Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Odds & Pick: Back a Low-Scoring Affair in Rematch (March 1)
William Purnell/Getty Images. Pictured: Cade Cunningham (2) of Oklahoma State.
- The Cowboys and Sooners play for the second time in three days following Oklahoma State's overtime win on Saturday.
- Freshman phenom Cade Cunningham dropped 40 points on the Sooners and has been a scoring force durings the Cowboys' four-game winning streak.
- Despite Cunningham's scoring output, Brad Cunningham thinks that defense will steal the show in the rematch.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Odds
Oklahoma State and Oklahoma meet for a rematch in Stillwater after their overtime thriller on Saturday.
The Cowboys walked away with a 94-90 victory in Norman, led by freshman Cade Cunningham who dropped 40 points on the Sooners, with 10 of them coming in overtime. The Sooners have now dropped two games in a row, which is not what Lon Kruger would have wanted with the Big 12 Tournament right around the corner.
The Cowboys are getting hot at the right time, as they’ve won five of their last six games. However, their status for making the NCAA Tournament is up in the air right now due to the NCAA’s impending decision regarding a potential postseason ban for the Cowboys.
If Oklahoma State is eligible for the tournament, it will be a tough team to play since it has the potential No. 1 overall pick in the next NBA Draft in Cunningham.
When Oklahoma Has the Ball
The Sooners actually outperformed their season average on Saturday, averaging 1.07 points per possession. The reason for that is because they shot out of their minds from 3-point range, hitting 43.5%, when they’re only averaging 31.5% in Big 12 play.
Where Oklahoma truly excels, though, is scoring inside.
Oklahoma is shooting almost 51% from 2-point range and a whopping 62.3% on shot attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math. It scored consistently inside on Oklahoma State Saturday, so I expect the Sooners to go to the rim as much as possible on Monday night. However, despite what they showed on Saturday, the Cowboys’ defense has been much improved over the last month.
Oklahoma State is the third-best defense in Big 12, allowing only 0.97 points per possession.
The Cowboys play a deny-heavy style of defense and switch between a 2-3 zone and man-to-man. Mike Boynton preaches to his guys to get into the passing lanes, which often leaves them open to a lot of backdoor cuts.
However, Oklahoma State does a fantastic job with help-side defense on penetrators in the lane, allowing only 46% from 2-point range this season and 52.4% on shot attempts at the rim.
Not only are the Cowboys stellar at defending the paint, but they are also the best perimeter defense in the Big 12, allowing under 32% from 3. So, it was out of the ordinary for the Sooners to hit 10 3s on Saturday.
When Oklahoma State Has the Ball
It seems pretty obvious, but the Oklahoma State offense runs through Cunningham. The No. 1 overall recruit has been on fire during his team’s four-game win streak, averaging 24 points a game. The Cowboys play a lot of isolation-heavy basketball with Cunningham, so for the Sooners to have any chance of winning, they have to shut him down.
Oklahoma State really dominated the offensive boards on Saturday, grabbing 13 against the Sooners. It has over a 30% offensive rebounding rate in Big 12 play, so if it can dominate the boards, it’ll have a good shot at sweeping its in-state rival.
The biggest problem for Oklahoma State’s offense, though, is turning the ball over way too often, as it owns have the second-worst turnover rate in the Big 12 and coughed it up 20 times on Saturday.
Oklahoma has a very average defense that teams can score efficiently on if they hit a high percentage of their shots. The Sooners don’t have any discernible weaknesses or strengths. It’s sort of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of defense, so Oklahoma State has to essentially repeat its performance from Saturday.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Both teams were lucky to shoot well above their season average in the first meeting.
However, I don’t think that things will be as easy the second time around, especially for Cunningham. I expect this game to be a more defensive grind in the half-court. Therefore, I am going to back the under at 141.5 points.
Pick: Under 141.5 points or better.