Oklahoma State vs. Texas Odds & Pick: Bet Cowboys’ Moneyline In Big 12 Tournament Championship
Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaac Likekele.
- Mike Boynton's Oklahoma State Cowboys will take on Shaka Smart's Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Tournament Championship on Saturday night.
- The Cowboys are coming off a very impressive performance against the Baylor Bears, while the Longhorns coasted into the title game after Kansas withdrew from the tournament due to COVID-19.
- Check out Shane McNichol's full betting guide for the title game below.
Oklahoma State vs. Texas Odds
|OK State Odds||+3|
|Moneyline||+135 / -162|
|Time||Saturday, 6 p.m. ET|
The combatants in the Big 12 Tournament Championship could not have arrived via more divergent paths in the semifinals.
Oklahoma State defeated highly-ranked Baylor, just the second loss of the season for the Bears. It was a back-and-forth game, in which Oklahoma State star freshman Cade Cunningham stepped up to lead the Pokes in crunch time. It was an emotional, noteworthy win.
Texas, meanwhile, did not play a semifinal game. The Longhorns advanced to the final after Kansas withdrew from the tournament due to COVID-19 cases within the Jayhawks program. Texas is certainly glad to get the day of rest and the free trip to the title game, but the easy pathway for the Longhorns ends here.
A conference as strong as the Big 12 deserves a great tournament championship game, and this matchup fits that bill.
Oklahoma State Cowboys | (20-7, 11-7 Big 12)
The complementary players around Cunningham deserve all the accolades they have received of late. The Cowboys’ supporting cast has improved all season long, peaking in recent wins with Cunningham sidelined.
With Cunningham healthy, however, all the focus turns his way. The likely top pick in this year’s NBA Draft has the second-highest usage rate in Big 12 play. Oklahoma State’s offense flows through his fingers as he uses his size and length to probe into the paint and create opportunities for his teammates.
The first time these teams met, Cunningham found plenty of scoring chances, yet made mistakes. He scored 25 points on 19 field goal attempts, making just 1-of-6 from long range and adding six turnovers.
In the second meeting, opportunities again were endless. Cunningham found 22 field goal attempts but converted just five of them while playing 40 minutes in the double-overtime thriller.
He should be able to find shots against this Texas team. Shaka Smart starts three smaller guards and plays a rotating lineup of bigs.
Cunningham slots somewhat uncomfortably between Texas’ guards and bigs. That may be why Smart chose to play swingman Brock Cunningham (no relation) 30 minutes in the second game against the Cowboys after spotting him just four minutes in the first tilt.
Brock Cunningham is a high-motor glue guy who makes winning plays, yet it’s not a great sign for Texas if the matchups dictate he plays a ton of minutes. His limitations offensively would start to wear on the Longhorns.
Texas Longhorns | (18-7, 11-6 Big 12)
Texas shoots a ton of attempts from long range, the most per total field goal attempts in the Big 12.
In recent weeks, that’s been fruitful for the Horns. In Texas’ four games this month, the Longhorns have made 45% of their 3-point attempts, hitting at least 42% in all four of those games.
Baylor similarly entered the semifinal game against Oklahoma State having made better than 47% of its 3s in the month of March.
A mix of regression luck and Oklahoma State’s perimeter defense led the Bears to a 6-of-28 shooting night outside the arc. The Cowboys led the conference in 3-point percentage allowed prior to the game and further extended that lead with a strong performance Friday.
Oklahoma State’s length and versatility defensively makes the Cowboys well-suited to prevent the dribble-drives and kick-outs that fuel the Texas offense. In two prior meetings this season, the Pokes have held Texas to just 22.6% from long range.
Texas has survived that poor shooting, winning the first matchup and dragging the second into double overtime, thanks in large part to offensive rebounding.
Lots of missed 3s have led to ample putbacks for the Horns, with a total of 37 offensive rebounds in those two games. In the second meeting, every single Longhorn that played in the game nabbed at least one offensive board. It’s imperative for Oklahoma State’s defense to finish possessions with a rebound, even though the Longhorns boast a major size advantage inside.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There’s a ton of narrative factors at play in picking this game. Texas now enters the game with an extra day of rest, with the Cowboys playing their third game in three days. Oklahoma State will also be due for a letdown following an emotional victory over conference champion Baylor.
These two teams split previous meetings, with the last game toppling into two overtimes in what will be remembered as a classic.
All of that might be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that Oklahoma State has been the better team over the last six-to-eight weeks, is playing better basketball right now, and matches up well with this Texas team.
If and when this game is close down the stretch, you’ll wish you bet on the team led by Cade Cunningham.
Pick: Oklahoma State +102.