Handicapper loads up on Texas as underdog

He lives in the Lone Star state and attended the University of Texas, but when it comes to betting, professional sports handicapper Paul Stone said he typically wagers against his home team.

That hasn’t been the case in the NCAA Tournament, though, as Stone cashed his largest ticket ($1,300) on Texas after it rolled past Stanford on Friday.

Stone has placed another large wager on the Longhorns today, with a total of $2,310 riding on the Texas-Memphis matchup.

Stone matched his largest bet of the tourney with $1,430 on the Memphis-Texas over 1441/2, and he also put $880 down on the Longhorns, who are getting 31/2 points against the Tigers.

Memphis has gone over the total in its last four NCAA Tournament games, and Texas has gone over the number in seven of its last 10 games as an underdog.

“Texas certainly realizes it cannot afford to allow the long, athletic Memphis defenders to get established in the half-court defense,” Stone said. “The Longhorns will have to push the ball quickly when the opportunity is there. I expect a lot of 3-pointers shot on the move by Texas, which creates points and long rebounds, the latter of which can lead to transition opportunities on the other end of the court.

“Memphis’ natural instinct and preference is to run, so the Tigers will not have to be coerced into a fast-paced game.”

As for the side play on Texas, Stone likes the fact Memphis has gone 0-6 against the spread in its last six games following a point-spread win.

“Top-seeded Memphis played a near flawless first half Friday against Michigan State, and the typical bettor usually responds mightily to that which is freshest on his mind. Although their body of work is quite impressive, I’ll put more weight on the Tigers’ first 36 games than Friday’s performance,” Stone said. “Under Rick Barnes, Texas has performed well historically in the underdog role, plus the Longhorns play in one of the nation’s toughest conferences and have the home state fans behind them (in Houston).”

Stone also has a $550 play on Davidson, which is getting 9 points from Kansas, in what he described as “a feel selection.”

Davidson has covered its last six as an underdog, eight of nine on a neutral floor and is 43-19-1 ATS in its past 63 games.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at or (702) 383-0354.

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