Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Thursday's Tip Sheet

As the non-conference portion of this year’s college basketball season continues to wind down, Thursday’s betting board is highlighted by a neutral-site Big 12/ACC showdown at Madison Square Garden between Texas Tech and Duke.

As a bonus betting preview, the Mountain West’s Utah State Aggies will go on the road to the Fertitta Center to face the AAC’s nationally ranked Houston Cougars.

Opening Odds per [...]

No. 12 Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Opening Odds: Duke -7 ½, Total 144 ½

Betting Matchup

With Saturday’s 82-48 romp over Abilene Christian, the Red Raiders ran their straight-up winning streak to 10 games. They covered against the spread as 19-point home favorites after going 0-3 ATS in their previous three games. Texas Tech is an even 5-5 ATS overall with the total staying UNDER in seven of the 10 games. Much of the team’s early success can be attributed to the elevated play of sophomore guard Jarret Culver. With 30 points in his last outing, he is averaging a team-high 19.1 points per game while also leading the team in assists (4.5).

Duke has worked its way back up to No. 2 in the nation with five SU wins (4-1 ATS) since its 89-87 loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Nov. 21 as an eight-point favorite. The Blue Devils finished their recent three-game tour against the Ivy League with an average of 92 points a game. They are 10-1 SU overall with a 7-4 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in Duke’s last five games after going OVER 168 ½-points against the Bulldogs. Freshman forward RJ Barrett is averaging 24.5 PPG and he has eclipsed that number in each of his last four starts.

Betting Trends

-- The Red Raiders are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the ACC and they have failed to cover in their last five Thursday games. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of their last 10 games following a SU win.

-- The Blue Devils have a 5-2 record ATS in their last seven games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in their last four games coming off a SU win and it has gone OVER in eight of their last 11 games against the Big 12.

Utah State Aggies at No. 21 Houston Cougars (ESPN3, 8:00 p.m. ET)

Opening Odds: Houston -5 ½, Total 143 ½

Betting Matchup

Earlier losses to Arizona State and BYU are the Aggies’ only two SU setbacks so far against nine wins. They failed to cover on Dec. 8 in a nine-point victory against Weber State as 11 ½-point favorites as part of an 8-3 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in three of their last five games. Utah State is averaging 84.0 PPG while holding opposing teams to 66.0 points at the other end of court. Junior guard Sam Merrill is averaging 20.2 PPG and shooting 51.1 percent from the floor.

The Cougars will be putting their perfect 10-0 SU start on the line after squeezing out a 68-64 victory against St. Louis on Sunday. Closing as eight-point home favorites, this was the first time they failed to cover in their last five games. Houston is 6-3-1 ATS overall and the total has stayed UNDER in six of its last eight contests. Three of five starters ended Sunday’s game in double figures led by senior guard Corey Davis Jr’s team-high 17 points. Houston shot 44 percent from the field to basically mirror its field goal percentage on the year (44.9).

Betting Trends

-- The Aggies have covered in six of their last eight games following a SU win, but they fall to 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a SU winning record at home. The total has gone OVER in their last four games played on Thursday.

-- The Cougars are 11-5-2 ATS in their last 18 home games, but they have failed to cover in five of their last six games against the Mountain West. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last eight games coming off a SU win.

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