Texas vs. Oklahoma State College Basketball Odds & Pick: Betting Value on Cowboys Moneyline (Feb. 6)
Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele.
- The Oklahoma State Cowboys host the Texas Longhorns on Saturday afternoon in Stillwater.
- Texas eked out a tight win when the teams first met last month in Austin.
- The Longhorns are favored again, but should they be? Read more on what is expected to be a tight one in Stillwater below.
Texas vs. Oklahoma State Odds
|Oklahoma State Odds||+1.5|
|Moneyline||-134 / +114|
|Time | TV||Saturday, 3 p.m. ET | ABC|
The race to catch Baylor in the Big 12 standings is starting to fall out of reach, with the entire conference three games or more behind the No. 2 Bears at the top.
Yet, there is still plenty to play for in the middle of the pack.
Texas is fighting for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, reeling from three recent losses in the rigors of conference play.
Oklahoma State, meanwhile, is trying to climb itself off the bubble, assuming the Cowboys are eligible for tournament play. A postseason ban has been appealed, and unless the NCAA settles that appeal before March, the Cowboys will be able to earn a bid this season.
With both sides scratching and clawing for their place amidst the chaos of college basketball, Saturday’s meeting between the Longhorns and Cowboys in Stillwater has become an especially juicy showdown for fans and bettors.
When the teams met in December in Austin on Dec. 20, Texas edged out a 77-74 victory. This weekend’s rematch promises to be another tight game, with a real chance for the Cowboys to steal an upset.
When Oklahoma State has the ball
Texas’ defensive game plan, like every team that faces the Cowboys, will focus on Cade Cunningham.
The freshman phenom is the odds-on favorite to become the top pick in the NBA Draft and has been one of the most dynamic players in the Big 12.
This season, he’s averaging 18.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, while controlling the Oklahoma State offense as a point forward. The 6-foot-8 swingman handles the ball like a guard but has the length of a power forward.
That combination makes him a tough assignment for any team, and Texas is no exception.
In Texas’ starting lineup, the logical choice to guard Cunningham is fellow freshman Greg Brown. He’s the only starting Longhorn with the size and athleticism to stick with Cunningham on the perimeter.
While Brown, who was a top-ranked recruit himself and also looks to be a future first-round pick, has flashed athletically, he’s still raw as a defender.
Brown is being whistled for 6.2 fouls per 40 minutes of play, and he leads the Longhorns in personal fouls per game. He has shown a tendency to be overaggressive but also fouls because he is out of position. Against someone as talented and shrewd as Cunningham, that will be troublesome.
Texas head coach Shaka Smart surely knows he can’t leave Brown on an island against Cunningham, with active help defense or double-teams to follow. That’s a risky choice since Cunningham sees the court at an elite level. His 22.1% assist rate is the highest of any Big 12 player taller than 6-foot-5.
While Texas is aggressive on that end of the floor, it’s also out of the Longhorns’ nature to overextend defensively.
Texas has been one of the nation’s best defenses at forcing teams into isolation. Only Saint Mary’s allows a lower assist rate defensively.
Smart’s defensive scheme is built to bottleneck the opposing offense more than it is built to stop one specific player. Cunningham is good enough to beat most defenses, though this Texas team sets up particularly well for his skills.
In the first matchup, he had 25 points and 3 assists, making just 1-of-6 from outside the arc. The Texas pressure did get to him, forcing six Cunningham turnovers. Cunningham improving his ball security against additional defenders could decide this game.
When Texas has the ball
The other end of the court features a fascinating clash of each team’s strength.
Texas operates with a three-guard offense that looks to create 3-point shots from dribble penetration. The Longhorns lead the Big 12 in percentage of field goals taken outside the arc. Five different Texas players are attempting more than four 3s per game, with every member of Smart’s rotation ready and able to take the open shot when needed.
Conversely, Oklahoma State looks to run teams off the 3-point line, forcing Big opponents to attempt the lowest percentage of 3-point field goals. Texas will be hunting 3s, and Oklahoma State is determined to prevent looks.
Something’s got to give.
The first time these teams met, Texas attempted 27 3s, the most of any of the Cowboys’ conference opponents this season. The Longhorns made nine of those shots and won the game narrowly in Austin.
If Texas is unable to find as many quality looks or goes cold, offensive production will be tough sledding on the road for the Longhorns.
Betting Analysis & Pick
For a Texas team that has lost three of its last four games, a trip to Stillwater is quite the test. Gallagher-Iba Arena is one of college basketball’s most underrated home courts, with the Cowboys winning more than 70% of their home games since 2010 (122-50).
Texas has won just two of its last nine games in Stillwater, a trend that could continue on Saturday.
On both ends of the floor, Texas has a tough task at hand. For a team fighting through a nasty point in the schedule, winning this game on the road is a tall order.
For bettors, the point spread is essentially negligible here at fewer than two points. Even if the game is being contested on the final possession, there is more value in the extra pop of the moneyline than in hoping a Texas win stays within a one-bucket margin.
As long as the Cowboys are the underdog, the best bet is on Oklahoma State to win the game outright.
Pick: Oklahoma State +114