Pick Longhorns in Big-12 Basketball Battle: Oklahoma vs. Texas

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 5, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

Texas has enjoyed great success in Big 12 home openers under its current leader, which provides it value as a betting favorite against Oklahoma Monday night.

Balanced Roster
Oklahoma is a dark horse candidate to win the 2015 NCAA Tournament, as it possesses one of the more talented starting lineups in the country, with Buddy Hield being the main player to watch at the Erwin Center Monday.

The junior guard is averaging a team-high 16.0 points per game, which is important to consider when looking over the NCAA Basketball odds, as he ranks second in the Big 12 in knocking down 2.9 three-point shots a contest.

Hield isn’t doing it alone, as Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas has become a force in the front court—scoring 24 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the team’s 73-63 triumph over Baylor last Saturday.

It’s important to point out that the squad has covered the number in seven of its last eight conference games dating back to last season.

Check out which other match has caught this handicapper's attention.

Back On Track
After suffering its second loss of the 2014-15 campaign to Stanford on Dec. 23, Texas has managed to pick up a pair of wins against in-state rivals, including a 70-61 victory over Texas Tech as eight-point road favorites last time out.

The Longhorns welcomed back sophomore guard Isaiah Taylor for their conference opener, as he knocked down just 2 of 10 shots after missing 10 games with a broken bone in his left wrist.

There’s no doubt that that program will look to win the battle on the glass, as it has posted a double-digit rebound margin in 11 of its first 14 affairs.

Sports bettors will find that the team is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games versus foes with a winning record.

 

Playing Defense
The Sooners have certainly upped their intensity on the defensive end this season, as they join the Longhorns in ranking in the top three of the Big 12 in both field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense.

Oklahoma has held 12 of its 13 opponents under their season average in points, while no opponent has scored more than 69 points or shot better than 50 percent from the field.

 

Welcome Home
The Longhorns are 14-2 SU in Big 12 Conference home openers under longtime head coach Rick Barnes, while they own a 21-18 overall advantage in this rivalry during his time on campus.

Texas has compiled a 33-18 SU record against top-25 opponents at this venue, while it has proven victorious in 16 of its last 17 overall games in Austin.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Longhorns as one of their top NCAA Basketball picks, as they’ve gone 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games versus the Sooners.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick:  Texas Longhorns -6 at Pinnacle Sports 

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