College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma (Wednesday, February 9)
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Guard Adonis Arms #25 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders
- The red-hot Texas Tech Red Raiders travel ot Norman to face the Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday night.
- The Sooners have been mired in a slump in Big 12 play, losing seven of their last eight games overall, but can they turn the tide against the Red Raiders?
- Shane McNichol breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma Odds
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
For fans and bettors, the weekly deluge of quality basketball games played in the Big 12 can cause some fatigue. Games without both teams ranked highly in the polls might start to lose their luster to some viewers.
This season, given the insanely competitive state of the Big 12, that shouldn’t be the case. Every time two teams from the conference step on the court, expect high level basketball with real implications for March on the line. West Virginia is the league’s lowest-ranked team by KenPom at 61st, but all 10 teams boast a top 40 ranking in Defensive Efficiency. Each game in the conference is a bruising battle with a worthy winner.
Wednesday’s dance between Texas Tech and Oklahoma is no exception. The Red Raiders have climbed into the top 10 of the AP Poll in Mark Adams’ first season in the lead chair on the bench, but their schedule through the rest of conference play will be a tough test. A trip to Norman, Oklahoma seems easy given the Sooners have lost seven of their last eight.
That’s not the case, and Texas Tech better be ready for a fight.
Chris Beard elevated the Texas Tech program to new heights during his tenure as head coach in Lubbock. He took over a program in turmoil. Tech was coming off a six-year stretch with four head coaches, only one NCAA Tournament, and zero top 50 KenPom finishes.
Beard built a culture and an identity around defense. His last four Red Raider teams finished among the top 20 in Defensive Efficiency and racked up 10 NCAA Tournament wins.
Beard’s departure for Texas came with some drama, which was on full display in the rowdy environment in Lubbock for Tech’s recent win over Beard’s Longhorns, but there were many who felt the program was still in good hands. Mark Adams had been the architect of Beard’s defensive schemes and would hold the line culturally for the Red Raiders.
In his first season heading the program, Adams looks like the man for the job. Texas Tech has just five losses, all to quality opponents away from home, and some huge wins, including eye-popping back-to-back wins over Kansas and Baylor.
Tech’s success is built, as expected, on the defensive end of the floor. The Red Raiders rank second in the nation in Defensive Efficiency, thanks to a roster of long, twitchy athletes who consistently find ways to get stops. With an offense that is patient and balanced, Texas Tech has a winning recipe.
The early returns on Porter Moser’s hiring in Norman were very positive. The Sooners started the season 11-2. Since then, the rigors of Big 12 have proven too much for Oklahoma. The Sooners have lost seven of eight, staving off a month long losing streak by winning at West Virginia.
The Sooners’ issues are on the offensive end. A roster that has smushed together transfers, freshmen, and a few holdovers from the Lon Kruger era hasn’t gelled correctly, leading to mistakes and scoring droughts. Oklahoma turns the ball over far too frequently. Oklahoma’s Turnover Rate is the second-highest in the Big 12, and opponents nab a steals at the highest rate in the conference. That puts the Sooner defense out of position too often, and no defense is good enough to survive that many live-ball turnovers.
The Sooners have been excellent inside the 3-point arc, shooting the fifth-best percentage on those shots in the nation. In modern basketball, that simply isn’t enough to keep up on the scoreboard. Without some success behind the 3-point line or from the free throw stripe, Oklahoma can’t manufacture enough offense.
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma Betting Pick
Oklahoma could really use a win here to stop the bleeding and keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. BracketMatrix still has the Sooners in the field as an 11-seed, but every loss inches Oklahoma closer to the wrong side of the bubble. The Sooners’ schedule provides plenty of chances for a quality win, starting with this home chance against a top 10 team.
The way Texas Tech is playing defensively, however, it’s really difficult to see how the Sooners can find enough points to force the issue on Wednesday. If Oklahoma is going to have a chance, this game will need to slow down into a slopfest.
The Sooners have the defense to make that happen and bring some shooting luck into this game as well. Oklahoma’s opponents have hit the best percentage from outside the arc so far in conference play, just north of 35 percent. If Texas Tech goes cold, Oklahoma can grind to keep this close.
Whether or not the Sooners keep it close enough to cover the spread, I like this game to stay beneath the total of 127.5. Despite each of these teams playing defensive rock fights, three of Oklahoma’s last four games and four of Tech’s last six have cashed the over. Those trends should end here as this one stays below a low total.
Pick: Under 127.5
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