Sunday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Preview: Back Texas to Cover Spread vs. Stanford
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tre Mitchell
- No. 17 Texas takes on Stanford at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday as part of the Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge.
- The Longhorns have a deep, versatile roster that is led by new head coach Chris Beard.
- Charlie DiSturco breaks down the matchup below and details where the value lies in this matchup.
Texas vs. Stanford Odds
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
Texas and Stanford will meet on Sunday afternoon as part of the Pac-12 Coast to Coast Challenge at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
This is an opportunity for the Longhorns to make a statement with a dominant win. They lost both games away from Austin, including a four-point loss to Seton Hall a little over a week ago. Texas is searching for its first win over an opponent ranked inside the KenPom top 150.
Their opponent this time around, Stanford, enters on a two-game win streak that includes a win against Pac-12 foe Oregon. The Cardinal were taken to overtime by Dartmouth before earning a double-digit win in that extra period.
The Cardinal also have yet to win away from their home floor at Maples Pavilion.
Despite entering as a large underdog, can the Cardinal stick with the Longhorns? Or will the elite Texas defense prove too much for a Stanford team that has been blown out in both non-conference losses this season?
From a numbers perspective, Texas is dominant. The Longhorns boast a top-20 offense and defense in terms of efficiency, force turnovers at the second-highest rate in the country and blow out every team at the Erwin Center.
Take a deeper look and there have been speed bumps along the way. Texas has yet to win outside of its home floor and its tallest player is 6-foot-9 Tre Mitchell. The Longhorns also struggle on the defensive glass, which has led to plenty of second-chance opportunities.
But this is a team primarily made up of transfers in year one of the Chris Beard era. Growing pains will come and go. The Longhorns are like Beard’s teams in Lubbock, where tempo is slowed to a halt — 357th in the country.
Texas’ defense has been close to elite. Outside of their loss to Gonzaga, the Longhorns haven’t given up more than 64 points in a single game. Even with height disadvantages at times, they rank inside the top 100 in 2-point defense.
Much of the defensive intensity comes from Beard’s rotation that can go 10 deep at any time.
Vanderbilt transfer Dylan Disu returned from injury against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and provides another athletic body around the rim. He also has the ability to stretch the floor, shooting 36.9% from 3 last season for Vandy.
Longhorn Nation, meet Dylan Disu. pic.twitter.com/fczj0ni8fQ
— #17 Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) December 15, 2021
Disu will likely be on a minutes limit once again but even in small increments, he is effective, and his presence should lead to plenty more opportunities for the shooters around him.
Surprisingly, the bright spot of the offense for the Longhorns has not been Minnesota transfer Marcus Carr or the dynamic Courtney Ramey. It’s been Utah’s Timmy Allen.
The 6-foot-6 forward draws fouls at the 76th-best rate in the country, boasts a 60.5 eFG% and leads Texas in points per game (13.1). His emergence in the rotation adds yet another dynamic scorer to this deep UT squad.
Stanford’s season has been nothing short of a roller coaster through nine games. The Cardinal are undefeated at home and winless on the road. They have the potential to beat the likes of Oregon, but are also prone to laying a dud, like their near-overtime loss to Dartmouth.
The struggles have come in large part to defensive issues. The Cardinal rank 260th in 3-point defense and don’t force turnovers. They rank an even worse 297th defending the 2 and are inexperienced as a whole, with just one senior on the roster.
Stanford is the fourth-tallest team in the country, which allows for head coach Jerod Haase to deploy a starting rotation with four players 6-foot-8 or taller. Despite their struggles on defense, the length has contributed to the Cardinal’s No. 14 ranking on the offensive glass. They grab second-chance points at a 37.3% rate.
Jaiden Delaire is the star of the team and the go-to option on offense. The senior takes over a quarter of the shots when on the floor and draws fouls at the 33rd-highest rate in the country. Delaire has averaged 21 points in Stanford’s last two wins.
He is joined alongside five-star, do-it-all freshman Harrison Ingram. The 6-foot-8 forward is a physical rebounder who can stretch the floor at any given time. He averages 12.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game and is the X-factor in keeping these Power 5 matchups close.
Outside of Delaire and Ingram, the Stanford offense is mediocre at best. Though they have a top-100 offense in terms of adjusted efficiency, the Cardinal have a turnover rate of 21.3%, 281st in the country.
Against teams ranked inside the KenPom top 100, Stanford turns the ball over 15-plus times per game. That doesn’t bode well against a Texas defense that loves to put its foot down on the defensive gas pedal.
It’s important to also note that Stanford was without starter Spencer Jones in the overtime win against Dartmouth. The junior is day-to-day with a lower leg injury. If he’s out, the Cardinal will be left without one of their veterans and one of the four players that averages over 17 minutes per game.
Texas vs. Stanford Betting Pick
To me, this is the perfect spot to back Texas. Beard knows the Longhorns have struggled away from home, and Sunday is an opportunity to make a statement against a lowly Stanford squad.
Texas’ defense thrives on forcing turnovers, and that’s exactly where the Cardinal struggle. Despite the height advantage Stanford has, it shouldn’t make a difference against a physical Longhorns squad.
Tack on the uncertainty of Jones, and I think Stanford could be in trouble. That’s a vital starter that Haase could be left without in what is set to be a draining game.
Texas’ offense is incredibly efficient and I think it’s due for an explosion. Tack on the fact that Stanford’s defense hasn’t been able to stop the opposition anywhere on the floor, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
The Longhorns are 21st in experience and they’ll be able to pick apart this Cardinal defense bit by bit.
Back Texas to get a blowout victory in Vegas.
Pick: Texas -9.5
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