Tulane is aiming for a 20-win season at 18-10 with three games remaining while Tulsa is a poor shooting club that does not figure to get many second chances vs. a good rebounding team.
The road team has the motivation of a 20-win season within its sights on Saturday when the Tulane Green Wave (18-10, 3-7 away) pay a visit to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (14-13, 8-4 home) at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, OK at 4:05 ET.
NCAA Basketball Pick
The point spread at Bookmaker Sportsbook has Tulane as a tiny underdog for this contest with the current line at +1½ with odds of -110.
These teams are actually tied at 6-7 on the Conference USA standings, but Tulane has the better overall resume including a nice road win at Alabama during non-conference play, and the Green Wave are ranked 136th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, nearly 50 spots higher than Tulsa (184th).
Tulane did have it five-game ATS winning streak snapped with a 76-71 home loss to UAB on Wednesday, but the Green Wave still have a good chance to win 20 games as their final two regular season games after this one are vs. an East Carolina team ranked 145th by Pomeroy on the road and vs. 198th ranked Houston at home. A win here today in a very winnable game would obviously remove the pressure of having to win the final two games to accomplish their goal.
Tulane figures to hold a rather substantial rebounding edge in this contest as the Green Wave are ranked a very good 44th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage compared to Tulsa ranking 130th in defensive rebounding percentage. The same holds true on the defensive glass where Tulane ranks 47th while the Golden Hurricane are a dismal 200th in offensive rebounding percentage.
The latter is of greater significance because Tulsa is not a good shooting team, so as long as Tulane handles its defensive glass, Tulsa will have a very difficult time generating any offense.
So just how bad is the Tulsa offense? Well, the Golden Hurricane rank 185th in the nation in scoring at 67.3 points per game because they are ranked only 237th in offensive efficiency and 187th in effective field goal percentage. As if that were not enough cause for concern, consider that Tulane has some of the sloppiest ball-handling in all the land ranking an atrocious 301st in offensive turnover percentage.
Tulane won the first meeting at home over Tulsa 75-72, although the Golden Hurricane did cover the spread as eight-point underdogs in that contest to bring the road teams to 6-0 against the spread in the last six head-to-head meetings. Look for Tulane to extend that to 7-0 on the road here as the Green Wave get closer to the coveted 20-win mark on Saturday.
: Tulane +1½ (-110)