- No. 10 Penn State and No. 2 Texas meet in second-round action of the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 18
- The Longhorns are favored by 5.5 points over the Nittanies
- Who moves on? Continue reading for the Penn State vs Texas odds and picks
Second-round action in the Midwest Region kicks off on Saturday as #10 Penn State (23-13, 21-3-2 ATS) takes on #2 Texas (27-8, 18-17 ATS) at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Tip-off is set for 7:45 PM ET.
The Nittany Lions knocked off one of the best teams in the SEC in the opening round, beating Texas A&M 76-59 to book their spot in the Round of 32. The Longhorns, meanwhile, cruised against #15 Colgate with a big 81-61 victory.
Penn State vs Texas Odds
|Penn State||+5.5 (-110)||+195||Ov 140.5 (-110)|
|Texas||-5.5 (-110)||-230||Un 140.5 (-110)|
Texas is laying 5.5 points and has covered the spread in 53.3% of the games they’ve been a favorite. The moneyline odds sit at -230 for an implied win probability of 69.70%. PSU comes back at +195 and has a 33.9% chance of taking this one.
Penn State Rolling
Despite finishing in ninth place in the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions made an impressive run in the conference tournament, ultimately advancing all the way to the final before losing to Purdue. Along the way, they beat Illinois, Northwestern, and Indiana.
Penn State also gave the Boilermakers a serious run for their money, only losing by two points. They’ve clearly carried that impressive play into March Madness, dominating the Aggies on Thursday en route to the next round. Guard Andrew Funk led the way with a game-high 27 points, while star player Jalen Pickett also did his part.
Pickett, who leads the Nittany Lions in points, assists, and rebounds, dropped 19 points, dished out eight dimes, and grabbed seven boards as he played all 40 minutes. Penn State is the fifth-best three-point shooting program in the nation and couldn’t miss against A&M, draining 59% of their triples. If they get hot Saturday, an upset is very much possible.
Texas Needs to Get to the Line
The Longhorns were never really tested by Colgate, but this is a team that typically does a good job of drawing fouls and getting to the line. In this contest, however, Texas took just eight freebies. Rodney Terry’s squad must use their physicality to get to the charity stripe a lot more on Saturday against a Penn State defense that isn’t elite by any means.
Sir’Jabari Rice led the charge in the Round of 64, pouring in 23 points off the bench on 8 for 14 shooting from the field. Dylan Disu and Marcus Carr also finished with 17 apiece, while guard Tyrese Hunter added 10.
round of 32 bound 🤘 pic.twitter.com/U6GO6ECBNR
— Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) March 17, 2023
Texas won the Big 12 tournament by beating Kansas and come into Saturday’s matchup on a five-game winning streak en route to locking down a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament bracket. They’re a top-50 team on both ends of the floor and can absolutely stifle you defensively. It’s also important to note the Longhorns are holding opponents to a 32% clip from long range. Their perimeter defense will be crucial vs Penn State.
Penn State vs Texas Picks
There is one statistic standing out to me here. The Nittany Lions are 9-0 ATS in their last nine as an underdog. While I do think the Longhorns will prove to be the superior team, I expect Penn State to make it close and fight until the very end.
Pick: Penn State +5.5 (-110)
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