 328 in Adjusted Tempo on Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency charts, fitting in just 64.3 possessions per game.

For another thing, the Boilers are very, very tall. They have 7-foot-4 Zach Edey at center, a good Canadian kid and your presumptive 2023 Wooden Award winner; they also have 6-foot-10 forward Caleb Furst and plenty more bigs where that came from.

Purdue ranks No. 8 in offensive efficiency compared to No. 27 on defense, so that’s not ideal for an Under bet, but the Boilers dominate the paint with all this length, and Ohio State’s offense is predicated on getting inside.

Also, Ohio State forward Brice Sensabaugh ended up not playing against Michigan State because of a balky knee. He’s their top scorer at 16.3 points per game, and he’s questionable at best for Saturday. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

NCAAB Pick: Under 134 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Under 134 (-108)
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Missouri Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 01:00 PM EST at Bridgestone Arena

You know we had to do it to ‘em. The No. 1 Tide (15-15-1 Totals) are projected to beat No. 4 Missouri (Over 17-14) 82-73, and there’s a gigantic 158-point total on the board at Bovada. Somewhere between one and two units of your bankroll wouldn’t be out of line here.

Why Is the Total So High?

Speed, mostly. Alabama ranks second in the nation in tempo at 73.1 possessions per game; the Tigers rank No. 78 at 69.4 possessions. That’s a lot of possessions.

The Tigers also check in at No. 6 on offense and No. 188 on defense, so that’s not good. But it does give us a fat total to work with, and the Tide – with their own collection of giants – happen to rank third on defense compared to No. 19 on offense. Bet accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.

NCAAB Pick: Under 158 (-110) at Bovada

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.