The 15th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders travel to the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, to take on the 4th-ranked Texas Longhorns in Wednesday night Big 12 basketball action beginning at 9 pm EST. Currently, the Longhorns are favored by 3-points while the total sits at 134.5-points, up from 134-points at the opening.
The Red Raiders won their 2nd-straight since falling at home versus the Cowboys of Oklahoma State as they took out the Cyclones of Iowa State most recently thanks to a huge start offensively which saw them go up by 24 points at the break. In all, Texas Tech finished their stellar night shooting 59% from the field with leading scorer in guard Mac McClung having 18 points on a very efficient night along with forward Kyler Edwards finishing with 19 points to lead the team. Important to note that the Red Raiders have been horrible against the spread all season, yet managed to cover as 8.5-point favorites versus the Cyclones, halting a 7-game skid ATS.
The Longhorns continue to roll as well as they won their 6th-straight contest on the road versus a solid West Virginia team by only 2 points in addition to covering as 1.5-point underdogs, their 2nd cover in 3 games, overall. Andrew Jones had 16 points in the outing while going an outstanding 4-7 from long-range, with his final shot from deep giving Texas the win. Leading scorer Courtney Ramey was also solid in going 7-11 from the floor to lead the team with 19 points, 5 boards, and 6 dimes.
And while the Red Raiders have picked up 5-straight victories out right versus their conference foe, Texas ended this streak in their last matchup dating to February of 2020 when they picked up a 10-point road win. Important to add that the Longhorns have dropped 2-straight at home versus Texas Tech with the Red Raiders covering in 3 of the last 4 meetings, overall, including 2-straight at Erwin Center.
Red Raiders destroy Cyclones from perimeterTexas Tech dominated Iowa State in every way in their last outing including winning the rebounding battle by a 33-24 margin while shooting over 80% from the free-throw line on 21 attempts, compared to the Cyclones shooting only 7 shots on the night. McClung (15 ppg), who is shooting 43% from the floor in 2020 along with a dismal 31% from deep, was much more efficient in finishing 8-10 FG while Edwards (11 ppg) was also solid in going 6-9 while sinking 3 of his 5 treys in the win. And while the Red Raiders have struggled a bit offensively in shooting 44% as a team along with a sub-par 33% from deep on the year, the squad has increased its production from 76 points per game on average to a whopping 87 points per in their last 4 games.
Guard Kevin McCullar (10 ppg) continues to provide a huge lift in his best game of the year since returning to the lineup December 29th in gathering 11 boards while posting 15 points in addition to guard Terrance Shannon (14 ppg, 5 rebs), who was coming off a 22-point effort in the Red Raiders' win over the Wildcats of Kansas State, chipped in 11 points, 5 boards, along with 6 assists.
Defense happens to make the Red Raiders a difficult team to beat as the unit is allowing only 58 points per game (7th in the nation) on a mere 39% shooting (30% from long-range). In fact, they have held opponents under 70 points in 7 of their last outings, overall, including giving up only 61 points on average to the Longhorns in their last 4 games. However, worth noting that Texas shot over 52% in their most recent win over their conference foe while nailing 10 3-pointers en route to their 10-point road victory.
Jones on fire in recent contests for LonghornsJones (13 ppg), despite shooting 39% on the season, has steadily increased his offensive production for Texas as of late in averaging nearly 19 points per game in his last 4 outings, including posting 20+ points twice during this time. The guard will certainly enter this contest with a ton of momentum not only after hitting the game-winner versus the Mountaineers on the road, but Jones was on fire versus a sound Red Raiders defense in their last matchup in leading the team with 22 points on a very efficient shooting night. Ramey (14 ppg) was the only other double-digit scorer in this contest with 12 points on 4-9 shooting. Important to add that these players also combined for 7 of the teams' 13 turnovers on the night.
And while the starters for Texas were responsible for a total of 11 of the team's 13 turnovers versus the Mountaineers, they also boasted 4 starters in double-digits with Jones and Ramey along with Greg Brown (12 ppg, 8 rebs) and Matt Coleman III (14 ppg) finishing with 12 and 13 points, respectively. Brown is shooting 42% on the year while recording his 3rd double-double in his last 5 games in racking up 14 boards versus West Virginia. Finally, reserve forward Kai Jones (9 ppg, 5 rebs) has also provided a consistent lift off the bench in posting double-figures in 2 of his last 3 outings as he continues to stretch defenses in shooting just under 44% from long-range.
In all, Texas is well-equipped to put some points up against Texas Tech, it will be on the defensive end where this contest will be won. Like the Red Raiders, Texas enters this matchup ranked in the top-50 in points allowed along with field goal and 3-point percentage. They gave Texas Tech headaches last year in allowing under 40% shooting with Edwards finishing just 2-11 from the floor (1-5 from deep) with only 5 points. In fact, Texas has given up only 60 points on average in their last 4 games versus Texas Tech.
Stats & Trends
- Road team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
- Underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
- Longhorns are 1-3 ATS in last 4 games versus Red Raiders
- Longhorns are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
The Longhorns have dropped 2-straight at home to the Red Raiders while failing to cover in 3 of their last 4 meetings, overall. And while the home team enters this matchup with tons of momentum after picking up a huge win versus 13th-ranked West Virginia team, the Red Raiders are a threat due to their willingness to get after it on the defensive end of the floor. With this being the case, I will back the road team, who has accumulated at 5-1 record against the number in the last 6 meetings amongst these 2 teams, to prevail in this instance.