Utah State vs Texas Tech March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 19

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Updated: March 15, 2021

Jared Hochman

Clock Icon Mar 15, 2021 – 12:03 PM ET

The South Region is highlighted by offensive powerhouses, but there’s a classic defensive matchup looming with No. 6 Texas Tech taking on No. 11 Utah State.

The Red Raiders struggled through conference play, but a pass can be given as it was in a difficult Big 12, while the Aggies were somewhat of a surprising recipient of an at-large bid.

Will our March Madness picks side with the Power Conference program or the mid-major? Find out in our free college basketball betting picks and predictions for Utah State vs. Texas Tech on Friday, March 19, with tip-off set for 1:45 p.m. ET.

Utah State vs Texas Tech odds

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The line opened at Texas Tech -5, with the total at 132. Early action hasn’t moved the spread, but early Under money dropped the number to 131.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Utah State Aggies vs Texas Tech Red Raiders betting preview

Injuries

Utah State: None.
Texas Tech: Jamarius Burton G (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 4-0 in the Red Raiders’ last four games as a favorite. Find more NCAA betting trends for Utah State vs. Texas Tech.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

On the surface, the numbers for Texas Tech don’t look great as a six seed: a 17-10 SU record, an ugly 10-17 ATS mark, and only going 3-8 SU and ATS in its last 11 games, including a loss to Texas in the conference tournament quarterfinals where the Red Raiders blew a five-point lead with two minutes remaining.

But yet, March Madness odds have Texas Tech as a five-point favorite in this opening matchup because their underlying numbers suggest this is a very balanced squad. The Red Raiders were ranked 20th in the nation before their QF loss and they play in the ultra-deep Big 12, so those five recent losses came against Kansas (a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament), Oklahoma State (4 seed), West Virginia (3 seed), Baylor (1 seed), and the Longhorns (3 seed).

Texas Tech is ranked 33rd in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, with Georgetown transfer Mac McClung leading the way with 16.1 points per game. Defensively, the Red Raiders are 24th in defensive efficiency, using heavy pressure to force opponents into turnovers – they rank eighth in the country in opponent turnover percentage – and give up just 63.4 ppg, good for 29th in the nation.

The one issue with Texas Tech is its lack of size. It only has two players in its rotation above 6-foot-6…and they’re only 6-foot-7. As a result, the Red Raiders aren’t a great rebounding team…which could be a big plus for Utah State.

The Aggies are led by two-time Mountain West DPOY Neemias Queta, a towering 7-foot center who is second in the nation in blocks, while also leading the Aggies with 14.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest. He is the lynchpin for a team that is all about defense and rebounding, holding opponents to 38.9 percent shooting on the year (ninth-best in the nation), while sitting second nationally in total rebound percentage and eighth in defensive rebound percentage.

Utah State finished 20-8 SU this season and was riding a six-game win streak before losing to San Diego State in the Mountain West title game. The Aggies have given up an average of just 59.9 points per game over their final seven contests and are 15th in the country at 62.3 points against for the year, but there’s reason to question their level of competition faced.

For teams eligible for an at-large bid, 37 of the Top 38 teams in Strength of Record got into the Big Dance…with Utah State (66th in SOR) the only outlier. They were expected to possibly play in a First Four Game, but surprisingly received a straight entry—suggesting they are a somewhat weak 11 seed.

It seems like Utah State’s numbers are a little better than the metrics suggest, due to a weak schedule, while Texas Tech’s numbers don’t tell the whole story of a very good team in a strong conference.

Getting a Top-25 ranked program at -5 against a non-power conference opponent? I’ll take that all day.

PREDICTION: Texas Tech -5 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

The Aggies are eighth in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, with a fearsome rim protector that will push the Red Raiders to the outside—where Texas Tech shoots a pedestrian 34.6 percent from deep.

On the flip side, Utah State will also be hard-pressed to get points against a relentless Texas Tech defense that will try to keep Quetas from setting up in the post, will pressure the backcourt, and look to force plenty of turnovers.

The Aggies have seen the Under hit in five straight games, while Texas Tech has gone Under the total in four of its last five. These are defense-first squads that will live up to their reputation, so we’re backing the Under in this matchup.

PREDICTION: Under 131.5 (-110)

Covers March Madness betting analysis

First half pick

As disruptive (and oversized) as Quetas will be in this game, basketball is dominated by guards—and Texas Tech has the decided advantage in the backcourt, with more experience and four players averaging in double-figures, compared to two for the Aggies.

In the MWC finals, San Diego State jumped on the Aggies in the first half, forcing eight turnovers and containing their offense outside of Quetas in taking a lead into halftime.

Look for McClung & Co. to do the same, ramping up the pressure early and taking control as soon as possible, setting the tempo for the game and making it a point of emphasis that none of Utah State’s supporting players get comfortable early.  

PREDICTION: Texas Tech first half -2.5 (-110)

Utah State vs Texas Tech betting card

  • Texas Tech -5 (-110)
  • Under 131.5 (-110)
  • Texas Tech first half -2.5 (-110)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness Utah State vs. Texas Tech picks, you could win $59.58 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.


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