The betting odds for tonight’s NCAAB action are here, and two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in:
- Louisville vs. Boston College
- Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech
For reasons that I will explain, you should invest in player props for both games.
- Makai Ashton-Langford Under 13.5 Points (-125)
- Jae’Lyn Withers Over 9.5 Points (-115)
- Grant Basile Over 18.5 Points (-115)
Louisville Cardinals vs. Boston College Eagles
Tuesday, March 07, 2023 – 04:30 PM EST at Greensboro Coliseum
Boston College point guard Makai Ashton-Langford typifies his team’s offensive one-dimensionality.
Like his team as a whole, Ashton-Langford cannot shoot the three; his three-point conversion rate on the season sits just below 30%.
Again like his team overall, he would rather score inside the arc. In this way, he is one-dimensional offensively.
His one-dimensionality makes him easier for defenses to stop because they can focus on taking the few elements of his game away that he relies on in order to be successful offensively.
A player’s one-dimensionality renders it reasonable to target the “under” on his player point total prop bet in case he is facing a defense that specializes in limiting the sort of things that he relies on to score and Louisville’s defense is actually likable in this contact.
To explain, the over/under on Ashton-Langford’s player point total is inflated because of how bad the Cardinals’ defense has been throughout the season, but we are getting a great deal because of what Louisville’s defense focuses on taking away.
By allowing for us to find more value, “bad” defenses should form a key part of our prop betting strategy.
What specifically Louisville’s defense does is take away the dribble drive. Cardinals defenders position themselves in or around the paint, making it easier for them –especially with their unique length– to deter opponents from driving easily to the basket.
Their compact positioning does make them more prone to allowing three-point attempts, which we anyhow do not have to worry about Ashton-Langford or his teammates making many of.
Expect Ashton-Langford to be uncomfortable today. I contend that this game will be one of many in which he fails to reach double digits.
NCAAB Pick: Makai Ashton-Langford Under 13.5 Points (-125) at Bet365
Louisville forward Jae’Lyn Withers is too good to not be reaching the double-digit point totals that he was accomplishing regularly in earlier segments of the season.
Withers is a versatile scorer who can use his three-point efficiency to stretch the floor. It is easy to get open three-point opportunities against Boston College’s defense, as evident in the high three-point percentage that it allows.
Withers’ teammates, El Ellis especially, will use their explosiveness inside to force the Eagles’ defense to collapse, which will create catch-and-shoot opportunities for Louisville players situated on the perimeter.
Withers is a prime player to take advantage of these opportunities because he shoots an impressive 42.1% from deep on the season.
NCAAB Pick: Jae’Lyn Withers Over 9.5 Points (-115) at Bet365
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Tuesday, March 07, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Greensboro Coliseum
Nate Laszewski’s Defense
Notre Dame center Nate Laszewski is a liability on defense. As commentators for his team’s games have noted, he is a poor on-ball defender in that he struggles to keep opposing players in front of him.
As a center, he doesn’t always have to worry about mobile guys who can attack the rim off the bounce. But tonight’s game will fully showcase Laszewski’s shortcomings as a defender.
Virginia Tech center Grant Basile’s rate at which his baskets at the rim are assisted is surprisingly low for a center.
Basile’s versatility is also surprising and his skillset makes him a dangerous scorer down low.
He’ll challenge Laszewski in the post also when facing up because he ably drives to the basket and scores off the bounce. But Basile also has strong range: he can shoot the three. His three-point conversion rate is 39.7%.
By scoring in so many ways against what is generally a soft Irish defense that is vulnerable to opposing shooters –as evident especially in its last game against Clemson– as well as to inside scorers, Basile will score a lot of points.
NCAAB Pick: Grant Basile Over 18.5 Points (-115) at Bet365