NCAAB Odds: Back Michigan To Handle Texas' Havoc Defense & Cover

michigan basketball

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 2:29 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 2:29 PM UTC

Both Texas and Michigan will be looking for an NCAA Tournament non-conference resume boost on Tuesday night when they meet in Ann Arbor in an ESPN2 game. The Wolverines are -11 on 5Dimes NCAA basketball odds.

Longhorns Are Youthful

Texas was a 20-13 team last year that lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament under first-year coach Shaka Smart. This year's team is really young and thus a bit inconsistent with a 4-3 record. UT already has lost to one Big Ten team, falling to Northwestern by 19 in a New  York holiday tournament. The Horns then also lost to Colorado and UT Arlington -- that latter loss is a bit inexplicable.

But Texas ended that three-game losing streak with a 77-68 home victory over Alabama on Friday. UT was down 12 at halftime in that one but scored 51 points after intermission. Kerwin Roach scored 16 points to lead the Horns, while Tevin Mack, Shaq Cleare, Jacob Young and Jarrett Allen scored 11. It was Mack's first career start. The sophomore leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) while hitting 41.2 percent (14-34) from 3-point range.  The Horns hit on 56.7 percent from the floor in the second half and held the Tide to  just 40.9 percent (9-for-22).

This is Texas' first true road game of the season. The Horns were picked to finish third in the Big 12 behind Kansas and West Virginia. It's UT's sixth all-time meeting with Michigan. The previous five had come at neutral sites, three in the NCAA Tournament. Last year in the Bahamas, the Wolverines recorded a 78-72 victory.

The Longhorns are 3-3 ATS on NCAA basketball odds this season.


Wolverines Know How To Win

Michigan is an experienced team that was 23-13 last year and also lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament under Coach John Beilein. This year, the Wolverines are 6-2 and have six seniors. They have beaten solid teams in Marquette and SMU but lost at South Carolina and home to Virginia Tech.

Last time out, UM easily  handled visiting Kennesaw State, 82-55 on Saturday. Michigan used a 19-4 run over the last 5:13 of the first half to take an 18-point lead into the halftime break and led by at least 17 the rest of the way. Moritz Wagner led the Wolverines with a career-high 20 points. Zak Irvin (19) and Derrick Walton Jr. (13), two key starters back from last year, also hit double figures and D.J. Wilson posted his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Wolverines shot a season-high 57 percent (30-for-53) from the field in their biggest margin of victory thus far.

Walton needs 16 points tonight to become the 51st player at Michigan to reach 1,000 career points. He's second on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game and leads with 22 made 3-pointers. Irvin is the leading scorer at 14.9 ppg. The key here will be how Michigan handles Texas' pressure defense known as "Havoc."

“As much havoc as they play, it’s going to wear Derrick out,” Beilein said. "we’re going to need him to help Derrick not only to beat the press or attack their defense, but also to give him a rest.”

Michigan is 2-3 ATS on NCAA basketball picks.

NCAAB Free Pick: Michigan -11Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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