Tuesday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Texas Tech-Kansas State, Buffalo-Northern Illinois
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Texas Tech G Jarrett Culver, Buffalo G Jeremy Harris
For the first time since Saturday — yes, that somehow feels like decades ago — the number of ranked teams in action will reach double digits on Tuesday night.
Among the 10 programs are the two tied at No. 14 in the AP Top 25: Texas Tech, which travels to Kansas State, and Buffalo, which heads to Northern Illinois.
Which sides of these matchups have more value? Let’s break them down.
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Betting Odds: Texas Tech Red Raiders at Kansas State Wildcats
- Spread: Kansas State -2.5
- Over/Under: 120.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
The Wildcats (9-9 against the spread) have resurrected their season, covering in four of their past five games, while the Red Raiders (6-11-1 ATS) have covered only once in their past eight contests.
Expect this matchup to be decided in the paint, where both programs have amassed at least 54.0% of their scoring. Texas Tech’s advantage comes via its athleticism, as Chris Beard’s crew owns the sixth-highest block rate in college basketball.
Although playing Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase together has restrained Texas Tech’s floor spacing of late, which has caused Odiase’s minutes to dip, their respective physicality means they’ll be able to go up against Kansas State’s 6-foot-8 Dean Wade (13.3 points per game).
The Red Raiders’ ball pressure limits the ball from getting in deep as well, forcing opponents to rely more on their perimeter offense.
Kansas State has totaled the 69th-worst 3-point clip (31.4%) in Division I. Despite Bruce Weber’s bunch winning four consecutive games straight up, the Wildcats haven’t seen a major rise in that department. Beard’s unit has held its opponents to the lowest Effective Field Goal percentage (40.0%) in the country, too.
The Red Raiders’ defense should manufacture enough havoc to spurt its own attack, especially in transition with a rising star in Jarrett Culver (18.8 points per game).
Moreover, some might wager on this one as a revenge game for Kansas State after a six-point loss at Texas Tech only a little more than two weeks ago. But according to our Bet Labs data, the Red Raiders are 3-1 (75.0%) ATS as an underdog following two straight losses since last season. That trend should continue.
THE PICK: Texas Tech +2.5
Betting Odds: Buffalo Bulls at Northern Illinois Huskies
- Spread: Buffalo -8.5
- Over/Under: 158.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
The Bulls (11-5-1 ATS) and Huskies (4-12-1 ATS) enter this matchup without a cover in back-to-back games. But Nate Oats’ team boasts a major edge within its 15th-ranked Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (116.0 points per 100 possessions).
Northern Illinois’ opponents combined to accrue 39.8% of their respective scoring from the perimeter — the 12th-highest rate in the country. Given Buffalo has notched 35.6% of its offense from that vicinity — as well as 44.0% of its attempts coming off 3s — it should have plenty of success with the ball.
The Huskies also fail to present a sound matchup for the 6-foot-3 CJ Massinburg — the Bulls’ top scorer (17.8 points per game) and long-range shooter.
At the other end, 56.2% of NIU’s scoring has come inside the arc — the 19th-highest percentage in DI. Nevertheless, Buffalo has let up the 78th-lowest 2-point clip (47.6%), led by two underrated rim protectors in Nick Perkins and Jeremy Harris. They’ll each play a critical role in hindering the Huskies’ on the low-block and offensive glass, respectively.
In Oats’ three-plus regular seasons manning the program, the Bulls are 24-16-2 (60.0%) ATS as a single-digit favorite, per Bet Labs. They’ll keep that rolling on Tuesday night.
THE PICK: Buffalo -8.5