NCAA Basketball Picks: Oklahoma vs. Kansas State

Joe Catalano

Saturday, January 19, 2013 2:49 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 2:49 PM GMT

The Oklahoma Sooners (12-3, 3-0) and the #16 Kansas State Wildcats (14-2,3-0) are in a 3 way tie for the lead with Kansas on top of the Big-12 Conference.

After today’s game, one of these teams will be knocked off of that list.

Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday, 4:00 PM at the Fred Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas.

5 Dimes Sportsbook lists Oklahoma State as a 5.5 point betting favorite at home.

Thus far, the Wildcats possess the more impressive resume with victories over top 25 teams in the form of Oklahoma State and Florida. The schedule doesn’t get easier for either team as a matchup against Kansas waits on both schedules. A victory here would be big for both squads. This makes for a tough basketball pick for us handicappers.

Wildcats Depth

Kansas State is a team that goes 11 players deep. Each one of these players plays 10 minutes or more per game, keeping this team full of energy with frequent substitutions. Teams like this are usually high powered offenses that average 80 points or more. Although they only manage to average 69.3 points per game, the Wildcats still manage to get the job done for the most part.When situations get difficult, they call upon the number of leading scorer Rodney McGruder.

Go to Guy

At 15.3 points and 5.5 rebounds, McGruder is clearly the go to guy, being the only Wildcat to average in double figures. McGruder is far from a superstar. Everyone needs to get involved for the Wildcats to have success. That said,McGruder has been playing well as of late. McGruder has played well against the big teams. He had 28 a point effort in one of the highlights of the season, a victory over nationally ranked Oklahoma State, and his most recent effort was a 21 point effort in a victory over TCU.

Oklahoma is another formidable opponent. Look for Rodney McGruder to put forth a big time effort.

Cut From the Same Cloth

Just like K. State, the Sooners are a very deep team with no definitive superstar. This isn’t a team that’s going to overwhelm opposing teams with their offense; it’s a team that’s going to grind out victories with constant energy on the court. Oklahoma doesn’t possess a legitimate point guard and that can be a problem. Part-time player, Sam Grooms, leads the Sooners at 2.6 assists per game. This can possibly be a problem as the Sooners enter the rougher part of their schedule.

Efficient  Leader

At 24.7 minutes per game, forward, Romero Osby, makes every minute count for the Sooners. He’s a consistent player that can shoot, score, rebound, play defense, and is basically turnover-free. What more can a team ask for? Oklahoma wouldn’t want to compromise the team’s rotation that’s brought them much success this season, but they should definitely play Osby more often.

Lately he’s been seeing 30 plus minutes per game, but is coming off of a 17 point, 6 rebound effort in just 22 minutes against Texas Tech. I expect to see more minutes in this game for Romero Osby. In order for Oklahoma to have a chance against Kansas State, Osby must be a factor. If the game is close, expect Osby to get a lot of touches. He’s also a superb free throw shooter that can come in handy during a tight game. This has the makings of a close game. Draw your own conclusion…

[gameodds]14/217819/43/us[/gameodds]

Outcome

This is a game of two teams which are equal in talent. Kansas State gets the edge with the victories that they have managed to accomplish and home court advantage, but Oklahoma should be able to keep this game within the 7 points that have been lined on the NCAAB odds boards.

NCAAB Free Picks: Oklahoma +7 at 5 Dimes

Be sure to check out our Picks of the Day for today!

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