Handicapper John Ryan has selected a 20* graded play on Texas as they take on Missouri in the semifinal of the Big-12 Conference Tournament set to start at 10:00 PM ET. Find out where he has decided to play tonight.

Texas has been in all bubble talks and discussions this week, but a win here over No. 5 Missouri would certainly get them into the NCAA Tournament. Their 71-65 win and cover over Iowa State Thursday, may have already been enough for the Longhorn to get into their 14th straight Tournament appearance. 

This marks only the third time in the past two seasons that I have had any team grade as 20* plays in back-to-back games. This broadly reflects that Texas is a team on the rise and beginning to play at a level that is nowhere close to being reflected in the line. 

Texas vs. MissouriMissouri is leaving the Big-12 after this season and they have expressed the team focus to win the final Big-12 Championship in their school history in this week’s press conferences. However, away from the press conferences, the remaining Big-12 schools want nothing more than to fall short after defecting from their league. 

Texas enters this game winners of three of their last four games and seven of the last 10 games. They ended the regular season with four straight losses against the spread. A poor ATS run early always gets the public sided with the opponent. It us human nature not to want to back a money losing team, but this is truly a golden opportunity to back the Longhorns. 

Simulator Projections

My proprietary sports betting database and simulator shows a high probability that Texas will lose this game by four or fewer points and has an excellent shot at winning the game and advancing to the Big-12 Championship game. Texas will shoot well from three point range hitting between 31 and 37% of their shot attempts.  In past games, Missouri is just 1-7 against the money line losing 10.2 units per one unit wagered in road games when their opponents make 31% to 37% of their three pointers in a game over the last three seasons. 

Texas Rebounding Is the Key

One of the common factors with any dog getting an upset win is an advantage in rebounding the basketball sand minimizing the opponents’ second chance scoring opportunities. Texas ranks 85th in the nation getting an average of 36.1 boards per game. By comparison, Missouri ranks just 261st getting 32.4 boards per game. 

Missouri shoots a very high percentage in most games and their offensive rebounding is weak as a result. Yet, they don’t play an offensive scheme where they do look to crash the glass choosing to get back on defense and prevent fast break scoring opportunities by their opponents. Texas ranks 35th in the nation averaging 11.4 offensive boards per game and the Longhorns will be following up their shots looking for the rebound of missed shot attempts. Of the Longhorns total rebounds, 36.3% of them have been on the offensive glass good for 24th best percentage in the nation. This will cause problems for Missouri in this game.

NCAA Basketball pickTake Texas as a 20* Titan Play