Texas & Oklahoma Will to Stay 'Under' As Our NCAA Basketball Pick

Jay Pryce

Saturday, February 27, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

Oklahoma & Texas tussle for the second time in Austin. The Longhorns look to avenge their 63-60 defeat to Sooners roughly three weeks ago Get your betting analysis and pick here.

Oklahoma Sooners (22-5 SU, 12-13 ATS)
The Sooners routed in-state rivals Oklahoma State 71-49 on Wednesday. Coach Lon Kruger's squad exploded for 44 points in the second half, outscoring the Cowboys by 19 to close out the game. Can they keep the momentum going into Austin? If recent history is the judge, than maybe. Oklahoma has taken the last five meetings in a row from Texas (3-2 ATS).

The Sooners sit in the top 15 in both offensive (15) and defensive (12) efficiency nationally. Scoring 82.1 points per contest, Kruger's squad lights it up from downtown with the second-best success rate in the nation (43.1). Its 10.6 treys per game is fourth-most. Senior guard Buddy Hield, a dead-eye shooter and candidate for No.1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, is the catalyst. His 111 three-pointers is more than double any other player on the team, and his 4.1 per game is tops in the nation.

For live bettors out there: the Sooners have made some key adjustments to close out games when trailing at halftime. Although they are 0-8 against the NCAA basketball odds in these contests, they have come back to outscore their opponents in the second half in all but one game by an average margin of 5.1 points. Texas pinned the Sooners down 31-22 in the earlier matchup, before Oklahoma rallied to win with a 41-29 second half comeback.


Texas Longhorns (18-10 SU, 14-13 ATS)
Texas escaped with a nail-biting 71-70 win as a 1.5-point road dog over Kansas State in Manhattan on Monday, giving coach Shaka Smart his ninth conference victory. The Longhorns face a much tougher test today against the Sooners. They fell as 7.5-point dogs in Norman earlier in the month. Does three weeks and home court equate to a 6-point difference bettors are seeing with the spread? Well, if Texas' home form has anything to do with it, particularly against elite teams, then....yeah.

The Longhorns are 3-0 this year at the Erwin Center against AP Top 20 foes, triumphing over then-No.3 North Carolina, No. 10 West Virginia, and No. 17 Iowa State, twice as underdogs. Going 13-2 at home this season (6-1 vs. the Big 12), they have lost three games or more at the Erwin Center just three times since 2002.

Shaka's defense rattled the Sooners' shooters for much of the game in the first meeting, holding them to their fourth-worst effort from the field on the season at 40 percent shooting. Filtering in some havoc-like presses, the Longhorns played an aggressive man-to-man scheme much of the game, sticking to Hield and the backcourt like glue. Coming off screens, Texas' frontcourt invited Oklahoma's guards to penetrate the paint and they did. Hield went to the charity stripe 11 times, his second-most trips on the season. Texas is deep, and Smart would rather put his big guys in action underneath, regardless of fouls, to take away the dangerous three-point shot. With the home-court crowd urging the D on, maybe the Longhorns hold on for a win this time around.


Final Analysis
Texas has its troubles against good three-point shooting teams, hence the aforementioned defensive game plan. Nine times it has squared off against an opponent shooting greater than 37 percent from the area, slumping to defeat in seven games straight up. The average line for these contests is even-money for what it's worth. Still Smart's defense at the Erwin Center will keep it competitive, and give the Longhorns a chance. The over-under 143 looks to be a tad high in a game where the winning team will have to work extra hard to reach 70 points. UNDER  is the NCAA basketball pick.  

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NCAA Basketball Picks: Under 141.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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