How Chris Beard and Texas Tech Have Dominated The Second-Half Spread


Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 08, 2019, 05:40 PM EDT
  • Chris Beard has coached eight NCAA Tournament games for Texas Tech and is 9-0 against the second-half spread.
  • Texas Tech is outscoring its opponents by 10 points per game in the second half of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders enter the National Championship Game 5-0 against the spread — the only team left in the NCAA Tournament that can claim that.

If Tech is able to take down Virginia as an underdog and win the national championship Monday night, it will join an exclusive list of teams to go 6-0 against the spread in the tournament en route to a national championship over the past 20 years:

  • 2018 Villanova
  • 2016 Villanova
  • 2015 Duke
  • 2014 Connecticut
  • 2009 North Carolina
  • 2006 Florida

Tournament Style

So how has Texas Tech been able to exceed oddsmakers’ expectations so consistently? The Red Raiders coach, Chris Beard, deserves a lot of credit.

In Beard’s 11 NCAA Tournament games as a head coach, his teams are 10-1 against the second-half spread, covering by seven points per game. While at Texas Tech, he is 9-0 against the second-half spread in the tournament, covering by 7.9 points per game.

Since Beard’s first year as a head coach at Arkansas Little-Rock in 2015, he is the most profitable coach against the second-half spread in the NCAA Tournament. That’s not a coincidence.

Second To None

One of the main reasons why Texas Tech is heading to its first championship game in school history has been the amazing play of its defense — and more specifically, the defense’s play in the second half of games.

Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Beard and Texas Tech’s team

The Red Raiders are allowing 30.8 points per game during the second half this season, the third-lowest mark in the country behind Kansas State and Virginia. Where Red Raiders differentiate themselves from Virginia is in their average second-half margin of victory in the tournament.

Texas Tech is outscoring its opponents by 10 points per game in the second half, while Virginia is outscoring its opponents by an impressive six PPG, which is still almost less than half of the Red Raiders’ margin.

In four seasons as a head coach, Beard has made second-half adjustments as well as any other coach in the country given the context of his gigs at Arkansas Little-Rock and now at Texas Tech.