Texas Tech Is Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. 3rd Ranked Oklahoma

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 5:05 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 5:05 PM UTC

Oklahoma was once the number one team in the country this season and it is still ranked third at 20-4, but the Sooners could have their hands full visiting Texas Tech on Wednesday.


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NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas Tech +4 (-103)
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


The chance to strengthen its resume in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament selection committee by beating one of the better teams in the country could spark the home team to a nice upset Wednesday night when the third ranked Oklahoma Sooners (20-4, 10-12 ATS) pay a visit to those upstart Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-9, 11-10 ATS) at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, TX at 9:00 ET in a game televises nationally on ESPNU.

The point spread at 5Dimes has Texas Tech as a moderate home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4 on the NCAA Basketball odds board at odds of -103.


Going in Different Directions?
Oklahoma was once the top ranked team in the country and it stood at 19-2 before suddenly losing two of its last three games to the two Kansas schools in the Big 12, first losing on the road at Kansas State and then, following a narrow three-point win at home vs. Texas, most recently losing at home to Kansas on Saturday 76-72 while failing to build a cushion atop the conference.

In fact, the Sooners are suddenly third in the conference at 8-4 despite being ranked third in the entire country on the AP Poll at 20-4, as Kansas now leads the way at 10-3 followed by West Virginia at 9-4, and the fact that Oklahoma has now lost both meetings with Kansas could make a regular season Big 12 title somewhat unlikely.

Texas Tech has no conference title aspirations at 5-7 inside the Big 12, but the Red Raiders are certainly trending in the right direction as they have been the winning NCAA Basketball picks in their last two games both vs. ranked teams, first beating Iowa State in overtime at home and then most impressively going on the road an routing Baylor by 18 points 84-66 on Saturday as 10-point underdogs.


Third Straight Win over Ranked Team Would Help NCAA Cause
Those two upsets leave Texas Tech at a seemingly pedestrian 15-9 overall, but this team has not yet been eliminated from NCAA Tournament consideration and a third straight win over a ranked team with this one being over the number three team in the country could really force the committee’s hand, especially with the Big 12 being the highest ranked conference in the country as a whole on the Pomeroy Ratings.

Speaking of Pomeroy, those ratings have Texas Tech ranked a commendable 41st overall, which is probably higher than you would expect for a nine-loss team, as all nine of the losses have come vs. teams ranked in the Pomeroy Top 100 with the worst loss coming out of conference vs. 76th ranked Arkansas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, which took place two weeks ago in the middle of the conference season.

The Red Raiders are solid on both ends ranking an identical 51st in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency, and they can slow the pace down successfully here as they average 18.1 seconds per possession on the season and Oklahoma does not apply too much pressure ranking 278th in the land in defensive turnover percentage at 16.6 percent vs. a national average of 18.4 percent.

Also the Texas Tech defense has been at its best here at home allowing 66.1 points per game on just 41.0 percent shooting and the Raiders figure to help themselves at the foul line, where they are 20th in the country at 75.2 percent overall and shooting an excellent 77.7 percent in Big 12 play to lead the conference from the charity stripe.


Slumping Hield
Oklahoma may be a legitimate national title contender led by one of the best players in the land in Buddy Hield, who is averaging 25.6 points on a scorching 51.0 percent shooting overall for the season. However, Hield has not had his usual shooting stroke the past two games vs. two good defensive teams in Texas and Kansas, shooting a combined 12-for-33 in the two contests, and he could have another tough go here if Texas Tech maintains its home defensive form.

Another concern regarding Oklahoma is what has been a noticeable decline in defensive intensity on the road. Yes, the Sooners are 28th in the country in defensive efficiency and 35th in effective field goal percentage allowed while allowing 71.6 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting overall, but those points allowed have zoomed all the way up to 81.1 per game in true road games where the shooting percentage allowed has also ballooned to 45.0 percent!


Major Revenge in Mind
Finally, Texas Tech has revenge in mind after getting annihilated 91-67 in the first meeting between these teams this season in Norman, and the Red Raiders just may get it in their current fine form as they are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. Texas Tech is also 5-2 ATS in its last seven home games vs. teams with a road winning percentage of greater than .600!

With Oklahoma currently in a lull going 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall as well as 1-4 ATS in its last five road games, look for Texas Tech to at the very least take this game down to the final buzzer at home in Lubbock with an outright upset not impossible on Wednesday.

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