With the NCAA Tournament returning to action Thursday, BJ Cunningham of The Action Network is here to share his two best bets (video above).
The first contest Cunningham is targeting is Villanova vs. Michigan, which enters as four-and-a-half-point underdogs. But, Cunningham is choosing to target under 135.5 points instead.
“Villanova and Michigan are both in the bottom-60 in terms of adjusted tempo,” Cunningham explains.
Plus, Cunningham believes Villanova’s defense will have an advantage in the half-court, especially in Michigan’s go-to offensive strategy: post-up play. The Wildcats are a top-70 team nationally in defending the post and only allowed eight points on 14 post-ups to Ohio State.
On the flip-side, Villanova takes a lot of contested three-pointers on the offensive end, while Michigan is fourth nationally in open three-point rate allowed. Considering both those defensive advantage, Cunningham believes this game will prove a low-scoring one.
Betting on March Madness 2022?
As for his second bet of the night, Cunningham is looking to Texas Tech-Duke, where he’s choosing to back the Red Raiders.
“Duke loves to get out in transition…but they really struggle defending in transition,” Cunningham explains. “Texas Tech, even though they don’t spend a ton of time in transition, they’re actually the third-most efficient team in the country when they’re there.”
Cunningham also cites Duke’s defensive struggles as reason enough to get behind Texas Tech. The Blue Devils rank outside the top-300 in turnover percentage and are 217th in defensive rebounding percentage. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is a top-40 offensive rebounding team nationally.
Given all those advantages for Texas Tech, Cunningham believes it’s a good bet to reach the regional final.