Kansas has won or shared 10 Big 12 regular-season titles in a row, but at the moment it's in a dogfight to hang on for No. 11. Fortunately, the Jayhawks host a fading Texas team Saturday afternoon,
Longhorns-Jayhawks Betting Odds
Some NCAA basketball betting odds opened this game at Kansas -7, others at Kansas -8; as of early Saturday morning that spread had balanced out to -7.5 across the market. Also, the total on this game opened at around 135, then got bet up to 137.5.
Finally, those who believe Texas might win this game outright could get +280 on the moneyline at Bookmaker.
'Horns-Jayhawks: The Situation
Kansas has lost two of its last three games, including a 70-63 decision at Kansas State Monday night. The Jayhawks led that game by eight early in the second half, but went cold late, making just two of their last 14 shots. On the night Kansas shot just 39 percent from the floor, went just 2/13 from 3-point land and committed 13 turnovers.
Last Saturday the Jayhawks topped Texas Tech 81-72 but to our dismay couldn't cover at -12. And just before that Kansas lost at West Virginia 62-61 on a bucket in the last few seconds.
So the Jayhawks are just 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS over their last six games.
At 22-6 overall and 11-4 in conference play Kansas leads the Big 12 by a game over Iowa State, Oklahoma and West Virginia. But those recent defeats have hurt the Jayhawks' NCAA seeding qualifications, and they're probably now out of the running for a No. 1.
Texas, meanwhile, has lost three in a row, after falling at West Virginia Tuesday 71-64. The Longhorns fell behind by 13 midway through the second half, pulled to within three points in the last minute, but ran out of gas, and handed back the cover as four-point dogs.
Texas actually shot 53 percent from the field Tuesday, and held the Mountaineers to just 42 percent shooting, but lost the turnover battle by a 16-8 margin.
Last Saturday the 'Horns lost at home to Iowa State 85-77, and just before that they lost at Oklahoma 71-69.
At 17-11 overall and just 6-9 in Big 12 play we'd leave Texas out of the NCAA tournament field, if we had to make that call today.
Kansas has taken seven of the last eight meetings with Texas, including the first meeting of this season a month ago down in Austin 75-62. The Jayhawks trailed that game by five with about 15 minutes to go, but took over from there, and won outright as three-point underdogs. Kansas only shot 44 percent from the floor that night, but held the 'Horns to 40 percent, while committing just three turnovers.
That game played OVER its total of 130.
Last year these teams split two games, each winning and covering at home.
By the Numbers
Texas is shooting 44 percent from the floor this season, but holding opponents to just under 37 percent, which ranks fourth in the nation. The Longhorns also rank second in the country in rebounding margin at +9.5 per game.
You'd think numbers like that would lead at least to an NCAA tournament bid; in Texas' case, maybe not.
Kansas is shooting 45 percent from the floor, and 40 percent from long range, while holding foes to just under 40 percent FG shooting and out-rebounding opponents by about four per game.
Longhorns-Jayhawks Betting Trends
Kansas is 22-0 SU, 14-5 ATS in its last 22 home games.
Texas, somehow, is 7-3 ATS in true road games this season.
The Longhorns are 9-12 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as their games have averaged 129 points.
The Jayhawks are 14-11 on the totals, as their games have averaged 136 points.
We've seen a report indicating Texas F Jonathan Holmes (11 points, six boards PG) will miss this game because of a “disciplinary issue,” while elsewhere he's listed as “probable.” Either way, his status doesn't affect our pick on this game.
Longhorns-Jayhawks Free Pick
We thought Texas had a nice team heading into this season, and we've backed the 'Horns a few times, too, only to be disappointed. At the moment we have no betting confidence in Texas. So while we might normally think the spread on a game like this appears inflated, actually, we're just glad it isn't double-digits. We'll take Kansas for our free college basketball pick on this contest.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas at -7.5 at 5Dimes