Texas vs Texas Tech Odds & Picks | How to Bet Big 12 Rivalry Game
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Obanor of the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Texas vs Texas Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
Texas is still 3-1 in league play, but the recent incident involving its former head coach has everyone questioning its status. The Longhorns won two in a row against Oklahoma State and TCU, but neither win was pretty.
Meanwhile, Mark Adams’ Red Raiders have dropped to 0-4 in league play, making them and West Virginia the only winless teams in the conference.
In the uber-competitive Big 12, time is running out for both teams. So, maybe the Red Raiders will come out fired up and put together their best effort against a tipsy Longhorns team. Or maybe the Longhorns’ true-talent level will win out on their home floor.
Let’s dive deeper.
There’s no questioning the talent level in Austin.
Marcus Carr is an absolute stud. Timmy Allen can still pop from the mid-range with the best of them. Tyrese Hunter and Sir’Jabari Rice are moving the needle as transfers. Dillon Mitchell has a 124.7 ORtg as a freshman.
But there’s no question the vibes are off. The Longhorns don’t feel exactly like themselves, and that’s forgivable.
However, I wonder if the TCU comeback win was a big moment. The Longhorns rallied from an 18-point deficit, looking like a different team in the second half.
I’ve been mesmerized by Rice this season. He’s not an overwhelming presence but seems to come through in the biggest moments and often not by scoring.
Sir’Jabari Rice has been a major difference maker in close games this season. Three massive rebounds and free throw makes to seal this win for the Horns. pic.twitter.com/OMbQ8bn3ZZ
— Shane Black (@shaneblack_) January 12, 2023
When Texas is in zone, it’s easy to see what it does well. The no-middle scheme forces turnovers, and the Longhorns have become an elite transition offense (1.216 PPP, 96th percentile).
Texas doesn’t use ball-screen action too much, but the Longhorns’ guards (Carr included) are excellent against pressure schemes. In turn, the guards have easily found cutters underneath other Big 12 no-middle defenses.
And if the guards ever do turn the ball over — which isn’t impossible against Big 12 defenses — Texas has turned into an elite transition defense (.753 PPP, 99th percentile). That was huge against Jamie Dixon’s Frogs in the last matchup.
If the second half of the TCU game was a true referendum on this team, we might see a huge bounce-back for the Longhorns in the coming weeks. Given the talent in Austin, that’s a scary prospect.
What’s wrong with the Red Raiders?
For starters, Adams’ deadly no-middle defense isn’t as imposing as it’s been in past years. It’s no longer a devastating endeavor to score on the Raiders, as their eFG% allowed is the highest since the first year of the Chris Beard era.
Meanwhile, injuries haven’t helped. Daniel Batcho has been in and out of the lineup, which hurts considering he has the highest ORtg on the team (115). Fardaws Aimaq still hasn’t played a single minute for the Red Raiders, although his targeted return is mid-January.
The offense will never be electric in Lubbock, but turnovers have killed the Red Raiders this season. They’ve dropped to 296th in offensive turnover rate nationally, throwing the ball away 14.8 times per game to just 14.5 assists.
Tech has also been downright unlucky. The Red Raiders lost against Kansas by one possession and couldn’t overcome Oklahoma in overtime in the next game.
At the minimum, Tech is still forcing turnovers and using them to get easy transition buckets. Plus, Kevin Obanor has spearheaded one of the most efficient post-up offenses in the nation.
Add those things together, and you get the 14th-best interior scoring offense in the league (56.8% 2-point shooting). Tech also still gets to the line at a high rate.
But turnovers and lackluster defense have led to unintended results.
The Red Raiders just posted their worst offensive performance of the season against Iowa State (73.3 points per 100 possessions), and the next two worst performances came against Oklahoma the game before and TCU two games before that.
It seems like the Red Raiders are starting to get healthy, so maybe we can buy low on them in the coming games.
Texas vs Texas Tech Betting Pick
This is a pivotal moment for both teams.
That said, I think it’s more pivotal for Texas Tech. Falling to 0-5 in conference play would be a death sentence for the Red Raiders.
Additionally, I think the Red Raiders are slightly undervalued if Batcho and Pop Isaacs are fully healthy for this game in Austin. The offense may run smoother with those two working the inside-out game.
But most importantly, Texas has been playing with fire recently. It almost got burned by TCU and Oklahoma, and it got burned badly by Kansas State.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech has been nipping on heels in Big 12 play, losing three of its four conference games by a combined 14 points.
This game will be played inside the arc, and both transition defenses should hold their own. Therefore, the game script doesn’t feel like one where we’ll see a double-digit victory.
Also, Texas Tech has covered four of the last five matchups with Texas. I’ll bank on the Red Raiders to do it one more time at a fairly large number.