Texas Tech vs Texas Betting Preview, Selection, Odds

Game: Texas Tech vs Texas (+5.5)

Sharp: Dave Miller

Selection: Texas (+5.5)

Fifth-seeded Texas Tech (18-13, 9-9 Big 12) and fourth-seeded Texas (19-12, 9-9) meet in a Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal on Thursday at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO, and it's a must-win game for both squads as they seek NCAA Tournament bids.

The loser's bubble will almost certainly burst, with either Chris Beard or Shaka Smart having to lead his team into the consolation NIT bracket. The winner is certainly not a lock into the field of 68, but it would improve its position depending on what happens across the country with other bubble squads.

The Red Raiders have a very strong NET ranking, checking in at No. 22, but they have lost four in a row and don't have a fantastic résumé. Meanwhile, the Longhorns have 5 Quad 1 wins compared to Texas Tech's 3, though the Longhorns ended the regular season in disastrous fashion by getting blown out 81-59 by Oklahoma State at the Erwin Center last Saturday. Additionally, their road win over Purdue in November isn't quite as appealing anymore, and they suffered several blowout losses on the year—none worse than the one to Oklahoma State.

This is a matchup that almost assuredly will come down to the final minutes. The teams split the regular season series and last played on February 29, when the Longhorns shot 52.2 percent from the field while limiting the Red Raiders to just 39.2 percent en route to a 68-58 victory. Texas Tech is winless when scoring fewer than 61 points while Texas is unblemished when it scores at least 68.

It's very surprising that Texas Tech is favored by 5.5 points in a game featuring two teams in such dire straits. The Red Raiders are led by Jahmi'us Ramsey (13.5 points per game), who is connecting on 42.6 percent of his 3-point shots. So he'll need to be at his best against a Longhorns squad led by Matt Coleman III and Courtney Ramey, who combine for over 23 points per contest.

Getting 5.5 points is very good value in such an even matchup—even considering Texas Tech's strong defense—so expect the Longhorns to be able to cover that number if not outright win in a lower-scoring Big 12 quarterfinal.


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