Free Picks: Texas Longhorns vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech vs Texas NCAAB
Texas Longhorns vs Texas Tech Red Raiders, NCAA, United Supermarkets Arena

The No. 14 Texas Longhorns (14-6, 8-5 Big 12) and the No. 18 Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-8, 6-7 Big 12) enter Saturday’s meeting in different places of late. The Longhorns have won three of four to surge ahead in the rankings, while the Red Raiders have lost three in a row and sunk down a bit. But Texas Tech won when these teams played in mid-January, and they’ll be looking to get back on track.

Will the Longhorns stay hot, or will the Red Raiders bounce back?

There’s very little breathing room in the Big 12 conference, and Texas Tech has learned that the hard way in the past two and a half weeks. The Red Raiders, once ranked as high as No. 7, have fallen to No. 18 amid a three-game losing streak within the conference.

And here comes No. 14 Texas, on the rise with three wins in their past four — including an overtime win their last time out against No. 17 Kansas. The NCAA basketball odds for this one should be fascinating, given both that these teams are trending in different directions right now and that Texas Tech won the matchup against Texas on the road earlier this season. Neither team has posted a strong record against the spread recently, but given how tight this matchup is on paper, we’ll gear our BetPicks prediction toward identifying a straight up winner.

Let’s look back at that Jan. 13 game, which the Red Raiders won, 79-77. Texas is probably still reeling from how that one ended. For a short time in the second half, the Longhorns held a 10-point lead. Then in the game’s final two minutes, Texas was up by four — before missing its final four shots and allowed Texas Tech to win in the dying seconds.

The Red Raiders excelled at the foul line (22-of-28), while the Longhorns excelled at the 3-pt. line (13-of-25). Texas Tech committed just seven turnovers, to Texas’s 15, but the Longhorns edged the Red Raiders in assists and rebounds.

That’s about as close as a game can get, and we have no reason to believe the rematch will be much different.

Of all the stats that could be in for a regression, though, the Longhorns’ 52 percent 3-pt. shooting sticks out the most. Texas is a supremely average deep-shooting team this season (34.2 percent, 143rd in NCAA Division I) and certainly can’t make a habit of 50-plus-percent shooting from 3-pt. range.

With Texas Tech back at home, where they’re 8-4 this season, we’ll give them the edge as we count on the Longhorns to be a little less hot from long range.

Stats

  • Texas is 2-8 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in eight of the Longhorns’ past 10 games
  • Texas Tech is 3-7 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Red Raiders’ past 10 games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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