Kansas' & TCU's Tilts Present Pair Of Totals Picks You Need To Know

Jay Pryce

Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:59 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 4:59 PM UTC

A pair of Big 12 basketball clashes flash value picking the over/under Saturday. What way will the final tally fall against the game total in No. 20 West Virginia at No. 13 Kansas and Oklahoma State at TCU? Our thoughts:

No. 20 West Virginia vs No. 13 Kansas (-4)

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 152.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

No. 20 West Virginia (19-7 SU, 11-11 ATS) has finished second to No. 13 Kansas (20-6 SU, 12-12 ATS) in the Big 12 Conference regular season each of the last two seasons. Once again, it trails the Jayhawks, a game back for second place with five to play. Both are chasing red-hot No. 7 Texas Tech (22-4 SU, 13-9 ATS), the Red Raiders winners of seven straight.

Head to head, the Mountaineers are 4-8 SU and 7-5 ATS versus Kansas under head coach Bob Huggins. They are winless in five meetings at Allen Fieldhouse, losing by 12.2 points per game. Huggins’ squad is 2-3 ATS, failing to cover a 9.9 average line by 2.3 points per game. Both teams have been ranked in each meeting.

Generating quality offense is problematic for West Virginia in this spot. It is shooting just 37.0 percent in Lawrence, topping the 40.0 mark once (41.2 in an 84-80 overtime loss last season). The Mountaineers sport the 18th most efficient offense into this matchup per KenPom, led by John Wooden Player of the Year finalist Jevon Carter. The senior guard is the only player in the nation posting better than 16 points, 6 assists and 3 steals per game.

Of course, West Virginia’s defensive press is its bread and butter, helping lead to a nation’s best 10.0 extra scoring chances per game. This year’s group ranks second in turnover margin (6.1), fifth in takeaways (17.8), and 11th in steals per game (8.5) The Mountaineers are forcing opponents to turn it over on 24.3 percent of their possessions, second in the country.

Kansas is vulnerable at home for the first time in ages. Prior to this season, it had lost once at Allen Fieldhouse since 2013. It has dropped three of its last eight in the building to Arizona State (95-85), Texas Tech (85-73) and Oklahoma State (84-79). Since December, the Jayhawks are 2-6-1 ATS at home, failing to cover a -13.1 average line by a whopping -8.1 points per game. Typical double-digit victories in the building have evaporated. Kansas owns just two in this span.

The good news for Mountaineers backers is the fact they are 4-1 SU and ATS when tipping off favorites or underdogs of less than 5 points in the series. Oddsmakers opened this meeting -4 in favor of Kansas. Check out SBR’s college basketball odds board for updated lines. Here's Huggins' outlook for the matchup, which includes utilizing team depth and cutting out mistakes late:

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Tony Caridi and Bob Huggins look back at the TCU win and discuss the upcoming two-game road trip in this week's United Bank Playbook. pic.twitter.com/87cIqTtHtE

— WVU Basketball (@WVUhoops) February 16, 2018

Although the Jayhawks are expected to win, there is little value laying points here. They are 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS against ranked opponents, the potent offense sputtering at 42.8 percent from the floor. Coupled with the Mountaineers, bettors can expect scoring to come up short of projections. Combined, the ‘under’ is 8-3 when either battle ranked opponents, including a 71-66 Jayhawks victory in Morgantown that came up 19.5 points short of a 156.5 total. There should be a few more points this time around, but West Virginia’s cold shooting in the building continues. Pick ‘under’ for your best bet.

Oklahoma State vs TCU (-7.5)

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 153Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Rival coaches picked Oklahoma State (15-11 SU, 10-13 ATS) to finish last in the Big 12 preseason poll. It sits a game up of Iowa State from the bottom with a 5-8 SU record. One positive for the Cowboys is the offense never backs down. They have gone off road underdogs in six conference clashes, averaging 78.8 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting. Oklahoma State has succeeded market projections in scoring in all but one, scoring 8.5 points per game more than its listed team total.

TCU (17-9 SU, 12-12 ATS), meanwhile, opened the season with 12 straight wins. It’s 5-8 SU and 6-6-1 ATS since beginning Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs have tipped off favorites in seven of these matchups. The ‘over’ has hit in all but one—although overtime helped push an 81-78 victory over Baylor beyond the number (147.5). Teams are shooting a combined 99.3 percent from the floor under these market conditions.

The TCU offense ranks fourth in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency nationally. It averages 85.6 points per game against foes yielding more than 70.0 a contest. The Cowboys surrender 73.4 respectively. Oklahoma State stays close, pushing the final tally above the mark. Pick ‘over’ the total.

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