Abilene Christian vs Texas March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 20

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Updated: March 15, 2021

Clock Icon Mar 15, 2021 – 8:40 AM ET

The No. 3 Texas Longhorns tackle the No. 14 Abilene Christian Wildcats in the Round of 64 on the East side of the NCAA Tournament Saturday. 

March is where Texas head coach Shaka Smart made a name for himself, leading VCU to NCAA glory so many Big Dances ago. Smart knows a dangerous underdog when he sees one, and Abilene Christian checks a lot of the boxes. The Wildcats won the Southland Tournament as a No. 2 seed and are one of the best bets in college basketball at 15-6 ATS.

Here are our free March Madness picks and predictions for Abilene Christian vs. Texas in the Round of 64 on March 20.

Abilene Christian vs Texas odds

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Texas opened as an 8.5-point favorite and has since jumped to -9. The total hit the board at 140 points and dropped to 139.5 with early action on the Under. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Abilene Christian Wildcats vs Texas Longhorns betting preview

Injuries

Abilene Christian: None.
Texas: None.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Longhorns are 0-9 ATS in their last nine NCAA Tournament games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Abilene Christian vs. Texas.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

The Longhorns’ late-season surge parlayed itself into a Big 12 Championship, with Texas getting a free pass in the semifinals due to Kansas’ positive COVID-19 test and facing upstart No. 5 seed Oklahoma State in the final. 

While everything shook out for Smart’s squad, Texas is also playing its best basketball of the season rolling into March Madness. The Longhorns have won five in a row, covering the spread in all five outings, and own an average margin of plus-7.2 points per game in that span. What’s more impressive is that all five games either came on the road or on neutral courts. They’re among the relative favorites for overall March Madness odds (+2,000).

The Wildcats were a cash cow during the Southland schedule, playing tight defense and knocking down 3’s to the tune of a 12-5 ATS count, which continued with back-to-back wins and covers in the conference tournament. 

Abilene Christian is a solid two-way team and shines brightest on defense, where it allowed only 60.7 points per game on the year – eighth-lowest in the land. The Wildcats are also very good at forcing turnovers, in fact they’re the best at No. 1 in the nation with 19.1 turnovers forced per contest. That’s led to Abilene Christian picking up an average of seven extra scoring chances (sixth), which is music to the ears of underdog bettors.

The Wildcats already imposed that defense on a Big 12 foe back in December, losing to Texas Tech 51-44 but covering the 14-point spread thanks to 16 turnovers from the Red Raiders. The Longhorns have struggled with ball control this season and are averaging 15.8 turnovers over their current five-game run.

PREDICTION: Abilene Christian +9 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

Between the Wildcats’ opportunistic defense and Smart’s havoc press, points could be at a premium in this opening-round matchup.

Abilene Christian ranks 30th in adjusted defensive efficiency at KenPom.com and is especially stingy on the perimeter, where it gets its heels above the 3-point arc and holds opponents to just 29 percent shooting from deep and 5.1 makes from distance. The Wildcats are also a deep team and roll out fresh legs on the regular to keep up that intensity.

The Longhorns are right behind Abilene Christian in the valued defensive efficiency metric (36th) and Smart’s pressure defense gets inside its opponents’ shorts and really forces them outside of their planned offensive sets (limiting foes to just 9.9 assists per game). That includes giving very little space to 3-point shooters (6.3 triples allowed per outing) – something the Wildcats lean on as a big chunk of their offense. 

PREDICTION: Under 139.5 (-110)

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First half prop pick

Abilene Christian can come out swinging, as shown by the 52 points it put up in the opening 20 minutes of the clash with Lamar in the Southland Tournament. 

The Wildcats average almost 37 points per half on the season and are a tough team to match up with, due to multiple shooting threats with four players averaging double figures and nine guys posting six or more points per game.

Texas will quickly find itself in a dog fight and we like the value on a Wildcats lead at the halftime break.

PREDICTION: Abilene Christian first-half moneyline +220

Abilene Christian vs Texas betting card

  • Abilene Christian +9 (-110)
  • Under 139.5 (-110)
  • Abilene Christian first-half moneyline +220

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness Abilene Christian vs. Texas picks, you could win $106.63 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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