BANKER (Texas Tech vs. Tennessee)
Sprinkle the ML here at +145 as I expect Texas Tech to win as well but taking the points to be safe. Texas Tech is a team who had played a fairly weak schedule so far and they lost in their first true test to Providence in their last game. This game against Tennessee is a very similar game to the TT/Providence game in the fact that both teams play extremely solid defense, both teams can knock down outside shots, and both teams are very talented athletically. Providence came away with the straight up victory as 3-point underdogs and I think Texas Tech will play the spoiler here in this neutral court matchup against Tennessee at basically the same line.
I think that loss to Providence will really wake up Texas Tech and I expect their best effort of the season here. Tennessee has been fairly impressive recently as they’ve racked up 4 double digit wins in a row, 2 of which were against ranked UNC (by 15) and against a solid Colorado squad (by 15). Tennessee played their worst against Villanova, who plays extremely tough man to man defense and knocks down 3s at a high rate.
Texas Tech is very similar to the makeup of Villanova in the fact that this team is tough as nails, and they shoot very well from the outside. Texas Tech shoots 37.3% from deep as a team (49thnationally) and where they really excel is when they miss these shots. Texas Tech is the number one offensive rebounding team in the nation (49.2%) meaning they essentially get an offensive rebound every other time they miss a shot and Tennessee’s defensive rebounding% and defensive 3P% are their two worst defensive metrics. I think Texas Tech’s physicality on both ends of the floor coupled with their ability to hit outside shots will lead them to victory here. Score prediction: Texas Tech 72-68
Oakland is a team who usually has a very solid squad out of the Horizon year in and year out and this year is no different. Oakland is off to a very impressive 7-2 start given their schedule. Their only 2 losses are road losses to Alabama and West Virginia. They also racked up a very impressive road win at Oklahoma state as nearly 20-point underdogs.
Oakland has now won 5 games in a row with 4 of those being on the road so they are comfortable playing away from home. Oakland has gotten it done on the defensive side of the ball this year as they are 87th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency and 75th in defensive effective FG%. Oakland is doing a very solid job of limiting outside shots as well as they are 16th in the nation in defensive 3P percentage as their opponents are only shooting a combined 26% from deep against them.
I think Oakland will be able to limit Bowling Green with their stifling defense and knock down enough shots on the offensive end to come away with the win. Score prediction: Oakland 75-68
UMass is a team who is going to win with their offense. They have scored at least 85 points in their last 5 games as they’ve gone 4-1 in those games. Their losses have come against teams with a very strong offense as they struggled against Yale, Ball State and Weber State.
They face Northeastern in a matchup of contrasting styles as NE has a very anemic offense who frequently goes on long scoring droughts which has cost them a numerous amount of games already on this young season. I believe UMass and their strong offense will still be able to put up points on the road and I expect NE to struggle to keep up as they lack firepower on the offensive end. Score Prediction UMass 82-74.