Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Double-Digit Favorite Kansas Won't Be Stopped By Texas Tech

Jason Lake

Saturday, February 27, 2016 5:30 AM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 5:30 AM UTC

The Big 12 is where it's at this year, and the Kansas Jayhawks have been shredding the NCAA basketball odds boards. Next up: the Texas Tech Red Raiders this Saturday in Lawrence.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 25: 8-6 ATS, 1-1 Totals

Teams rise and fall, and so do conferences. Three years ago, the Big 12 was a mess, earning “just” five March Madness spots and ranking fifth among the conferences at Sports-Reference. One year later, the Big 12 was No. 1, and they've been there ever since. We'll see their top program in action this Saturday (noon ET, ESPN) when the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks host the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Should be some quality basketball on display at Allen Fieldhouse.

Well, from one team at least. Kansas is an 11.5-point rock chalk on the NCAA basketball odds boards as we go to press, already up from –11 at the open. And there still might be some profit margin left over from there. Let's dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind Doc Naismith's old team.


Perry Ellis International
The Jayhawks (24-4 SU, 18-8 ATS) haven't had a truly bad season in over 30 years – pretty much ever since Larry Brown took over the program in 1983. Then it was Roy Williams, and now Bill Self is at the controls. Kansas has never finished lower than No. 16 in the AP rankings with Self as head coach. He's in his 13th year at Lawrence, and his Jayhawks won the Big 12 title each of the past 11 seasons.

Given how teams rely on one-and-done “student-athletes” these days, it's refreshing to see so many experienced players sticking with the Jayhawks program. Senior forward Perry Ellis (23.7 PER, +7.5 BPM) leads the team in scoring, as he did last year. Junior guards Wayne Selden (18.6 PER, +8.4 BPM) and Frank Mason (19.2 PER, +8.6 BPM) are next on the list. All those holdovers give Kansas incredible depth, and the ability to overcome even the scariest chalk monsters. The Jayhawks are 8-3 ATS this year as double-digit faves.


Gotcher Knows
Texas Tech (18-9 SU, 13-11 ATS) has a big-name coach of its own in Tubby Smith, now in his third year at Lubbock. Smith is trying to get his team into the Tournament for the first time since 2007. It's looking good: ESPN's bracketology has the Raiders grabbing a No. 8 seed. This is another veteran-laden team, led by fifth-year guard Toddrick Gotcher (19.9 PER, +9.5 BPM), who turns 23 next month. He's a man among boys.

But the Raiders (+14.1 SRS) still can't hold a candle to Kansas (+23.1 SRS). They're also down an important player: sophomore center Norense Odiase (17.0 PER, +1.8 BPM), who broke his right foot at the end of January and isn't expected back until the postseason. The 'Hawks won this matchup 69-59 as 6.5-point faves in Lubbock, in a game where Odiase scored 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting. We'll keep them in our NCAA basketball picks for Saturday's rematch, thank you kindly.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas -12.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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