NCAA Basketball Picks: Texas Tech vs. Kansas State

Darin Zank

Monday, February 25, 2013 4:01 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 4:01 PM GMT

The Kansas State Wildcats have a chance to take over first place in the Big 12 Conference if they can get by the Texas Tech Red Raiders Monday night in Manhattan (7 pm ET, ESPNU).

The NCAA Basketball odds makers have listed K State as a big favorite for Monday night; can they cover a big spread? Or can Texas Tech at least keep this one close? Read on to find out where we have decided to place our NCAA Basketball picks in this matchup.

The Betting Line

As of early Monday morning most online sportsbooks were chalking Kansas State at -19.5 points, while the OVER/UNDER was proffered at 137.

[gameodds]14/222131/43/us[/gameodds]

Wildcats-Raiders: The Situation

Rather quietly the Wildcats, in their first season under new head coach Bruce Weber, have played themselves into position to win what would be their first regular-season conference title since the days of Mike Evans and Curtis Redding, before Rolando Blackman. And folks, that was a long time ago. 

The Wildcats went 11-2 through their non-conference schedule this season, with a win over Florida and losses to Michigan and Gonzaga. KSU then won its first four Big 12 games, before losing back-to-back to Kansas and Iowa State. The Wildcats then won four more in a row, before losing to those damn Jayhawks again. Since then K State has won three in a row. Last Monday the 'Cats beat West Virginia 71-61, and last time out they shot nine-for-18 from 3-point land in beating Texas 81-69 in Austin Saturday.

So K State is tied with Kansas atop the Big 12 at 11-3, although KU holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.

On the other side of this match-up Texas Tech can say it's already doubled its Big 12 wins total from last year. Problem is, the Raiders only won one conference game last year.

Tech actually started 4-0 this season, and after beating TCU in its Big 12 opener the Raiders sat at 8-4. Since then, though, Tech has lost 12 of its last 13 games, including its last eight in a row. Last Wednesday the Raiders lost by 15 points at home to Oklahoma, and Saturday they fell by 20 points at Iowa State. Of those last eight losses just two have come by single digits.

Tech allowed the Cyclones to shoot 49 percent from the floor Saturday, while shooting just 40 percent from the field and going 13-for-25 from the FT line itself. In doing so the Raiders failed to cover the spread as 18-point underdogs.

Texas Tech was not expected to do a whole lot this season, but a 9-16 overall record, including a 2-12 Big 12 slate, is still a disappointment. And playing below even those less-than-lofty expectations the Raiders are 7-11 ATS on the season.

Tech's best win this season is probably its victory over Iowa State one month ago, while earlier this year the Raiders lost a game to McNeese State.

Raiders-Wildcats, By the Numbers

On the season K State is shooting 44 percent from the floor, 37 percent from beyond the arc and 69 percent from the FT line.

Texas Tech is shooting just 42 percent from the field, just 28 percent from long range and 67 percent from the line.

Defensively, the Wildcats are holding opponents to less than 43 percent FG shooting, while the Raiders are allowing foes to shooting 46 percent. And while K State is out-rebounding opponents by about three boards per game, Tech is getting out-boarded by about one per game. 

Raiders-Wildcats Betting Trends

Kansas State is 13-1 SU and 7-4 ATS at home this season.

Texas Tech is 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS on the road this season.

The Raiders are 6-9 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, even though they've allowed 72 PPG.

The Wildcats are 11-7 on the totals this season, even though they've held opponents to just under 60 PPG.

On the college basketball futures market Kansas State is getting upwards of 40/1 to win the NCAA tournament.

Recent History

K State has beaten Texas Tech six times in a row. Most recently the Wildcats downed the Raiders in Lubbock three weeks ago 68-59, out-rebounding Tech by a 38-20 margin. But the Raiders kept that game fairly close most of the way, getting within six points with about six minutes to go, and held on to cover the spread as 11-point home dogs.

That game also played UNDER its total of 128.

Free NCAAB Pick for Monday

Kansas State has a lot to play for over its next four games, while Texas Tech has done very little lately to inspire confidence. But this pointspread seems a bit inflated, considering the Raiders gave the Wildcats a decent game just one month ago. 

NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Texas Tech getting the 19.5 points offered at Bookmaker.

Check out our NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day article for more free plays.

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