NCAAB

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Long Beach State vs. Arizona

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Long Beach State vs. Arizona

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

Arizona is one of the favorites in this year's NCAA Tournament and they'll kick off their journey against Long Beach State on Thursday.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Long Beach State vs. Arizona Betting Odds

Date and Time: Thursday, March 21st at 2 p.m. ET

Spread: Arizona -20.5 (-115)

Total: 161.5

Moneyline:

  • Long Beach State: +1600
  • Arizona: -4500

Long Beach State vs. Arizona Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Long Beach State

  • numberFire Ranking: 165th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 191st
  • KenPom Ranking: 163rd
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 210th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 145th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 29th

Arizona

  • numberFire Ranking: 4th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 6th
  • KenPom Ranking: 6th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 12th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 8th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 16th

Long Beach State vs. Arizona Best Bet

Long Beach State +20.5 (-105)

Arizona is out for redemption and that has been apparent this season. They're going to score (a lot) as they have all season, which means Long Beach State will have to do everything in their power to match...which isn't out of the question.

After falling as a No. 2 seed to a No. 15 seed in last year's tournament, Arizona is coming into this game locked and loaded to deliver. But, as we saw last year and pretty much every year in the NCAA Tournament, these games are competitive, and seeds go out the window when the clock is ticking and shots are being made. Long Beach State has done a good job at scoring -- even if they're one of the lowest ranked teams in this year's tournament. It's why I'll happily take them covering with a 20-point leeway.

Coming into this game, Arizona ranks eigth in the nation with a 121.5 Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (per KenPom) and third overall with 87.9 points per game. While Long Beach State was all the way down at 145th for Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, they did average 77.9 points per game led by senior Marcus Tsohonis (17.8 points). Long Beach State has four other players who scored double digits this season with Jadon Jones recording 12.2 points, Lassina Traore scoring 12.1, Aboubacar Traore scoring 12.0, and AJ George scoring 10.5. There's enough offense to go around with this team that they can make enough noise to cover.

Where Long Beach State can match and potentially make noise is with their Adjusted Tempo, which ranks 29th in the country. There will be good pace to the game from them -- even against an Arizona team that has a strong tempo itself (16th).

Arizona's usual scoring margin throughout the 2023-24 season has been 15.7 points with them allowing 72.2 points to their opponent. U of A has dropped two of their last three games entering this one -- one against a USC team that has struggled big time this season and another against Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals. If there's a time to bet against this team, it's now, which is why taking Long Beach State to cover seems like the play. This is March, after all.

numberFire's model has tons of belief in Long Beach State covering, giving them a 68.76% likelihood to do so. The -105 odds equal out to a 51.2% implied probability, so there's a lot to like about the Forty Niners' spread.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.