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The Midwest Regional Final between the 5-seed Miami Hurricanes and 2-seed Texas Longhorns is a pretty cool matchup. The Longhorns were expected to be here whereas the Hurricanes are kind of a surprise.
Texas pummeled 3-seed Xavier 83-71 last round, beat 10-seed Penn State 71-66 in the 2nd round and crushed 15-seed Colgate 81-61 in the Round of 64. The Longhorns won the 2023 Big XII conference tourney to earn their 2-seed.
Miami was the regular-season ACC champion and lost in the semifinals of the ACC tourney to the Duke. The ‘Canes blew out 1-seed Houston and 4-seed Indiana in the Sweet 16 and Round of 32 after eking past 12-seed Drake in the opening round.
Texas gets a boost by the market for playing in a tougher conference and winning the Big XII tourney. It’s a down-year for Miami’s ACC. And Ken Pom ranks the Longhorns 5th in net efficiency and the ‘Canes are 26th.
Miami vs. Texas odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Venue: T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri
- Tip-off: 5:05 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
We are “chasing steam” by betting Miami +3.5 when it opened at +4.5. DraftKings Sportsbook is reporting via VSIN that a majority of the cash and bets are on Texas as of early Sunday afternoon.
Obviously, the 1st thing that jumps out about this is the “reverse line movement.” It’s suspicious that most of the action is on the Longhorns yet the line is moving toward the Hurricanes.
Since I’m getting late to the party on Miami, I’ll reduce my bet size. But, I still like the Hurricanes at this number because the true number should be Longhorns -2.5. Also, it’s the Elite Eight and I bet on something every day.
Miami has a better shot profile
According to BartTorvik.com, the Hurricanes get a higher rate of dunks and “close” 2-pointers and the Longhorns attempt a ton of inefficient “far” 2-pointers.
Texas likes to get out in transition and Miami should be okay with a faster tempo. The Hurricanes have the 5th-best effective field goal shooting (eFG%) in the fastbreak, per Hoop-Math.com.
The Longhorns are 216th in defensive 3-point-attempt rate, per KenPom.com, and the ‘Canes are 31st in 3-point percentage. Texas likes to gamble on defense and that could allow Miami to get more wide-open 3-point looks.
These teams are Spider-Man memes
There is no difference between Miami and Texas. Sure, the Longhorns play in a much tougher conference. Other than that though these teams have a lot in common.
Per KenPom.com, the Hurricanes are 27th nationally in average years of experience (out of 363 programs) and the Longhorns are 6th. Miami is 224th in average height and Texas is 274th.
Both have veteran all-conference guards who will likely decide the outcome of this game. Texas PG Marcus Carr is All-Big XII 1st team and Miami PG Isaiah Wong is the 2023 ACC Player of the Year.
Gimme Wong over Carr in this matchup. Wong has a higher offensive rating, true shooting percentage and better at getting to the foul line.
The big difference between these teams is the Longhorns are deeper and better on defense. Texas SF Sir’Jabari Rice is 2023 Big XII Sixth Man of the Year and Rice makes key plays for the Longhorns in crunch-time.
But, Miami’s veteran backcourt and continuity can withstand Texas’s depth for 40 minutes. The Longhorns can get too aggressive on defense and get into foul trouble. The ‘Canes are one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the country.
Miami’s reliable shooting explains why it’s much more consistent and has a higher away-from-home net efficiency than Texas, according to Haslametrics.com.
Since the experience and size are washes, Miami is the better shooting team and a majority of the bets are on Texas, I’ll take the points with the Hurricanes.
BET: Miami +3.5 (-110) at DraftKings, down +3
- Betting strategy: Since most of the action is on Texas, wait until closer to tip-off to see if Miami gets back up to +4. I have to lock in a bet now for content purposes and I still like the Hurricanes at +3.5.
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