College Basketball Betting Guide for Saturday 3/12/22: 3 Conference Tournament Games to Target
It's March, baby!
Conference tournaments are rolling across the country as teams try to improve resumes and earn automatic bids.
It's a great time to place a few bets at NCAAB odds.
Using our projections as a guide, which bets should you make today?
Please note that lines and projections are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. You can also look at our oddsFire tool to get a feel for what the betting public is doing.
Coppin State vs. Norfolk State
Norfolk State -7.0: 2-Star Rating out of 5
Norfolk State Moneyline (-310): 4-Star Rating out of 5
Norfolk State is a comfortable favorite over Coppin State Eagles, but our model thinks they should be an even bigger favorite.
No matter which metrics or stats you want to look at, Norfolk State rates as the much better team.
Our rankings slot Norfolk State 184th and Coppin State 305th. Torvik (Norfolk 184th and Coppin 315th) and KenPom (169th and 299th, respectively) also have a sizable gap between the two sides.
Norfolk is the 1 seed in the MEAC Tournament while Coppin State is the 7 seed.
In the regular season, Norfolk State went on the road and thumped Coppin State, 89-59, in the most recent meeting back on February 19th. When facing Coppin State at home, Norfolk won a closer tilt by a score of 84-77 on January 22nd.
Our projections peg Norfolk State to win 83.9% of the time and have the score being 76.8-66.5. Our Brandon Gdula's model has the expected score at 71.0-62.9 in favor of Norfolk State.
The -310 moneyline implies win odds of just 75.6%, so taking Norfolk on the moneyline rates as four-star wager, according to our algorithm. Betting on Norfolk to cover the 7.0-point spread -- something we project to happen 57.1% of the time -- is a two-star wager.
Tulane vs. Houston
Tulane +13.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5
Over 133.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5
Houston is an excellent team, one of the very best in the nation, but 13.5 points is a bit too much to give to Tulane.
The Cougars rank seventh overall by our numbers and are in the midst of another excellent season. KenPom has Houston fifth while Torvik ranks them second. They beat Tulane by 11 and 14 points in the regular season.
But the Green Wave are a pretty solid team themselves. Tulane checks in 100th in our rankings, but Torvik is much higher on them, ranking Tulane 67th. KenPom has the Green Wave 97th.
Tulane, the 5 seed in the American, played well on Friday, knocking off Temple, 69-60. The Owls were the 4 seed and had defeated Tulane by five on February 26th, so the Green Wave turned around that result and could be peaking at the right time.
Houston plays at a snail's pace, rating 331st in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom. That should mean this will be a low-possession game, which increases the chances of variance as well as helps Tulane's odds of keeping it close.
Our projections have the Cougars winning by a score of 74.2-65.0, and we give Tulane a 62.5% chance to cover, making a bet on Tulane to cover 13.5 points a three-star play. Gdula's numbers point to a 73.9-61.7 win for Houston.
There's also some value on the over. We project 139.2 points to be scored and have the over winning out 62.1% of the time. Gdula's projected total is 135.6.
Louisiana Tech vs. UAB
Over 134.5: 5-Star Rating Out of 5
As of Saturday morning, this is our lone five-star bet of the day.
Louisiana Tech and UAB meet up in a game with a 134.5-point total. That's just too low.
UAB is 82nd in adjusted tempo while Louisiana Tech sits 101st, so we should get plenty of possessions. The Blazers' offense is really dang good, ranking 29th KenPom and 33rd by Torvik. The Bulldogs' offense isn't quite as lethal, but it checks in a serviceable 125th, per Torvik.
Louisiana Tech's last Conference USA Tournament game was a dreary slogfest that ended with a comically low 78 total points (42-36), but UAB and Louisiana Tech have put the ball through the hoop at a high rate when they've tangled this season.
These two teams played in their regular-season finales on March 5, and UAB won 87-74 -- a total of 161 points. Their first meeting of the campaign was an 83-76 win for UAB, which amounts to 159 points.
UAB is coming off a triple-overtime thriller yesterday. So in addition to this being the Blazers' third game in three days and the fourth in four days for the Bulldogs, the Blazers' logged an extra 15 minutes on Friday. We should see some tired legs, which could lead to shoddy defense.
Our numbers have UAB winning 76.6-71.9 for a total of 148.5 points -- 14.0 above the listed line. Gdula's model has UAB emerging a 72.1-68.1 winner, which adds up to 140.2 points -- a total that is a good chunk lower than our algorithm's but one that's still comfortably over the 134.5 line.