Texas Tech vs. Buffalo Betting Guide: Which Team Will Control the Tempo in NCAA Tournament Second Round?

Texas Tech vs. Buffalo Betting Guide: Which Team Will Control the Tempo in NCAA Tournament Second Round? article feature image

Photo credit: USA Today Sports. Pictured: Brandone Francis and Jeremy Harris

#3 Texas Tech vs. #6 Buffalo NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Texas Tech -3.5
  • Over/Under: 146
  • Date: Sunday, March 24
  • Time: 6:10 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT
  • Location: Tulsa, Okla.

>> All odds as of Saturday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

The Red Raiders (16-16-1 against-the-spread) have covered nine of their last 11 games, including their win over Northern Kentucky (-13) on Friday. On the other side, the Bulls (19-14-1 ATS) have won three of their last four affairs ATS, highlighted by their 17-point win over Arizona State (-6) in the Round of 64.

Where’s the value in this West Region matchup? Let’s break it down.

Success with Single-Digit Spreads

Chris Beard’s bunch has been dominant when laying at most 9.5 points this season, going 9-3-1 ATS (75.0%), per our Bet Labs data. The Red Raiders have been profitable in a tighter range as well, collecting a 3-1 ATS (75.0%) mark when favored by 1 to 3.5 points.

That’s a credit to Texas Tech’s No. 1 Adjusted Defensive Rating (85.7 opponent points per possession), as the Red Raiders limit teams to the second-lowest eFG% (42.8%) in the process.

Buffalo’s Perimeter Offense

Nate Oats’ crew wants to push the pace via the 10th-highest adjusted tempo (73.5 possessions per 40 minutes) in college basketball. The Bulls have attempted the 50th-most 3-pointers in the process, but they’ve racked up a below-average 33.6% clip from behind the arc.

Texas Tech’s ball pressure creates plenty of havoc around that vicinity; the Red Raiders have allowed the 16th-lowest 3-point clip (29.9%) in the country.

Depending on whether Beard shifts to a smaller lineup at times to match up with Buffalo, look for 6-foot-5 Jarrett Culver — TTU’s premier on-ball defender — to square off against both CJ Massinburg (18.3 points per game) and Jeremy Harris (14.2 ppg). Culver’s size and ball pressure gives him an advantage.

Buffalo 6-foot-8 forward Nick Perkins (14.6 ppg), who comes off the bench, will also be in for a tough evening against the Red Raiders frontcourt of Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase. The 6-foot-10 Owens notched the ninth-highest block rate (12.5%) in the country, while Odiase’s physical nature limits ball penetration in the post.

Texas Tech’s Interior Attack

With Beard’s defense in position to control the pace, Texas Tech should be able to utilize its below-average adjusted tempo (66.8 possessions per 40 minutes) to keep this one a halfcourt affair.

The Red Raiders offense is at its best while getting to the rim, racking up the 95th-highest 2-point scoring rate (52.0%) in the country. Culver (18.5 ppg) is a load to handle off the dribble drive, and Owens’ athleticism around the basket causes problems.

Given Buffalo has yielded the 30th-highest 2-point scoring rate (53.8%) — a product of its small-ball lineups — Culver & Co. shouldn’t have an issue finding their offense. Plus, the Bulls allow the fourth-highest free throw rate (33.5%) in MAC play — an area where Beard’s squad excelled during its Big 12 run (33.2%).

Eli’s Pick: Texas Tech -3.5, but I wouldn’t bet it past -4.5

Our Projected Odds: Texas Tech vs. Buffalo

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Texas Tech -6.5
  • Over/Under: 137
  • Score: Texas Tech 72 | Buffalo 65.5
  • Win Probability: Texas Tech 73.3% | Buffalo 26.7%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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