Texas Tech vs. Duke Odds & Picks for NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Matchup (Thursday, March 24)
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Texas Tech vs. Duke Odds
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The West was the only region where chalk held throughout the first two rounds. While that may seem boring, it gives us the Sweet 16 matchups that we all want to see.
Perhaps the most anticipated has to be this clash between the Duke Blue Devils and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Both teams made it here despite their fair share of struggles.
The Red Raiders got all they could handle from ACC opponent, Notre Dame. They were trailing until the final two minutes, as Notre Dame had its largest lead of the game. However, the Fighting Irish would not score again, and Texas Tech was able to survive and advance.
Coach K and his players found themselves in a similar spot against Tom Izzo’s Spartans. The Blue Devils were down five with five minutes remaining, but would then end the game on a 20-6 run.
That run is a testament to the talent that Duke possesses, but will it be enough to get by Texas Tech?
The Red Raiders’ offense is not the primary reason the team has gotten this far. However, Texas Tech can be very effective if it slows the game down and utilizes off-ball motion in its half-court sets.
A slower tempo will allow for the talent gap to be minimized. We know Duke is the superior team talent wise, but it has shown some holes in its half-court defense.
The key will be getting Mark Williams out of the paint. That will allow guys like Terrence Shannon Jr., Kevin McCullar and Adonis Arms to create easy looks while cutting to the basket without the threat of a shot-blocker inside.
It may not be the Red Raiders’ style, but all they need to do is draw Williams out to the perimeter by getting Bryson Williams and Kevin Obanor touches away from the basket.
We saw Miami (FL) have a ton of success doing this, and the Red Raiders can replicate this with the three guards in their lineup.
Utilizing this four-out-one-in offense will also allow for plenty of touches for TTU’s Williams, as he will be a factor in both the pick-and-roll and on dribble handoffs.
This could be it. The number of games left in Coach K’s tenure can be counted on one hand, but he certainly does not want to go home early. So, who will he turn to here? Paolo Banchero.
The fabulous freshman can do it all, and will have to in this matchup. Banchero has remained a stat-sheet stuffer in the tournament, as he’s averaged 18 points, 8.5 rebounds and four assists per game through two games.
His bag of moves to put the ball in the bucket is endless, and he will be a difficult matchup for Williams or Obanor.
However, the No. 1 defense in the country can be beaten from beyond the arc. Texas Tech allowed the 17th-most points off 3s in the country. This is partly due to its style of play, as it eliminates the middle of the court and, in turn, can leave shooters open.
This is an area that Duke can capitalize on as A.J. Griffin, Trevor Keels and Wendell Moore Jr. can all shoot 3s effectively. However, it will start with Banchero drawing extra attention in the middle and then kicking it out to an open man.
Texas Tech vs. Duke Betting Pick
This is a highly anticipated matchup and is expected to be the most competitive Sweet 16 game. While it may be tight, the Red Raiders have the edge here.
If they are able to create high percentage looks on the offensive end with consistency, they should be able to string together some runs.
On the other end of the court, the one thing that travels in the tournament is defense. With extra time to prepare, we may see Mark Adams’ bunch at their best. Unfortunately, Coach K’s storybook career ends here.
Pick: Texas Tech -1
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