NCAAB Pick: Texas +4½ (-109) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)
It’s a wild and wacky world these days in the Big 12 where six teams are 2-games apart for the conference lead, and we have an NCAA basketball pick for Monday’s meeting in Kansas between the Jayhawks and Texas Longhorns.
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Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Monday, February 06, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Allen Fieldhouse
Back in the early-80s, the band Talking Heads made a fortune with a concert film and subsequent live album titled Stop Making Sense. It could very well serve as the soundtrack for Big 12 basketball in advance of Monday’s matchup between Texas and Kansas.
There are tight conference races from the SEC and Big East to the Pac-12 and the Mountain West, but none of them stacks up the Big 12 in terms of both tightly-bunched squads and top to bottom depth.
‘Horns & Jayhawks Flip-Flop on Futures Odds
Sitting on top of the league with four weeks to play are the Longhorns. Texas has no margin of error with only a 1-game cushion over the Iowa State Cyclones, and the Jayhawks are part of a foursome that is just 2-games back.
Not that anyone is surprised by the depth in the conference given preseason projections, and neither are we shocked to see Texas and Kansas sitting at or near the top of the Big 12 just as Big 12 futures odds suggested back in October.
Kansas opened as co-favorites with Baylor, each priced around +200. Recent struggles have dropped the Jayhawks around +450 while the Bears are even further back at +600. Texas started in the 3-hole at +350, but has risen to the top of the list in the +125 to +150 range.
UT 17th in Nation in FG Percentage
Rodney Terry and his troops have clawed their way to the top of the conference standings by winning four of their last five, with the lone loss coming in a tough assignment in the Big 12/SEC Challenge with a trip to face Tennessee.
There are several deserving nominees for the college basketball coach of the year, coaches who have their teams playing far better than expected, but none have exceeded the job Terry has done keeping the Longhorns on their expected path despite the Chris Beard scandal.
Texas remained in the Sunflower State following Saturday’s 69-66 win at Kansas State. The Longhorns closed as 1½-point road chalk at BetAnySports (visit our BetAnySports Review) in the contest, and rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half to get the W. The Wildcats only scored 2 points in the final 3:16.
Turnovers had Texas struggling in the first half, and the game never lived up to the offensive slugfest the Longhorns and Wildcats showcased in their first meeting at Austin last month. Sir’Jabari Rice scored 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in his 18 minutes off the bench.
Jayhawks Fall Flat at Iowa State
Just when I thought Kansas had put its troubles in the rearview mirror, the Jayhawks reverted to previous form and laid a big old egg in a 68-53 loss at Iowa State on Saturday. The Jayhawks closed as 1-point favorites at the sportsbooks and trailed for all but about a minute.
Bill Self pointed to Jalen Wilson’s 1-man show performance as a reason for the horrible showing. Wilson scored 26, nearly half of the team’s total. It was the second-fewest points Kansas has scored this season, the low-tide mark being 50 in a loss to Tennessee.
The loss was the third in a row on the Big 12 highway for the Jayhawks, and the sixth time in the last eight games that they failed to beat the spread.
Rivalry Notes & Betting Trends This the first of two meetings between the Longhorns and Jayhawks, and the fifth consecutive meeting with both sides ranked. They split their two matchups a year ago, each posting wins at home. Kansas has tripled up on Texas in the series, 36-12.
- The meeting at Allen Fieldhouse a year ago came in the regular season finale for both teams, and ended with a 70-63 Jayhawks win in overtime.
- The Longhorns have covered 4 of their last 5 trips to Lawrence.
- Totals have split in the last four clashes on the Jayhawks’ floor.
The Odds & The Picks
A quick glance at the NCAAB odds finds Kansas favored by 4-4½ with the total running in the 146½-147 range. Both teams are under .500 covering spreads on the season, and both have slight ‘over’ leans in the totals columns.
I have a higher degree of confidence in a play on the ‘under’ tonight than in picking either side. Kansas should bounce back into the win column, but I’ll still take the points on Texas.
NCAAB Pick: Under 146½ (-105) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
*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.