Follow The Trends & Go 'Under' With Your NCAA Basketball Picks For Texas vs. K-State

Willie Bee

Monday, February 22, 2016 1:42 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 1:42 PM GMT

The Big Monday betting card includes a big game down in the Big 12 where the Kansas St. Wildcats host a slumping Texas Longhorns squad Will they cash our NCAA basketball picks?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 132
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

One of the first things that struck me about tonight's game between the Texas Longhorns and Kansas State Wildcats were the ruts both teams are presently in along with the contrasts in the totals columns on the wagering front. The next item to come to mind was it's a must-win for the Longhorns if they want to hold out any hope of claiming the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big 12 Tournament.

The final two weeks of the regular season begins for both teams in Manhattan, their 7 PM (ET) contest televised from Bramlage Coliseum by ESPNU, and it's a toss-up at the vast majority of sportsbooks currently listing the matchup as a pick 'em. Bookmaker has the scoreboard barrier set at 132, but we're seeing signs in Las Vegas that might point to that total dropping 1-2 points by tip-off.

Both the Wildcats and Longhorns come together having lost three of their last four, K-State falling 72-63 to rival and conference leader Kansas on Saturday while the Longhorns were dropping a home tilt to a rival in a 78-74 setback to Baylor the same day. For the 'Cats, it was their third consecutive game to fall 'under' the NCAA basketball odds to leave Bruce Weber's club a level 12-12 O/U on the season. Texas' loss was its third consecutive 'over,' the 'Horns now 12-13-1 on the totals.

It would take a late push by the Wildcats plus some help above them not to finish in the bottom 4 of the Big 12 and avoid having to play in the first round of the conference tourney, scheduled to begin March 9 in Kansas City. Texas is part of a 5-team group separated by just a game in the race for 2nd-place behind the Jayhawks.

 

Longhorns Looking For 4th-Straight Win Over K-State
After sweeping the Wildcats a year ago, Texas can repeat that performance with a victory Monday evening. The Longhorns grabbed a 60-57 win in early-January when Kansas State came to Austin, that final margin not good enough to cover a -5½ point closing spread.

The game was pretty even in all of the statistical columns, Kansas State taking a 29-26 lead into intermission and twice missing 3-pointers in the waning seconds that could have forced overtime. Three-pointers by Javan Felix and Connor Lammert in the final minutes iced the second half rally by the Longhorns, who were led that evening by Isaiah Taylor's 17 points.

The final score also wasn't enough to reach the 137½ point total, marking the 6th-straight 'under' in the series, two of those games taking place in Manhattan. Texas got its third win in a row to move to a 14-11 advantage as Big 12 foes, but Kansas State still leads the overall series, 17-14, and is 9-4 on its home floor.

 

'Cats Have Covered Just 3 Of Last 4 Home Games
It could be argued that no team has faced a tougher schedule the past two weeks as Texas (17-10 straight up, 13-13 against the spread). The Longhorns played four consecutive games against ranked teams, losing on the road to Oklahoma and Iowa State as well as last Saturday's home battle with Baylor, their only win in the stretch last Tuesday vs. West Virginia. Shaka Smart's side still has Oklahoma and Kansas in Austin before closing out in Stillwater vs. Oklahoma State.

It hasn't been much easier for Kansas State (15-12 SU, 14-9-1 ATS) during its current 1-3 run, the home losses coming against Baylor and Kansas plus an away defeat at Oklahoma State, the only triumph coming last Tuesday in Ft. Worth vs. Big 12 cellar-dweller TCU. After starting the conference fixture with four covers, the Wildcats have gone 4-6 ATS vs. the Big 12.

My free NCAA basketball pick will be to follow the totals trend in the series with an 'under' play, and jump on the number at 132 before it drops.

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