(12-3, 7-3 ATS)
Texas Tech Red Raiders
(8-8, 2-9 ATS)
The Big XII campaign kicks off for the Texas Longhorns on Tuesday night, and though the duel against the Texas Tech Red Raiders might not be the most difficult of the season, it is certainly going to be one in which NCAA basketball betting fans are aware of the potential dangers.
You know that Head Coach Rick Barnes is going to be spending all weekend warning his team about a letdown after the emotional loss against the Connecticut Huskies at home this past weekend. It was a brutal 82-81 defeat in which Kemba Walker was just unstoppable. Jordan Hamilton did score 20 points and pull down 11 boards in that game, and he is now leading a very young team in scoring at 19.6 points per game this year. Though Hamilton is just a sophomore, he almost seems like an elder statesman on the club, especially when you consider the fact that both Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph are just freshmen. Thompson is leading the team in rebounding at 7.9 boards per night, while Joseph is putting in 11.1 points per game and is one of the best three point shooters on a team that is relatively weak on the outside. Still, there is a lot of room left for these Longhorns to grow, and they know that winning a Big XII game on the road would be a huge start.
The Red Raiders had a disastrous open to the season, and unless they can all of a sudden win a dozen games or so in the Big XII this year, they are going to be just praying that they can sneak into a bottom barrel postseason tournament. All eight of this squad’s wins in NCAA basketball betting action have come here in Lubbock, but unfortunately, so did the opening Big XII game of the season, a 71-59 loss to the Baylor Bears as short underdogs. It’s been a relatively disappointing senior season for Mike Singletary, who is arguably off to the worst start that he has had in three years with Texas Tech. Still, he is the team’s leading scorer at 13.7 points per game this year, but he really should be scoring more than the 12 points he put up against Baylor if he is going to be playing in 38 minutes like he did in that one. Texas Tech does have three other double digit point scorers this year, but Brad Reese, John Roberson, and David Tairu just don’t have the same sort of fear that they can strike into opponents that Singletary does.
The problem that Singletary and the Red Raiders have had this season is shooting the three pointer. We know that this is a tremendous game in Lubbock every single season, and though the Longhorns are clearly the more talented team, they are the team more likely to fail in the face of adversity as well. The Red Raiders have nothing to lose, and if nothing else, they should keep this one close from start to finish on Tuesday night.
NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Texas Tech Red Raiders