Texas Tech the NCAA Basketball Pick to Cover ATS at Home

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 4:10 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Tuesday.

 

There could be a closer game than the big point spread suggests Tuesday night in a Texas in-state rivalry when the Baylor Bears (18-7, 4-4 away) pay a visit to the Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-14, 12-4 home) at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, TX at 7:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN2.

The point spread at Bet365 has Texas Tech as a decided home underdog for this contest with the current line at +9 with odds of -110.


Baylor 20th in AP, 11th on Pomeroy
The Bears are receiving a lot of love for a seven-loss team as they are ranked 20th on the current AP Poll and perhaps more importantly 11th on the Pomeroy Ratings despite the seven losses. Tonight may not be the best of spots for them though, facing a perceived “inferior” team after three straight games vs. ranked opponents, the last two of which resulted in losses first at home to Oklahoma State and then on the road at Kansas on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the 9-1 stat for Texas Tech this season and 10-3 overall record in non-conference play have been long forgotten as the Red Raiders are a miserable 2-11 in Big 12 play after being the losing NCAA Basketball picks in five of their last six games, although they did cover the spread in a 56-41 road loss to the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Saturday as 16½-point underdogs. At least Tech is 12-4 straight up at home this season, as opposed to 0-10 elsewhere.


Bears Spent from Effort in Lawrence?
As mentioned, Baylor has lost its last two games vs. ranked opponents, but the Bears were favored in the home loss to Oklahoma State and then the loss at Kansas could have a lingering effect here. You see, Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence is one of the toughest venues in the country for visiting teams, and yet Baylor led Kansas there until about three minutes left in the game, but then came a late implosion that saw Baylor fall 74-64 after being up by 13 early.

While Baylor certainly has good talent as reflected by its Pomeroy Rating, late-game meltdowns like that have become way too common in recent years, which points to both signs of immaturity and the in-game coaching abilities (or lack thereof) of Scott Drew. Also, while Baylor is ranked 14th in the country in offensive efficiency while leading the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and also 46th in defensive efficiency, this is not a team without holes.

Surprisingly, the Bears are only 244th in the country in two-point percentage at 45.9 percent, meaning that the offense usually relies heavily on the good three-point shooting that is ranked 45th at 37.7 percent. Not as surprising based on the aforementioned immaturity is the fact that Baylor is 215th in offensive turnover percentage at 19.9 percent, and that could be an issue because the Texas Tech defense is actually above average at forcing turnovers.

The Red Raiders have a defensive turnover percentage of 20.0 percent vs. a national average of 19.4 percent.


Red Raiders Could be Sneaky at Home
Now Texas Tech is certainly struggling, mainly because of an abysmal offense that is 319th in the country in points scored with 60.8 per game, 271st in offensive efficiency and 319th in effective field goal percentage at only 44.5 percent. That said, the Raiders can be quite sneaky in Lubbock and not al of their 12 home wins came vs. outclassed non-conference teams.

No, Texas Tech upset Iowa State here after starting off 0-6 in conference play, a Cyclones team that is currently ranked 17th on Pomeroy. Sure Iowa State probably took the Red Raiders lightly, but Baylor may do the same thing here after its string of tough games, especially on the heels of wasting that good effort in Lawrence.

Besides, we are not necessarily calling for an outright upset here and nine points seems like a nice cushion at home vs. a potentially indifferent (at least early on) opponent. And after all, Texas Tech does average a better 67.7 points at home.


Free Throws Could be Key
Finally, one thing that the Red Raiders probably do best is get to the foul line a lot, as they are 14th in the country in FTA/FGA ratio at 46.8 percent, crushing the national average of 37.3 percent! The problem for Texas Tech has been shooting a poor 65.1 percent when getting to the charity stripe, but the key here is volume as all points scored by a decided underdog with the clock stopped are never a bad thing.

While this contest may be a mismatch talent wise, the scheduling spot for Baylor and an abundance of free throws for Texas Tech could be enough for the Red Raiders to cover this big point spread home in Lubbock on Tuesday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas Tech +9 (-110)