NCAA Basketball Picks: Kansas vs. Oklahoma State +1.5

Steven Suarez

Saturday, March 1, 2014 7:23 PM GMT

Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014 7:23 PM GMT

The Jayhawks will be going for their fifth straight win tonight, but it's going to take quite the effort to overcome Marcus Smart and company in Stillwater. See where we're leaning with our NCAA basketball picks inside.

Odds Overview

Sportsbooks have listed Kansas as the small 1 to 1.5-point favorite on the road, with the total settling in at 149.5.

On the season the Jayhawks are 22-6 SU and 14-13-1 against the spread, while the Cowboys are at 18-10 SU and 10-13-1 ATS. Kansas is 13-2 in conference play, but Oklahoma State has been far worse at 6-9.

Kansas Jayhawks

Another fantastic coaching job from Bill Self has the Jayhawks in contention for a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. They've lost only two times in Big 12 play, falling at Texas and then in overtime at Kansas State.

Since that loss to the Wildcats, the Jayhawks have reeled off four straight wins, beating Oklahoma, Texas and TCU at home and Texas Tech on the road.

It wasn't easy against the Sooners back on Monday, but Kansas controlled the boards and shot a highly impressive 26-of-30 from the charity stripe. The Jayhawks hit 44.6 percent of their shots overall and 43.8 percent from three.

All five Kansas starters scored in double figures, led by Naadir Tharpe's 19 points (6-of-7 FG). Joel Embidd had 12 points, 13 rebounds, four steals and three blocks in the best all-around performance of the night.

This is a team that's really starting to click at the right time, though they should be in a for a major fight tonight against a Cowboys team looking for revenge.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

The return of Marcus Smart from suspension has coincided with two dominant wins, the first coming at home over Texas Tech (84-62) and the second at TCU (76-54) back on Monday.

The Horned Frogs were simply no match for the Cowboys, who hit 14 threes and out-rebounded the hosts 35-24.

Smart chipped in with a little of everything once again, scoring 17 points while adding eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Phil Forte was the offensive hero though, hitting five threes en route to a game-high 23 points.

These two recent wins have been exactly what Oklahoma State needed after such a rough stretch back in February.

Tonight's battle, however, is absolutely crucial. The Cowboys aren't a lock to make the tournament with their current resume and a statement win over a top five team would likely push them over the top and into the field.

College Basketball Pick

Both teams have had close to a week to gameplan for this game, but we like Oklahoma State for our NCAA basketball pick. The Cowboys lost by only two points in the thrilling first meeting at Kansas and we expect them to even up the series tonight.

Whereas the Jayhawks are 6-8 ATS in games outside of Lawrence this season, the Cowboys are a solid 6-4 ATS on their home court. They're also gaining confidence after two consecutive blowout victories.

In the end, we think Oklahoma State is worth a play here. They've looked good over their last couple of wins and need every W they can get in order to boost their tournament resume. Back the Cowboys to end Kansas' run and cover the NCAA basketball betting lines.

Pick: Oklahoma State Cowboys +1.5

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