NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet Oklahoma St. +2.5 vs. Kansas St.

Darin Zank

Saturday, January 24, 2015 12:24 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 12:24 PM UTC

Kansas State gave Iowa State a good battle earlier this week in Ames, came up short of the upset but hung on for the cover, much to our delight. Now, can the 'Cats get up for another tough Big 12 bout, Saturday against Oklahoma State? And should we back them, or fade 'em?

Cowboys-Wildcats Betting Odds
Various NCAA basketball odds surveyed opened this game with Kansas State favored by a point or so, then bumped the Wildcats to -2 and -2.5. That's OK – we don't mind going against the betting flow.

Cowboys-Wildcats: Breakdown
Oklahoma State made the NCAA tournament by the skin of its you-know-what last season, lost in the first round, then lost three key players over the off-season. So we figured the Cowboys might have a tough time returning to the Dance this season.

OSU then started 10-2 through non-conference play, with wins over Oregon State and Memphis, the losses coming against South Carolina and Maryland. The Cowboys then opened Big 12 play with a 61-47 victory over Kansas State, a two-point loss at Iowa State and a win over Texas. But Oklahoma State then lost at Kansas by 10, and at Oklahoma by 17. Last time out, though, Wednesday night, the Cowboys bounced back, defeating Texas Tech 63-43, covering as two-touchdown favorites at home.

Oklahoma State shot just 37 percent against OU, and allowed the Sooners to shoot 56 percent. The Cowboys then shot 45 percent against the Red Raiders, while holding Tech to 28 percent shooting.

Meanwhile, Kansas State returned three starters this season from a team that went 20-13 and also lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season. Coming into this season we gave the Wildcats a better than 50/50 chance of making it back to the Big Dance.

Kansas State then only started 7-6 through non-conference play this season, with wins over Texas A&M and Purdue, but losses to Arizona, which is understandable, but also Long Beach State and Texas Southern. The Wildcats then opened conference play with that 61-47 loss to Oklahoma State. But KSU then won four in a row, beating TCU, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Baylor, with two covers and a push in the process.

Last time out, Tuesday night, Kansas State, as a 10-point dog, played Iowa State even through 37 minutes, faltered a bit at the end and lost but covered the spread. The Wildcats outshot the Cyclones 46 to 45 percent, and made 15 of 16 free-throws. ISU was just a little too tough down the stretch.

Just before that K State trailed Baylor by nine points midway through the second half, but rallied for a 63-61 victory, pushing the spread as a two-point favorite.

Cowboys-Wildcats Recent History
Oklahoma State won the first meeting between these teams this season three weeks ago, 61-47, covering as a seven-point home favorite. The Cowboys trailed early in the second half, but went on a 15-0 run to take over. OSU shot 49 percent from the floor, made eight of 21 shots from beyond the arc and held K State to just 38 percent shooting.

That game played way UNDER its total of 130, as the Wildcats scored just 18 points in the second half.

Last season these teams split two games, each winning and covering on its home court.

Cowboys-Wildcats Key Stats
Oklahoma State is shooting 44 percent from the field this season, 34 percent from 3-point range and 71 percent from the FT line. At the other end of the court the Cowboys are holding opponents to 38 percent FG shooting, which ranks in the top 20 in the nation.

Kansas State is shooting 46 percent from the floor, 36 percent from long range and 68 percent from the line, while allowing foes to shoot 44 percent.

Cowboys-Wildcats Betting Trends
Oklahoma State is 5-8 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Cowboys games have averaged 130 points.

Kansas State is 6-7 on the totals, as 'Cats games have averaged 129 points.

Cowboys-Wildcats Free Pick
Kansas State might be the better team in this match-up, but it gave a big effort Tuesday night, coming up just short at Iowa State. And it might be tough to come up with another effort like that again so soon. Plus, the Wildcats just lost to Oklahoma State by 14 points three weeks ago – how much has changed since then? Back Oklahoma state as your NCAA basketball pick and fade K.

Free College Basketball Pick: Cowboys +2.5 at 5Dimes

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