The March Madness betting action continues Thursday, March 24, 2022, so we’re taking a closer look at the West Region Sweet 16 battle from Chase Center in San Francisco to get you the best Texas Tech vs. Duke betting pick and odds.
The No. 3 Red Raiders take on the No. 2 Blue Devils for the first time since 2018 when Duke outlasted Texas Tech 69-58 as a 9.5-point fave. Texas Tech is a slight 1-point fave for Thursday’s clash in California, while the totals sit at 137.5 points on Bookmaker Sportsbook.
Texas Tech leans on its stout defense
After thrashing off Montana State 97-62 in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Championship, the Texas Tech Red Raiders (27-9; 22-14 ATS) defeated Notre Dame 59-53 in the second round. The opening clash was an easy task for Mark Adams’ boys, who shot 66.7% from the field and 60.0% from downtown, but the second-round clash against the Fighting Irish was different.
The Red Raiders made only 35.6% of their field goals and 26.7% of their triples against Notre Dame. Once more, Texas Tech relied on its defense to make the difference, allowing the Fighting Irish to score just four points in the final 3:30 of the second half.
Senior forward Kevin Obanor leads the way for Tech, tallying 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He had a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double in the second round. The Red Raiders score 110.3 points per 100 possessions (46th in the country) and surrender only 84.4 in a return (1st).
Duke hopes its offense will get the job done
The Duke Blue Devils (30-6; 18-15-3 ATS) had an easy job in the first round of the 2022 March Madness, defeating CSU Fullerton 78-61 as 18.5-point favorites. Two days later, the Blue Devils overcame a five-point second-half deficit to cover a 6.5-point spread in an 85-76 victory over Michigan State.
The clash against the Spartans was a proper rollercoaster, and Duke prevailed thanks to its prolific offense. The Blue Devils shot 57.1% from the field and 38.5% from beyond the arc (5-for-13), while freshman Paolo Banchero posted a line of 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a block.
Banchero has led the way for Duke all season, averaging 17.0 points, 7.9 boards, and 3.2 assists per game. The Blue Devils are scoring 120.3 points per 100 possessions (4th in the nation) on 49.2% shooting from the field (6th) and 37.0% from beyond the 3-point line (35th). They are yielding 95.5 points in a return (43rd).
- 12-7 ATS in the last 19 games overall
- 9-4 ATS in the last 13 NCAA Tournament contests
- 1-5 ATS in the last six games overall
- 1-7 ATS in the last eight NCAA Tournament contests
Texas Tech vs. Duke Pick
Frankly, this game could easily go either way, and I lean towards the Red Raiders only because of their defense. The Blue Devils are one of the best offensive teams in the nation, but Texas Tech boasts the best defensive rating in the nation and ranks fourth in the opponent field goal percentage.
Also, the Red Raiders heavily lean on four seniors, while the Blue Devils rely on a bunch of underclassmen. That could be an important factor down the stretch.
Pick: Take Texas Tech -1.0 at -110
Neither team prefers to play at a fast pace, averaging under 67.5 possessions per 40 minutes each, so I don’t expect to see a high-scoring affair. The betting trends won’t help a lot, as the over is 7-1 in Duke’s last eight contests overall, while the under is 4-2 in Texas Tech’s previous six.
Once more, I lean on the Red Raiders’ sturdy D. Texas Tech has held its opponents below a 70-point mark in nine of its previous ten outings at any location.
Pick: Go under 137.5 points at -110