Texas vs. Texas Tech Odds, Preview, Picks: Your Big 12 Betting Guide
Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Courtney Ramey
Texas vs. Texas Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
Texas Tech picked up yet another impressive victory in Lubbock on Wednesday night, using a dominant second half to beat Baylor by double-digits despite missing Kevin McCullar. There might not be a team in the country with a more dominant home-court advantage than the Red Raiders right now, but Saturday is a difficult road spot for them at Texas.
Texas and Texas Tech isn’t really a big rivalry traditionally in college basketball, but that’s changed this season after Chris Beard’s departure from Texas Tech left a lot of hatred for him in Lubbock. It showed with the raucous crowd for the first meeting between the two teams on Feb. 1, arguably the loudest and most amped home spot of the entire college basketball season thus far.
Texas Tech won the game relatively comfortably, but Texas has improved since then with wins against Kansas and at Oklahoma. The Longhorns and Red Raiders are similar teams in a lot of ways, but Texas Tech’s offense away from home has been prone to flat spots and stretches of scoreless droughts.
Texas is in a prime revenge spot and now with homecourt, is undervalued to take down the Red Raiders.
While everyone is discussing Texas Tech’s 10-point home win against Baylor, you could argue that the Longhorns’ road win at Oklahoma without Tre Mitchell was actually more impressive.
Texas squandered a lead that it held most of the game and nearly gave the game away late, but found a way to secure the win in overtime with some more clutch shooting from Timmy Allen.
This is a matchup that favors the Longhorns if Courtney Ramey can make his perimeter jump shots against the Texas Tech defense. The defenses are very similar stylistically, but the Longhorns guard the perimeter at a much better rate.
While Texas’ defense is top-five at guarding catch and shoot 3s per ShotQuality, Texas Tech is outside the top 100 in 3-point defense by SQ.
That will leave open looks for Ramey, who didn’t make them in the first meeting in a brutal environment in Lubbock, but is a 36% shooter who should be better from deep on his home floor. The Red Raiders also won’t be able to get anything at the rim, and while they made 8-of-19 from 3 in the first meeting at home and got a few favorable bounces, if the shots aren’t falling for the Red Raiders, it could get ugly for this half-court offense.
Consider Texas at home this season, despite the perceived struggles this year: Wins against Iowa State by 22, Kansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma by 14. The Longhorns — like most of the league — have dramatic home and away splits.
Texas Tech not only beat Baylor, but did so for the second consecutive time this season and did it without McCullar, one of the Red Raiders’ top scorers. Baylor was also a bit shorthanded and couldn’t overcome red-hot shooting from Kevin Obanor nor Tech’s offense from inside the 2-point arc.
McCullar’s status for Saturday is uncertain, but he’s one of the few good ball handlers that the Red Raiders have to deal with the Longhorns’ ball pressure. Texas Tech will also find it much more difficult to score on the interior against the length and size of the Texas no-middle defense. The Red Raiders did a lot of damage from the free throw line and the perimeter in the first meeting, but they’re less likely to get a friendly whistle on the road and haven’t shot nearly as well this season outside of Lubbock.
The offense generally relies heavily on getting to the rim and finishing there, as the Red Raiders are top 100 in rim frequency and top 20 in ShotQuality once there. But the Longhorns’ defense is excellent at forcing teams to beat them from the outside. Texas has a top 10 interior defense in the entire country and is fifth in ShotQuality in the half-court.
Texas Tech has played seven true road games this season and the results have been murky at best. A road loss at Providence in the non-conference and losses to Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma in the league are all games that the Red Raiders were the clearly better team but came up short. They did beat Baylor — the lone impressive road win on the resumé — but also were very fortunate based on ShotQuality to win at West Virginia.
Texas vs. Texas Tech Betting Pick
Much like Texas Tech at home at the beginning of the month was one of the best situational spots for the Red Raiders and their dominant home court, the reverse is true in the rematch.
Texas Tech comes into this game after a dominant home win, and Texas is motivated for revenge and has an above-average home court of its own in Austin.
The matchup edge comes down to who makes more shots from the perimeter and how well Texas Tech can prevent turnovers on the road. With McCullar, they could have issues, and without him, they could be doomed. Whether he plays or not, I think Texas gets revenge and wins this game relatively comfortably.
The Longhorns have improved with their turnover issues offensively and the defensive ball pressure should be enough to turn over the Red Raiders and the interior defense will smother the Texas Tech half-court offense.
Pick: Texas -3 or better
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