NCAA Basketball Picks: Kansas vs. Texas

Joe Freda

Saturday, January 19, 2013 12:50 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 12:50 PM GMT

The No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks have notched 14 straight wins, with a 5-3 spread record in the span’s last eight ‘board’ battles. But should we back them with our free picks to beat up on Texas?

Big 12 Saturday: No. 4 Kansas visits Texas

Saturday afternoon’s basketball betting has Bill Self’s squad visiting the Texas Longhorns, who are 4-1 ATS in their last five spots as an underdog. Will Texas cash again here with the points or can the Jayhawks cover as road faves?

Jayhawks, McLemore shut down Baylor

Kansas’ latest triumph came on Monday’s 61-44 victory as 10-point home ‘chalk’ in their matchup against the Baylor Bears. The Jayhawks held Baylor to a sparse 23.2 percent field shooting, holding off the Bears after a 33-20 halftime lead.

Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore logged team-highs of 17 points and eight rebounds, while adding three of his side’s 10 steals. Kansas’ Jeff Withey and Jamari Traylor notched three blocks each, while held to a combined 10 points.

The contest’s 105 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 142 ½, moving the UNDER to 3-1 in the Jayhawks’ last four games. Kansas went 12-of-16 at the foul line, while edging out Baylor in boards, 41-37.

Longhorns blown away in Ames

Texas logged a third straight loss in last Saturday’s 82-62 defeat to the Iowa State Cyclones, falling as an 8 ½-point road dog. The Longhorns were held to 39.3 percent shooting from Iowa State’s floor, while allowing the Cyclones to drain 11-of-26 buckets beyond the arc.

Longhorns mates Jonathan Holmes and Julien Lewis notched 15 points each, with Holmes adding a team-high nine rebounds. Texas’ Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland united for eight assists, while freshman Cameron Ridley registered all three of his squad’s blocks.

The battle’s 144 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 136, moving the OVER to 2-1 in the Longhorns’ last trio of matchups.  Texas connected from three-point land at a 4-for-18 clip, while both squads combined to hit 31-of-40 free throws.

Back the Longhorns as home dogs

Bookmaker.eu opened Kansas as an eight-point road favorite on their NCAAB odds board, while first setting the ‘total’ at 124 ½. Early betting action on the Jayhawks and OVER drove the numbers north to 8 ½ and 125, respectively. 

Kansas’ Ben McLemore (16.4 PPG) and Texas’ Sheldon McClellan (14.3 PPG) are both listed as “probable,” recovering from ankle injuries.

I am adding Texas to my college basketball picks for Saturday, looking for the Longhorns to bounce back at the betting windows here. Texas has a 4-1 spread record in its last five games that followed a spot of failing to cash ATS, while holding foes to 52.2 PPG and 29.8 percent field shooting at home.

Texas’ Javan Felix presently leads the Big 12 Conference in assists (6.3 APG), while ranking in the group’s top five for steals (1.6 SPG). Longhorns mates Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley are just a couple of notches behind Kansas’ Jeff Withey in boards (7.8 RPG) and blocks (1.9 BPG), respectively.

[gameodds]14/217801/43/us[/gameodds]

Kansas has been on a smothering run, but comes to Austin overvalued with a 1-3 ATS mark since the start of January. The Jayhawks could also be caught in look-ahead mode, with Tuesday’s battle looming against the No. 16 Kansas State Wildcats.

Look for Texas to keep this matchup close enough on its floor, with the points coming in handy as part of a tight affair.

NCAA Basketball Picks:  Texas Longhorns +8 ½ (Bookmaker.eu)

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