No. 10 Texas Longhorns (19-14 SU, 15-14 ATS) vs. No. 7 Nevada Wolf Pack (27-7 SU, 16-14-3 ATS)
Date/Time: Friday, March 16, 2018, at 4:30 PM ET
Where: Bridgestone Arena
by Rich Crew, Expert NCAA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEX -1.5 / NEV +1.5
Over/Under Total: 143.5
The Longhorns and the Wolf Pack will battle in a 2018 NCAA Tournament South Region opening round game. Tip-off for this neutral site game is at 4:30 PM EDT at the Bridgestone Arena. The oddsmaker has made Texas a small -1.5 point favorite on the point spread line with the total offered up at 143.5 points.
Texas arrives in Nashville playing arguably their best basketball of the season winning three out of their last five straight up and against the spread. Their two defeats came against two of the top three conference clubs losing to Texas Tech by four in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament and to Kansas on the road by 10. On the way this season in their conference they won just two of ten matches, but they had a positive record ATS going 6-4 versus the number. On a neutral court, the Longhorns had a decent 3-3 W/L mark.
Nevada didn’t look as sharp down the stretch especially against the point spread. In the conference tournament, they bowed out against a good San Diego State team but didn’t look very sharp in their five-point win over UNLV in their Mountain West Tourney opener. They’ve lost two of their last three games, both against SD State, after stringing together six victories. Wolf Pack bettors have seen their bankroll diminish with the team on a 1-4-1 run ATS streak. Playing away from home, Nevada has excelled going 11-3 on the road and 2-3 on a neutral court.
Check out Predictem’s list of the top betting sites online >>> Recommended Sportsbooks
The Longhorns most significant edge comes on the glass. Texas doesn’t always win the battle of the boards but does usually win that metric against inferior to average rebounding teams which Nevada fits the bill. The bench is another area that the Longhorns hold an advantage with the ability to put points on the board no matter who is on the floor.
The Wolf Pack have the edge in numerous metrics including scoring offense with an 11.4 edge in per game points. They shoot the ball better with a 46.8 FG% versus the Longhorns 43.8 FG% and are far superior from long range connecting on 39.8% of their three-point attempts compared to 31.5 by Texas.
The public shows a slight affection to Texas with slightly over 54% of the point spread wagers landing on that side. The total is a toss up with even money on both sides of the O/U line.
The Longhorns have played superior hoops on neutral courts this campaign. While they’re just 3-3 two of the losses came in overtime to Duke and Gonzaga, and their other loss was to a strong boarding team Texas Tech. Texas has the superior defensive efficiency and can control the boards. If they can do even an adequate job defending the three, they will win this game. The points are minimal and keep in mind that Nevada’s confidence may be at it lowest point of the season.
Rich Crews Pick: Take the Texas Longhorns at a sportsbook that offers -105 lines on college basketball bets! >>> 5Dimes