The No. 3-seed Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the 14-seed Northern Kentucky Norse in a 2019 NCAA Tournament first-round game on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET. The Red Raiders are 13-point favorites, with the over-under set at 137 in the latest Texas Tech vs. Northern Kentucky odds. The Red Raiders shared the Big 12 regular-season title with Kansas State, ending Kansas' run atop the conference. However, they had a nine-game win streak snapped by West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. On the other side of the court, Northern Kentucky shared the Horizon League regular-season title with Wright State and then took the conference tourney and automatic bid. Both teams have enjoyed breakthrough seasons, so you'll want to read the Texas Tech vs. Northern Kentucky picks from the SportsLine Projection Model before making your 2019 NCAA Tournament predictions.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $4,000 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered the postseason on a strong 11-5 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, the model has simulated Texas Tech vs. Northern Kentucky 10,000 times. We can tell you it's leaning over, but it also has a very strong against-the-spread pick that hits in over 60 percent of simulations. That pick is available only at SportsLine.
Entering Friday's matchup, the model knows defense has been Texas Tech's calling card. The Red Raiders rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 59.3 points per game. They're No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom, smothering opponents with swarming pressure on the perimeter and protecting the rim with Tariq Owens.
The senior transfer who had previously played at Tennessee and St. John's averages 2.4 blocks per game. Norense Odiase also averaged one block during the season, giving the Red Raiders a pair of starters who can erase shots when Texas Tech gambles defensively.
However, the Norse can get red-hot from behind the 3-point line, which gives them a shot at covering the Texas Tech vs. Northern Kentucky spread.
The Norse hit at least 10 treys 14 times this season and went 12-2 when they reached that threshold. That includes an impressive 12-for-21 shooting performance from deep during their Horizon League title game win over Wright State.
Drew McDonald looks like he belongs on the block at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds. He does plenty of damage, averaging 19.1 points and 9.5 rebounds. However, McDonald also has impressive range, hitting 41 percent of his 3-point attempts. Look for Northern Kentucky to use his versatility to create mismatches.
So who wins Northern Kentucky vs. Texas Tech? And which side of the spread cashes in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Northern Kentucky vs. Texas Tech spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed college hoops, and find out.