NCAA Basketball Picks: Back 'Under' As Texas Tech & Oklahoma Fall Short Of The Total

Willie Bee

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 12:06 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 12:06 PM UTC

Oklahoma is still No. 1 in the AP poll despite losing a game last week, and the Sooners are favorites on the NCAA basketball odds to beat Texas Tech on Tuesday night in Norman.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 150½
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker



Well, that certainly didn't last long. After climbing from a preseason No. 8 in both the AP and coaches polls, the Oklahoma Sooners ascended to the top rung on the ladder a week ago Monday. Later that same day, Lon Kruger's kids dropped an 82-72 decision at then-No. 19/21 Iowa State, making their tenure at the top of both ranks all of about eight hours.

Thanks to bouncing right back into the win column at Baylor five days later, the Sooners didn't suffer much damage, if any, in the polls when they came out this week, Oklahoma still sitting No. 1 in the AP and slipping but one spot to No. 2 in the coaches.

The Sooners are back home now where they're 9-0 on the season, and next up for them is a pesky bunch of Texas Tech Red Raiders. ESPN2 has the tip a little after 7 PM (ET) at Norman's Noble Center, and we've seen the spread move up a half overnight to OU -14½ with Bookmaker listing 150½ for the total.

This is the first of two scheduled matchups for the schools this year, Oklahoma returning the visit to Lubbock in a little more than three weeks. The Sooners have a comfortable 36-21 lead in the series, taking 21 of the 28 contests played in Norman and seven of the last 10 overall.

Tuesday marks the eighth time in the last nine meetings that OU has been carrying the chalk on the NCAA basketball odds. The Sooners swept the two games a year ago, the teams splitting vs. the spread. Tech's last win in Norman was two years ago this February, totals running 1-3 O/U recently at Noble Center.


Case Of Close, But No Cigar For Tortilla Tech
Tubby Smith and Texas Tech (12-6 straight up, 9-6 against the spread) have been playing their hearts out on the Big 12 fixture, but can't seem to catch a break. I'm not sure any team has faced a tougher early conference slate than the Red Raiders, with Oklahoma the fifth ranked team they're facing in seven games, and one has to wonder if at some point the close losses will begin to take their toll mentally on this group.

The latest heartbreaker came Saturday at home when it appeared the Red Raiders were on the verge of handing No. 9 West Virginia its third consecutive loss. Getting 3 at home, Tech held a 4-point lead with just over a minute to go only to see the Mountaineers score 10 in the final 74 seconds to pull off an 80-76 victory.

One other factor that may take a big toll on Tuesday is two key members of Smith's rotation dealing with injuries. Sophomore center Norense Odiase broke a foot in the win at TCU last week and is out until early-March. Forward Justin Gray is dealing with a leg injury, and though the soph has played the last two games, he's questionable against the Sooners.


Sooners Off Impressive Win At Baylor
It was indeed a very strange week for Oklahoma (16-2 SU, 8-8 ATS).  As mentioned, it started with being vaulted to the No. 1 spot in both polls, only to be an underdog in both games on the road last week. I cannot remember ever seeing a No. 1 team being the underdog the first two games after being voted No. 1 in any poll.

And, of course, it ended with the Sooners still No. 1 in one of the two polls despite losing at Iowa State. They were getting a point Saturday at Baylor, and responded with an 82-72 triumph thanks to some lights-out shooting. Jordan Woodard led the way with 20, hitting 5-of-8 from 3-point range, and OU shot 62% as a team, 57% from beyond the arc.

The scoreboard is where I'm making my free NCAA basketball pick with a play on the final falling short of the mark.

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