Kansas vs. Texas Top Picks for Saturday: Will Jayhawks & Longhorns be a Letdown?

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Guard Sir'Jabari Rice #10 of the Texas Longhorns controls the ball during the first half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. John E. Moore III/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAB Pick: Texas ML (-152) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Texas ML (-152)
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After the buildup of the last few weeks of a huge showdown between Kansas and Texas in the season finale, the buildup was all for naught the Big 12 race having been decided. How will that affect the odds and value for bettors?

‘Horns fans can place their wagers for this and other college basketball games at any of the major Texas betting sites.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Texas Longhorns

Saturday, March 4, 2023 – 04:00 PM EST at Moody Center 

Just as Marlon Brando’s character Terry Malloy coulda’ been a contender in the movie On the Waterfront, Saturday’s showdown in Austin between the Kansas Jayhawks and Texas Longhorns coulda’ been the game to watch on a slate that is jam-packed with meaningful, marquee matchups

Now that Texas has fallen into a late 2-game skid to help Kansas to a 19th Big 12 regular season title in 23 years, it has become just another game on the fixture, and that leaves bettors having to consider different angles in a contest that has far less riding on the outcome than it did just a few days ago

Tiebreaker Alert for Big 12 Tourney Seeding

None of that is to suggest the Longhorns just laid down in the race or that the Jayhawks didn’t earn the Big 12 title. Nor was it intended to imply there’s absolutely nothing for Texas and Kansas to play for. It’s just that the urgency has resided some for the Jayhawks, while in many ways increasing for the Longhorns. 

Only two of the 10 seeds have been decided for next week’s conference tournament in Kansas City: Kansas is No. 1 and Oklahoma is No. 10. The other eight slots are open, and you can bet the oddsmakers at top sportsbooks will include all those angles when setting spreads and totals. 

Texas is currently tied for second with Kansas State and Baylor. If all three remain tied after Saturday, Kansas State would earn second place by virtue of beating Baylor twice and splitting with Texas. The Longhorns would be seeded third with the Bears at No. 4. 

Rivalry Notes & Betting Trends

Kansas never trailed in the first meeting with Texas a little less than a month ago, withstanding a couple of big pushes by the Longhorns midway through the first half and midway through the second for an 88-80 triumph as 4-point chalk at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review). 

Last year’s matchup in Austin was a tough battle the entire way. Neither side led by more than 7, and Texas scored the game’s final 7 points to rally for a 79-76 decision. Kansas was favored by 1½ and both teams stunk it up from 3-point range. 

  • Kansas has won the last 2 meetings for a pronounced 37-12 lead in the series. 
  • Texas has won the last 2 meetings in Austin, and 3 of the last 4 on its home floor(s). 
  • February’s matchup easily passed a 146½-point total, the fourth ‘over’ in the last 5 meetings. 

‘Under’ Cashes in KU’s Last 3

Bill Self is a consummate recruiter and a master with the Xs and Os, but his primary job as a college basketball head coach on Saturday will be to balance the desire to win with the necessity to keep all of his players healthy. 

Kansas is surfing an 8-game win streak wave heading into the regular season finale. A top 5 team most of the campaign, the Jayhawks are coming off a 67-63 win in their final home game of the season on Tuesday, committing just 5 turnovers and shooting 18-22 from the free throw line. 

‘Horns Have Covered 3 of Last 4 at Home

Despite falling off the pace with Kansas in the fight for the conference title, Rodney Terry is still my choice for Big 12 Coach of the Year – and maybe the entire country – for the job he did keeping the Longhorns on course despite the whole Chris Beard mess. 

Blowing the early lead at Baylor last Saturday led to the Longhorns coming out a bit flat earlier this week at TCU, and that ultimately led to a 75-73 loss. Texas backers were getting 3½ on the NCAAB odds and the Longhorns fought back from a 16-point deficit. 

UT Straight-Up at Home

Texas also battled back from a double-digit deficit in the first meeting with Kansas, but couldn’t quite get over the hump inside a raucous Allen Fieldhouse. It was the Jayhawks facing a must-win situation then when they trailed the Longhorns by 2 games in the Big 12 race. 

Those tables are turned this time with Texas facing something of a must-win contest. A loss and the Longhorns could wind up the No. 4 seed at next week’s conference tourney after being in shape to be the No. 1 just a week ago. 

A lot could depend on what Baylor and Kansas State have done prior to the Longhorns taking the floor. I’ll limp into this one with college basketball picks on the ‘over’ and Texas moneyline. 

NCAAB Pick: Texas ML (-152)

NCAAB Pick: Over 149 (-110) at BetOnline

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Over 149 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.