College Basketball Odds & Pick for Oklahoma vs. Texas: Betting Value on Sooners Moneyline
Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Courtney Ramey (left) and Jalen Hill (right).
- Tuesday night Big 12 action sees the Oklahoma Sooners travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns in a conference showdown.
- The Sooners are riding high after upsetting Kansas over the weekend, and the fact that Texas won't have head coach Shaka Smart on the sideline could give Oklahoma even more value.
- Shane McNichol breaks down the game below and explains why he likes Lon Kruger's team to win on the road outright.
Oklahoma vs. Texas Odds
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Oklahoma’s victory over Kansas on Saturday was a critical moment in the Big 12 landscape.
The Jayhawks have famously won or shared every Big 12 regular-season crown since 2005. The Sooners’ victory dropped Kansas to sixth place in the conference, leaving the Longhorns and Sooners on the heels of undefeated top dog Baylor.
Texas will look to keep pace with its in-state rival by beating a suddenly surging Sooner team, and it will need to do so without head coach Shaka Smart.
Smart recently tested positive for COVID-19 and will isolate away from the team. That’s a key detail in a game that will go a long way in sorting out which teams can contend for the Big 12 Championship and which will fade back into the middle of the pack.
When Oklahoma has the ball
The current Longhorn defense may not closely resemble the “Havoc” scheme Smart built at VCU in its ability to create chaos, yet Smart has cultivated a team that knows how to manufacture stops. Texas has done so with athletic lineups that eliminate passing lanes and force poor shot selection.
The Longhorns are allowing the second-lowest assist rate in the nation, with opponents posting an assist on just 35.7 percent of field goals. That ability will be tested against the Sooners, who share the ball extremely well. In Big 12 play, no team has posted a higher assist rate than Oklahoma’s 58.5%.
So much of that passing success comes from Lon Kruger’s guards operating off of ball screens.
Oklahoma has four guards who are capable of creating offense off the dribble, led by Wichita State transfer Austin Reaves. Reaves sees the floor as well as any point guard in the nation and makes the right reads in space to spark Oklahoma’s offense.
The Sooner offense is also taking a step forward with the return of Brady Manek, who missed two recent games with an injury. His spot-on shooting and quick release make him a dangerous pick-and-pop presence or a decoy to draw attention away from the on-ball action.
The Texas guards will need to fight through screens for 40 minutes, and the Longhorn bigs will be repeatedly challenged.
When Texas has the ball
This end of the court will offer a unique test for Texas.
The Longhorns are shooting 3s at a higher rate than any of their Big 12 foes, with more than 42% of their field goal attempts coming from behind the arc in conference play.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, essentially schemes its defense to keep teams outside the 3-point line. Oklahoma’s opponents score 38.3% of their points from long range, putting the Sooners in the top six percentile of teams in Division I in that category.
Kruger prioritizes cutting off the paint over closing out on shooters. That shows in Oklahoma’s ability to defend without fouling; the Sooners have the third-best defensive free-throw rate in the nation.
Texas will be able to find 3-pointers in this game. If the Longhorns aren’t patient enough to find the right opportunities or simply have an off-shooting night, they likely won’t be able to mine enough paint points or free throws to keep pace with the Sooners.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There are several concerning trends that suggest Texas has played beyond its means to this point in the season.
The Longhorns are 4-1 in one-possession games and just 3-6 against the spread as favorites this season. That has been especially evident in Austin, where the Longhorns are just 2-6 ATS.
They face a red-hot Sooners team that has won three straight outright, including an emotional upset of Kansas, and four in a row ATS.
This game will be decided down the stretch in the half-court. Oklahoma’s ability to defend at a high level without fouling should prove crucial against a Texas team that relies on outside shooting.
It’s also notable that Smart will not be on the sideline for Texas in this game. The Longhorns’ head coach is one of college basketball’s best in-game defensive minds and brings unmatched energy to the Longhorn bench. In a game that promises to be neck-and-neck, his absence will be felt.
For those of you less convinced of this Sooner team on the road, the 4.5-point spread is a decent buffer.
Yet, if the Sooners can keep things that close, there’s no reason to believe they can’t win the game outright. The value on the moneyline is large enough to take that chance.
Pick: Oklahoma ML +164 (down to +145).