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College basketball picks: No. 25 Texas Tech vs. No. 5 Houston on Wednesday

The Red Raiders take on the Cougars in a Big 12 matchup on Wednesday. We go over the odds and lines and give you our best bet.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 25 Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the No. 5 Houston Cougars in a highly anticipated Big XII matchup on Wednesday, January 17. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET from Houston.

Texas Tech (14-2) lands at 30th at KenPom and 32nd in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Red Raiders grabbed a clutch one-point win over Kansas State in their latest game, defeating the Wildcats 60-59. Before that, they defeated Oklahoma State and Texas in back-to-back games.

Guard Pop Isaacs, recently accused of sexually assaulting a minor on a team trip in November, leads the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game. Warren Washington adds a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game. In the win over Kansas State, guard Joe Toussaint led the team with 12 points. The Red Raiders have held opponents to 64.8 points per game (24th in the nation) so far this season.

Houston (14-2) lands at first place in the KenPom rankings and first in adjusted defensive efficiency. They fall to 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Cougars are going through a challenging phase right now after losing back-to-back games to Iowa State and TCU, both on the road. The TCU loss came by just one point, but these marked Houston’s first and only two losses of the season.

They have wins over Texas A&M and No. 21 Dayton this season, but conference play has not gotten off to the most auspicious start. However the Cougars still lead the nation in points allowed per game, keeping opponents to just 51.4 on average. They limit their opponents to a 35.2% rate from the field as a whole. On the offensive end, the Cougars average 74.8 points per game, which doesn’t crack the top 100. They grab 40.3 rebounds per game (16th in the nation).

Texas Tech is on a high right now, and Houston is in a skid. While it will be a big boost for the Cougars to return to their home court, I still think the Red Raiders will give them a run for their money. They can reasonably match Houston on defense, and we can expect a low-scoring, close game here. Houston’s offense is not high-scoring enough to put Texas Tech away early.

Texas Tech vs. Houston odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Houston -13
Total: 129.5
Moneyline: Houston -900, Texas Tech +600

Pick: Texas Tech +13