College Basketball Odds & Pick for Texas Tech vs. Texas: Betting Value On Thursday’s Over/Under (March 11)
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Coleman (left) and Greg Brown (right).
- The Texas Tech Red Raiders look to down their in-state rival, the Texas Longhorns, for a third time this season when the teams go to battle in Kansas City in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament.
- The Red Raiders might have the Longhorns' number so far, but will they on Thursday?
- Instead of picking a side, BJ Cunningham sees value on the total and explains why below.
Texas Tech vs. Texas Odds
Texas Tech looks for its third win over in-state rival Texas in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament Thursday.
The Red Raiders finished up their regular season Sunday with a blowout loss at the hands of Baylor. However, Chris Beard’s team has still had a great season and is projected to be a five-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
It pulled off the rare double over Texas this year, so it seems it has the Longhorns’ number this season.
Shaka Smart’s squad started the season 10-1 but struggled down the stretch, going 7-6 over its last 13 games. Texas did win its final three games of the season, including an impressive road win over Oklahoma, so it seems the Longhorns are getting hot at the right time.
They’re projected to be a three-seed in the NCAA Tournament, but a second-round exit in Kansas City will likely drop them to a four- or five-seed.
When Texas Tech Has the Ball
The Red Raiders’ offense has been solid during conference play, averaging 1.07 points per possession.
The main reason they beat Texas twice this season is because they took advantage of a big mismatch they have over the Longhorns: getting to the free-throw line.
Texas Tech has the 20th highest free-throw rate in the entire country and is shooting better than 76% when it gets to the line. It shot a combined 54 free throws against Texas during the regular season, as the Longhorns have one of the worst free-throw rates allowed in the Big 12.
Texas Tech hasn’t been shooting the ball very well this season, averaging less than 35% from deep and 49% from inside the arc, per KenPom.
In both meetings with Texas, the Red Raiders really struggled shooting the ball from all over the floor. They didn’t even shoot over 50% from 2-point range in either meeting.
Texas boasts one of the best interior defenses in the country, ranking 14th in 2-point percentage allowed and 26th in block rate. So, the Red Raiders are once again going to have to rely on the free-throw line for a good chunk of their points.
When Texas Has the Ball
The Longhorns offense is a slight step down to that of the Red Raiders, as it’s 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. It was a tale of two teams in both meetings with Texas Tech this year.
In the first game, the Longhorns went 13-of-25 from 3-point range but shot only 34.5% from inside the arc. In the second meeting, Texas shot only 29.2% from 3-point range, which caused it to average only 0.91 points per possession.
The 3-point shooting performance in the second meeting was quite rare for the Longhorns, who averaged 36.2% during the Big 12 regular season.
Texas also attempts more 3-pointers than anybody in the conference, which is great in this matchup because Texas Tech is the worst perimeter defense in the conference, allowing over 38% from deep.
Perimeter defense is really the only glaring weakness for Texas Tech, which ranks inside the top 25 in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
So, if Texas is going to beat the Red Raiders for the first time this season, it has to shoot a high percentage from beyond the arc.
Betting Analysis & Pick
It’s really hard to beat a team three times in college basketball — especially when the team is as talented as Texas.
Texas plays at an incredibly slow pace, so look for the Red Raiders to try and win this game in the half-court and at the free-throw line. Additionally, both defenses ranked inside the top 35 in terms of efficiency, so I think points are going to be hard to come by.
I have 134.12 points projected for this game, so I see a tiny bit of value on under 136.5 points or better.
Pick: Under 136.5 points or better.