College Basketball Odds & Pick for Texas vs. Oklahoma: Sooners’ Struggles to Continue Against Longhorns (Thursday, March 4)
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Coleman.
- Texas and Oklahoma meet for the second time this season, with the Sooners prevailing by a single point back in January.
- Texas is coming off a win over Iowa State, while Oklahoma lost back-to-back games to their in-state rival.
- Who has the edge on Thursday? Brad Cunningham breaks it down below.
Texas vs. Oklahoma Odds
Texas and Oklahoma meet for the second time this season on Thursday in Norman.
Texas got the ship back on track Tuesday by beating lowly Iowa State at home. The Longhorns have been up and down all season long, with great wins over some of the top teams in the Big 12 and plenty of bad losses as well.
Shaka Smart’s squad is projected to be a four-seed in the latest ESPN Bracketology, so it needs to finish the season strong if it wants to avoid the dreaded 5-12 matchup.
Oklahoma was on fire until its in-state rival put out the flames, sweeping the Sooners in dramatic fashion on Saturday and Monday. The two losses have now dropped Oklahoma to a projected five-seed, so if it wants to improve that position, it will also need to finish the regular season strong and have a good showing in the Big 12 Tournament.
When Texas has the ball
The Longhorns have been pretty average on the offensive end of the floor during conference play, averaging 1.05 points per possession. However, Texas is a really streaky shooting team, and a lot of its losses are due to poor performances from the field.
In their first meeting against Oklahoma, the Longhorns shot only 6-of-25 from 3-point range, so they’ll need to put up a better performance from deep the second time around.
What Texas did do well against Oklahoma back in January was dominant inside. The Longhorns shot better than 56% from 2-point range and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds against the Sooners.
Texas does have a lot of size inside with Jericho Sims, Greg Brown and Kai Jones. Sims missed the first meeting with the Sooners, but the latter two were a problem for Oklahoma, scoring a combined 29 points. Look for the Longhorns to feed the post early and often.
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. So, if Texas can shoot a high percentage from the field, it should have a good shot at winning.
When Oklahoma has the ball
Oklahoma’s offense has also been remarkably average this season, averaging 1.04 points per possession during Big 12 play.
The biggest problem that has plagued the Sooners is they’ve been really poor from beyond the arc, shooting only 32.3% from 3-point range. That’s going to be a problem since that’s the way to beat this Texas defense.
Where Oklahoma truly excels, though, is scoring in the paint. The Sooners shoot almost 51% from 2-point range and a whopping 62.0% on shot attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math.
The problem is that is where the strength of this Texas defense lies. The Longhorns allow less than 48% shooting from 2-point range and are the best defensive rebounding team in the Big 12.
Unless Oklahoma gets hot from 3-point range, I have a hard time seeing how the Sooners are going to consistently score on offense.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Oklahoma has been struggling as of late, and I think those struggles are going to continue against Texas.
The Sooners do not possess the 3-point shooting to break down the Longhorns defense effectively. Therefore, I think there’s some value on Texas at +2.5.
Pick: Texas +2.5 (down to +2).