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Miami vs Texas Predictions, Odds, and Picks: Rice Takes Advantage of a Leaky Hurricanes Defense

While the Canes have been fantastic at scoring, they leave a lot to be desired on the defensive end of the floor. Find out why we're taking advantage of this matchup by hitting a Longhorns' player points prop market in our Miami vs. Texas betting picks.

Last Updated: Mar 26, 2023 3:05 PM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Elite Eight wraps up tonight with a clash between the No. 5 seeded Miami Hurricanes and the No. 2 Texas Longhorns as a part of our latest March Madness picks.

Both teams are coming off double-digit victories in the Midwest Region semifinals, with the Hurricanes upsetting a No. 1 seed Houston Cougars program that topped the March Madness odds board for the majority of the year. 

The Canes are underdogs once again, however, with the Longhorns entering Sunday as 4-point favorites. Without further ado, here are my free college basketball picks for Miami vs. Texas. 

Miami vs Texas best odds

Miami vs Texas picks and predictions

Texas guard Sir'Jabari Rice has really seen his role grow over the course of the season. Leading up to the Big 12/SEC challenge, Rice was averaging 10 points and 7.1 field goal attempts per game.

Since then, he has upped those numbers to 16.4 points per game on 11.4 FGA in 17 contests while seeing his minutes increase as well. Rice dropped 16 points in just 22 minutes in the Sweet 16 with Texas blowing out Xavier, and he'll get more playing time if this game is closer. 

Miami has struggled to contain perimeter players and ranks 325th in the country at defending catch-and-shoot threes according to ShotQualityBets. Rice has been lighting it up from long-range and is draining 2.3 treys per game at a 40.4% clip over the last two months.

Look for Rice to take advantage of a leaky Hurricanes' defense and go Over his points total of 14.5.

My best betSir'Jabari Rice Over 14.5 points (-125 at bet365)

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Miami vs Texas spread analysis

The Hurricanes won the ACC regular season title but were a trendy 5/12 team to fade in the first round against Drake, with books installing them as slim 2.5-point faves for that matchup. Despite a horrific shooting performance from their typically sharp-shooting stars, the Canes still won that contest by seven points.

They then hammered Indiana 85-69 as short 1.5-point pups in the Round of 32 before beating Houston 89-75 as 8-point underdogs in the Sweet 16. Miami also torched an elite Houston defense by shooting 51.7% from the field (including 44% from deep) and turning the ball over just five times.

The Canes have been getting buckets all season thanks to their ball movement, low turnover rate, and ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor. They are sixth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency per KenPom but rank just 104th on defense, and no team outside the Top 50 in adjusted defensive efficiency has made the Final Four in more than a decade. 

Texas has a more balanced team and ranks in the Top 20 on both offense (15th) and defense (10th). The Longhorns have been red-hot, winning seven in a row and going 6-0-1 against the spread, with a pair of double-digit victories against Kansas during that span.

In the Sweet 16, they had a 24-point lead against Xavier with just 10 minutes left in the game and held on to win 83-71, easily covering as 4-point faves.

The Longhorns shot 52.5% from the field in that contest and five players scored in double digits. This helped make up for the absence of Dylan Disu, who played just two minutes before leaving with a foot injury.

Disu had been on fire for Texas, averaging 19.5 ppg and 8.5 rebounds per game in his previous four games. His status for Sunday is currently up in the air.

Miami vs Texas Over/Under analysis

Both of these teams have guard-oriented lineups that like to push the pace and do an excellent job of sharing the ball and spreading the floor. 

The Hurricanes are 15th in the country with 79.4 ppg against Division 1 foes and have four players averaging more than 13 ppg led by Isaiah Wong (16.3 ppg). However, they've been awful on defense for most of the year and had surrendered at least 85 points in four of their last eight games entering the NCAA Tournament. 

That's bad news against a Longhorns team that averages 77.9 ppg against Division 1 opponents and is 24th in the country in field goal percentage (47.2%). Like Miami, Texas has multiple scoring options with Marcus Carr (15.8 ppg) and Rice leading the way.

That said, before you go gung-ho on betting the Over 149.5, keep in mind that both teams have played very well on the defensive end of the floor lately.

The Hurricanes entered the Round of 64 outside the Top 200 in scoring defense (72.1 ppg) and opponent field goal percentage (45%), but have allowed 66.7 ppg on just 39.6% shooting during the tourney.

The Longhorns have surrendered just 60.0 ppg in their last seven games and held a highly-efficient Musketeers offense to just 25 points in the first half on Friday, before ultimately taking their foot off the pedal in the final 10 minutes.

Miami vs Texas betting trend to know

In the Longhorns' last eight games, they've gone 7-0-1 ATS while the Under has cashed seven times. Find more college basketball betting trends for Miami vs. Texas.

Miami vs Texas game info

Region: Midwest
Location: T-Mobile Center, Las Vegas, NV
Date: Sunday, March 26, 2023
Tip-off: 5:05 p.m. ET

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