Sunday College Basketball Odds & Picks for Houston vs. Texas Tech: Look to Live Bet the Red Raiders (November 29)
Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Quentin Grimes (left) and Kelvin Sampson (right).
- The Texas Tech Red Raiders and Houston Cougars will meet on the hardwood in Fort Worth on Sunday.
- The Red Raiders have won nine of the last 10 against the Cougars and are small favorites in this matchup.
- Roberto Arguello explains where the betting value lies in this game below.
Houston vs. Texas Tech Odds
|Houston Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Texas Tech Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+123/-148 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||129 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Sunday, 5 p.m. ET|
The Texas Tech Red Raiders meet the Houston Cougars in a battle of old Southwest Conference foes in the “Southwest Showdown” in Fort Worth on Sunday. The Red Raiders have won nine of the last 10 meetings between these teams, but the Cougars lead the all-time series, 28-27.
Each team enters this top-20 matchup with a 2-0 record. The Red Raiders cruised to victories over Northwestern State and Sam Houston State behind 19 points per game from star Georgetown transfer Mac McClung. Potential NBA first-round pick Terrance Shannon Jr. has also impressed early by averaging 13 points and five rebounds.
The Cougars blew out Lamar in their opener before beating Boise State by 10 points on Friday. The Cougars have four guards — Caleb Mills, Marcus Sasser, Quentin Grimes and Tramon Mark — averaging 12 points or more.
This sets up as one of the premier perimeter matchups of the early part of the season. Let’s dig into why the Red Raiders have a slight edge.
After leading Houston in scoring as a freshman, sophomore Caleb Mills returns as the preseason AAC Player of the Year. He has been limited due to an ankle injury but should play against Texas Tech on Sunday.
While Mills hasn’t been 100%, his teammates in the backcourt have stepped up. Sasser carried Houston against Lamar, going 7-of-9 from 3-point land and scoring 25 points. When the Cougars faced a stiffer challenge against Boise State on Friday, junior guard Grimes led the team with 25 points. Depth at the guard position is a huge strength for Houston, and they will need it against an elite Texas Tech perimeter defense.
Senior guard DeJon Jarreau returned to Houston after initially entering the NBA draft. At 6-foot-5, he has helped more on the interior as Houston has limited depth in the frontcourt after losing forward Fabian White to an ACL injury. Jarreau is tied for the team lead with two steals per game while also averaging 7.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Despite only scoring 3.5 points per game, forward J’Wan Roberts is one of Houston’s most valuable players. He is the main interior presence for a team shorthanded in its frontcourt and has stepped up by averaging 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks through two games. Roberts has been the leading force behind Houston’s two dominant performances on the boards.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Despite losing four starters from last year’s Texas Tech team (Jahmi’us Ramsey, Davide Moretti, Chris Clarke and TJ Holyfield), the Red Raiders have reloaded with transfers and the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history.
McClung and former Wichita State Shocker Jamarius Burton have helped strengthen the backcourt. UNLV transfer Joel Ntambwe also gives Texas Tech a versatile 6-foot-8 forward who can create offense off the dribble, and preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Marcus Santos-Silva from VCU gives the Red Raiders an anchor in the post. McClung and Burton add more versatility on offense than they had last year with their ability to create their own shots off the bounce.
The Red Raiders also return sophomore Shannon, a potential first-round pick on the wing that some draft experts have compared to Kelly Oubre Jr. because of his athleticism, driving ability, lock-down defense and left-handedness. After an up-and-down freshman season during which he averaged 9.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, Shannon looks to take a step forward this year with more consistent performances to solidify his draft stock and lead Texas Tech through a loaded Big 12 conference.
Texas Tech not only has an elite off-ball defender in Shannon, but they also boast another solid wing defender with Kevin McCullar. Unfortunately for Texas Tech, McCullar missed Friday’s game with an ankle injury, and his status is worth monitoring into Sunday.
Sophomore Kyler Edwards will have his hands full on defense against Houston’s great guards as Texas Tech’s point-of-attack defender. Last season, Edwards played a key role in Texas Tech limiting some of the best guards it faced, including Tyrese Maxey, Devon Dotson and Charlie Moore. He will need to play well against Sasser and Grimes to keep Houston’s offense in check.
Texas Tech also will look for contributions from its historic recruiting class. Guard Nimari Burnett, who plays off the ball and has advanced passing skills, is the highest-ranked prospect in school history and the first Red Raider signee to be a McDonald’s All-American. Freshman Micah Peavy has also flashed playmaking ability off the dribble and a nice mid-range game that coach Chris Beard should be able to leverage against the Cougars.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Through two games, the Cougars have shot just 41.2% from the floor, and they will face their greatest challenge yet against the Red Raiders’ perimeter defense. Houston will need to hit shots and find a way to limit Santos-Silva for Texas Tech on the interior and avoid foul trouble without much depth in their frontcourt.
While I lean toward Texas Tech -2.5, this is a game that I will be betting live to find a better value. I will be closely watching how the battle inside with Santos-Silva and Roberts unfolds. If Roberts gets into foul trouble or if Houston cannot limit Santos-Silva, I like the Red Raiders’ chances.
I give a slight edge to Texas Tech’s perimeter players defensively, and I give a slight edge to them offensively too with McClung leading the way. The key for McClung isn’t the volume of shots, but rather the quality of them. If McClung doesn’t force shots and instead chooses quality over quantity while also opening up looks for players like Shannon on the wing, I like Texas Tech to win.
In what should be a competitive game with lead changes, I will try and bet on Texas Tech at +120 or better live if the aforementioned key mentioned matchups are going Texas Tech’s way. Otherwise, I like the value on Houston at +150 or better live.
Pick: Texas Tech +120 or better live.