Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Texas Longhorns Pick 3/11/21
Texas Tech Red Raiders (17-9 SU, 10-16 ATS) vs. Texas Longhorns (17-7 SU, 10-13-1 ATS)
When: Thursday, March 11, 9:30 p.m.
Where: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
Point Spread: TTU -2/TEX +2 (BetNow - Deposit $100, get $100 FREE!)
Last Time Out:
Texas Tech lost 88-73 to Baylor; Texas beat TCU 76-64.
About the Matchup:
This is how loaded the Big 12 was this year: this is actually a quarterfinal matchup. Both teams are safely in the NCAA field and are simply playing to improve their seed and try to become the first school from Texas ever to win this tournament. For Texas, there’s some pressure to prove that they’re really as good as people thought they were earlier this year, as much of the shine has been taken off the Longhorns since their season-high ranking of No. 4 in the nation.
A lot of the blame for that goes to Texas Tech, which has continued its mastery of Texas despite a lack of fans in the stands. Texas Tech coach Chris Beard has tortured his alma mater ever since getting hired in Lubbock, as he owns an 8-4 record against Texas and a 7-1 mark over the past four years. To make matters worse, Texas Tech has proven equally adept at winning with offense or defense against Texas, as the Red Raiders won a fast-paced game in Austin before successfully slowing it down two weeks ago in Lubbock. Does Shaka Smart have an answer that will finally allow the Longhorns to solve their rivals from West Texas?
Scouting the Red Raiders:
By now, Texas Tech knows what it is: good enough to defend most teams in the country, not good enough to defend Baylor. There’s no shame in that because almost nobody in the country is good enough to defend Baylor, but it does make clear that the Red Raiders have to play defense above all else if they’re going to get a result.
The ideal game for Texas Tech was actually the last time that it faced Texas, as the Red Raiders got contributions from all over the court and didn’t have anyone try to do too much. Mac McClung led all scorers with 16 in that contest, and more importantly, he didn’t try to force anything. The Red Raiders only took 50 shots in the contest to 49 for Texas, and any time the Red Raiders take more shots than their opponent, they’ve got the game right where they want it. This is a patient team that will not be baited into anything, making them a nightmare to play against.
Scouting the Longhorns:
Maybe it was COVID, perhaps it was the pressure, but for whatever reason, Texas just hasn’t looked right for the past month. The Longhorns certainly didn’t look right in Lubbock, as they crashed in the second half and ended up shooting a mere 34.7 percent for the contest. Worse, Texas got frustrated and decided to start settling for deep shots as opposed to getting the ball inside, which is about the worst thing you can do against Texas Tech.
The good news is that Texas can probably count on its defense to hold opponents to around 65 to 70 points, so the Longhorns don’t have to put up huge numbers against this team in order to get a win. All they’ve got to do is shoot around 40 to 45 percent, and their defense should be good enough to carry them through. If Courtney Ramey shoots better than the 1-for-10 he sank in Lubbock, that would go a long way toward Texas solving Texas Tech.
Disrespect. Texas Tech is the No. 6 seed in the Big 12 tournament and ranked seven spots lower than Texas in the polls, but the Red Raiders are actually favored in this game. That makes this an ideal spot for Shaka Smart to play the disrespect card and see if he can get his team motivated to give an outstanding performance against the Red Raiders.
Coaches love to go to this weapon, and usually, players will tune it out because it often comes before facing an opponent from a lesser conference. But this one actually has a chance of working because the Longhorns should be plenty motivated to get Texas Tech back after the Red Raiders beat them by nine in Lubbock two weeks ago. Throw in that Texas has lost seven of eight to Texas Tech, and motivation should be the least of Smart’s worries here.
Texas Tech will Cover If:
The Red Raiders can stay patient and take the shots when they come. Texas Tech should realize that it doesn’t have to overwhelm Texas to win; it just has to take good shots when they come and trust the defense to do the rest. The uglier this game gets, the better off Texas Tech will be.
Texas will Cover If:
The Longhorns can win the rebounding battle. One of the ways that Texas Tech beats you is that it limits the number of looks you get at the basket, and rebounding and forcing turnovers were two of the main things they did to Texas in Lubbock. Texas has to get more rebounds so it can get more shots because 49 shots are simply not enough to answer Texas Tech’s style.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
It’s hard to beat a team three times in one season, but Texas really doesn’t seem to know how to play against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders clearly feel comfortable in this matchup and seem to match up very well with the Longhorns in every facet of the game. Throw in that Texas has looked unimpressive for about a month now, and I’ve got to lean toward the Red Raiders in this game. I’ll take Texas Tech to cover the small chalk. Question: There’s a 99.9% chance that you’re laying -110 odds when you place your bets. Did you know that there’s a top-tier sportsbook where you only have to lay -105? Find this beautiful money saving offer at BetAnySports!
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