Utah State Aggies vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders – March Madness (March 19, 2021)
Utah State and Texas Tech head to battle in the 6/11 matchup in the South Region.
Both of these at-large bids have high hopes of advancing, and their contrasting styles of play make this one of the most captivating matchups of the entire first round.
Let’s dive into a Utah State vs. Texas Tech prediction.
- What: #6 vs. #11 matchup in the South Region
- When: 1:45 pm EDT, 3/19/21
- Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall – Bloomington, IN
- Coverage: TNT
Utah State vs. Texas Tech Odds
Despite strolling into Bloomington as a four-point underdog, I see lots of people tabbing the Aggies to move on in their bracket. It’s one of the most popular first round upset picks for March Madness, but perhaps the Red Raiders aren’t getting enough credit.
Then again, anyone who dives into “against the spread” data is going to be in a hurry to back Utah State.
- Texas Tech is 10-17 ATS this season
- Utah State is 15-11 ATS this season
A Case For Betting on Utah State
Texas Tech doesn’t play anybody taller than 6’7”. This is a major problem when you consider that
Neemias Queta is a legit seven-footer with a serious repertoire of low-post moves. Over the Aggies last nine games, Queta is averaging 20.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks – shooting over 54% from the floor.
Utah State had won six straight games before falling to SDSU in the MWC Final, but keep in mind, the Aggies beat the Aztecs twice earlier in the year.
The Red Raiders want to get out and run so they can take advantage of their guard play, the problem is, Utah State has the resources to slow the game down on both ends. The Aggies are in top-25 in America in adjusted defensive efficiency and will make it a point to dump the ball inside to Queta almost every trip down the court.
- Key Stat: Texas Tech is 2-12 ATS in their last 14 games against top-50 teams
A Case for Betting on Texas Tech
As big of an advantage as the Aggies have in the paint, the Red Raiders carry a massive edge on the perimeter. And as often as advancing in March Madness comes down to guard play, it’s easy to like Texas Tech’s chances.
Utah State’s best perimeter player (Marco Anthony) has scored seven or fewer points in four of his last five games and only averages 10.0 ppg on the season. Fans in Logan might say that Rollie Worster is their best guard – ok, fine. Rollie has contributed double-digit points once since January 27th.
Chris Beard has four guards averaging in double-figures, and Craig Smith doesn’t have a soul on his roster who can stay in front of Mac McClung.
In the event that Queta gets into early foul trouble, Tech could wind up winning this game handily.
- Key Stat: The Red Raiders rank 4th in the nation in turnover margin (+5.1). The Aggies rank 160th (+0.2)
Utah State vs. Texas Tech Pick
Now for a Utah State vs. Texas Tech pick.
I say get on board with the under and latch onto the Aggies with the four-point cushion.
The under has hit 55.6% of the time for the Red Raiders this season and 57.7% of the time for the Aggies. Throw in how deliberate Utah State plans to be on offense and this could very well turn into a drawn-out slugfest.
What makes me like Utah State and the points is based on how forceful Neemias Queta is in the post, but there’s more. Justin Bean is extremely determined on the offensive glass and is one of the most underrated players in the tournament.
Bottom line – Utah State ranks 14th in the country in rebounding; Texas Tech clocks in 204th.