Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 27-21-2 (+4.90 units)
Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Free NCAAB Pick: Kansas ATS
Best Line Offered:
According to CBS Sports, Oklahoma and Kansas have played the two toughest college hoops schedules thus far. If so, things are only going to get tougher for the Sooners and Jayhawks when they begin their Big 12 slates against each other Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
It is going to be particularly tough on Oklahoma – and every other team in the league – going up against a Kansas side that has won 14-straight conference titles and 27-straight Big 12 openers. The 215th collision between the Jayhawks and Sooners finds both teams ranked for the sixth time in the last nine meetings, and Kansas favored by the top sportsbooks for the fifth time in seven get-togethers.
Azubuike Returns To Jayhawks Lineup After 4-Game Absence
Not only has Lon Kruger’s club done well on the floor, the Sooners have been killing it at betting windows with covers in 10 of their 12 games, the last seven in a row. Two of the spread dubyas came in outright upsets as the underdog – against Florida in the Battle 4 Atlantis and 12 days ago at Northwestern – and Oklahoma has also been kind to “under” bettors during the 7-game win streak (2-5 O/U). After relying so much on Trae Young last year for offense, it’s the defense getting things done for the Sooners this season, ninth in opponent FG% (37.5).
Coming off their first loss of the campaign as 3-point road chalk on the NCAA basketball odds board at Arizona State before Christmas, Bill Self’s squad took it out on Eastern Michigan this past Saturday in an 87-63 final that just cleared a -23 line. The matchup marked the return of Udoka Azubuike after missing four games with an ankle injury, and the Jayhawks celebrated by hitting a season-high 55.4% from the field (31-56) while the 7-foot junior tied his season-best of 23 points. Without Azubuike, Kansas managed to cover just one of the four games he missed.
Sooners On 0-17 Run In Lawrence
With wins in 18 of the last 21 meetings, KU has upped its advantage in the rivalry to 147-67 while winning 48 of the 55 matchups in Allen Fieldhouse. The schools split last year’s clashes by winning and covering on their own floors as home chalk. Kansas crushed Oklahoma in Lawrence, 104-74, going up 10-0 to start the game while shooting better than 60% from the field. That February tussle halted a string of 4-straight “under” winners in the series.
They say streaks are made to be broken, but that ain’t happening Wednesday night in Lawrence. I’ll take the Jayhawks in a double-digit win for my free NCAA basketball pick.