CBB Picks: Take Texas Tech to cover in Big 12 showdown with Texas

I'm a sucker for a good, old-fashioned spite game.

That is what we have on our hands on Tuesday night in Lubbock, Texas.

Former Red Raiders head coach Chris Beard returns to Lubbock for the first time since he departed for the Texas job in the offseason.

United Supermarkets Arena is going to be super charged with spite all night and it could play in favor of the Red Raiders.

Texas has not been a particularly good team this season and it barely escaped with a win over Tennessee on Saturday.

Texas Tech's defense combined with the raucous crowd could be the perfect combination to hand Beard his first loss as Texas head coach in Lubbock.

Tuesday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 142-170-1 (3-2 Monday)

Creighton at UConn (Over 133.5) (6:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

The 10-point spread in favor of UConn is a bit high for me for a Big East game.

I can rely on the Huskies to score points. They are 6-1 to the over in their last seven contests.

The Huskies scored at least 75 points in five of their six Big East victories and they average 79.4 points per game.

Creighton needs to score around its 69.7 points per game just to be competitive with the Huskies and that should help aid the over.

Davidson (+128) at St. Bonaventure (7 p.m. ET, CBSSN)

St. Bonaventure came into the season as the class of the Atlantic 10.

That title belongs to Davidson halfway through conference play.

Davidson is the more trustworthy team at this point of the season and it could use a victory to secure its spot atop the A-10 standings.

The Wildcats already won in tough environments against VCU and Richmond, so they will not be fazed by a trip to Olean, New York.

Davidson's offense will be the difference-maker. The Wildcats rank fourth in three-point offense, fifth in effective field-goal percentage and 11th in offensive adjusted efficiency on KenPom.

Michigan State (-3.5) at Maryland (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

I don't see how you can trust Maryland right now.

The Terrapins have three Big Ten victories. They beat Rutgers and Northwestern and then defeated an Illinois team without its top players.

Michigan State averages four more points per game, gives up 3.3 fewer points per contest and shoots four percent better from the field compared to the Terrapins.

In addition to just being better, Michigan State can't afford a bad loss in the thick of the Big Ten title race.

Canisius at Siena (-3.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Canisius lost its last four road games in the MAAC by five or more points.

Siena is 3-1 at home in conference play with all of those victories coming by at least four points.

Siena ranks 93rd in three-point offense. Canisius is 300th or worse in three-point offense and two other offensive categories.

The Saints have the better offense and the road/home trends play in their favor.

Bowling Green at Central Michigan (Over 156.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Bowling Green is 10-0 to the over in its last 10 games.

The Falcons are 16-3 overall to the over this season, so of course I'm running it back with the MAC side and the over.

Bowling Green plays at the 12th-fastest tempo in Division 1 and that helps it reach the over no matter what situation it is in.

Central Michigan ranks 121st in tempo, but it is 45th in three-point offense. And here's the key for tonight's over: The Chippewas rank 357th in two-point defense. That should help Bowling Green grab a ton of buckets.

Alabama (+6.5) at Auburn (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Alabama played Auburn tight in their first meeting on January 11.

The Crimson Tide lost that game by four points after a comeback bid failed in the second half.

Alabama is one of the few teams that can score with Auburn and I add in the rivalry factor for the Crimson Tide to keep things close at Auburn Arena.

If the spread was a point or two lower, I'd probably run with Auburn, but I think the number is a bit too high in favor of the Tigers.

Texas at Texas Tech (-4) (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Texas and Texas Tech come into Tuesday night with identical 16-5 and 5-3 records.

The Red Raiders have looked the part of a Big 12 title contender all season, while the Longhorns have been inconsistent at times.

Texas comes into Lubbock on a three-game winning streak, but those victories came against Oklahoma State, TCU and an inconsistent Tennessee team.

Texas Tech went shot-for-shot with Kansas over two overtimes last week and it won each of its last three home games by double figures.

The Red Raiders have better numbers across the board compared to Texas. They have the fourth-best adjusted efficiency on defense, the 19th-best two-point defense and it ranks inside the Top 15 in two-point offense.

Texas has some solid defensive numbers, but its offense has not been great and it ranks 349th in adjusted tempo. The Longhorns might be screwed if Tech escalates the pace, of if they fall behind early.

I think Texas Tech is the more complete team right now and I believe the home-court advantage helps the Red Raiders in this spot.

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