Texas vs. Davidson Odds & Picks for College Basketball Monday: Bet Wildcats Over Short-Handed Longhorns
Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Shaka Smart (left) and Jase Febres (right).
- The Texas Longhorns will kick off the Maui Invitational in Asheville, North Carolina, against the Davidson Wildcats on Monday.
- Texas is battling injuries early in the season, though, so Shaka Smart's squad could struggle early.
- BJ Cunningham thinks the value lies with the Wildcats, so he will back them if the conditions are right.
Texas vs. Davidson Odds
|Texas Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Davidson Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-355 / +285 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||136.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Monday, 12 p.m. ET|
The Maui Invitational will look a little different this year, as it could not be hosted it on the island. However, the event will still go on in Asheville, North Carolina. The tournament kicks off Monday morning as Davidson squares off against No. 19 Texas.
If the 2019-20 season hadn’t been cut short, Shaka Smart may have been relieved of his duties. The Longhorns were in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. He’ll have a solid opportunity to salvage his job during the 2020-21 season, as he brings back 12 players from last years roster. Texas opened its season with a blowout win over UT Rio Grande Valley, but Davidson is going to be a massive step up in competition.
The ageless Bob McKillop brings back most of his roster in 2020 but loses his top scorer and best defender. The Wildcats will look to improve from barely finishing above .500 last season. They are picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Atlantic 10, so if seniors Kellan Grady and Carter Collins can step up, the Wildcats could make their way inside the top end of the conference.
The strength of this Longhorns team starts at the defensive end of the floor. Last season, Texas was top-25 in defensive efficiency and is likely going to improve, as KenPom has Texas projected as the No. 2 defense in the country in terms of efficiency. The Longhorns bring back their entire starting lineup and added the No. 9 overall recruit and hometown product, Greg Brown.
The issue for Texas going into the season lies on the offensive end of the floor. Last season, Texas was dead last in the Big 12 in offensive efficiency, offensive rebound percentage, and free throws per game. Adding Brown to the starting lineup should help improve those numbers, but Texas is likely going to rely on its defense this season.
Texas also plays at a snail’s pace, ranking 292nd last season, per KenPom. That will play right into Davidson’s hands, as it plays at an even slower pace.
There is one thing that McKillop knows how to teach: offense. The Wildcats were top-30 in offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and 3-point percentage. They do lose their best player in Jon Axel Gudmundsson but return all of their other main contributors.
The problem for Davidson last season was on the defensive end of the floor. It proved to be average in just about every defensive category, and that’s really what held the Wildcats back last season. With a lot of continuity returning, KenPom has Davidson projected to improve this season, and it will start on Monday when it faces its toughest test of the season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Longhorns are going through some injury issues heading into Monday’s game. Cancer survivor and starting guard Andrew Jones has a cough and was held out of their first game out of an abundance of caution. He’s questionable to play on Monday. They will also be missing senior sixth man Jase Febres as he recovers from knee surgery.
I have Texas projected at -6.07 if Jones is unable to play on Monday. That creates some value for Davidson, so I would back the Wildcats at +7.5 if Jones doesn’t play. If Jones does play, then this game would be a stay away for me.
Pick: Davidson +7.5 (if Andrew Jones is out for Texas).