Big 12 Tournament Odds, Picks: Best Bets for TCU vs Kansas State, More

Big 12 Tournament Odds, Picks: Best Bets for TCU vs Kansas State, More article feature image
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Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Keyontae Johnson (Kansas State)

Day two of the Big 12 Tournament is here, and that means basketball all day starting with Baylor and Iowa State tipping at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The opening two matchups on Wednesday were both double-digit victories in favor of West Virginia and Oklahoma State.

WVU made easy work of a Mark Adams-less Texas Tech squad. The head coach resigned shortly after the loss.

Oklahoma State, meanwhile, might've earned itself an at-large bid with a win over Oklahoma for the third time this season.

Four more games are on tap Thursday, and here's a preview of each matchup, including a few bets to add to your slate.



Iowa State vs. Baylor Odds

Thursday, March 9
12:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
Iowa State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+4.5
-110
134.5
-110o / -110u
+158
Baylor Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-4.5
-110
134.5
-110o / -110u
-192
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

This is a matchup that I had circled and wrote about briefly, but the opening number of 4.5 is too steep.

It's Baylor or nothing for me here.

Iowa State handed the Bears their first and last Big 12 loss of the season. The Clones beat the Bears in Waco to end a five-game skid and ended a back half of conference play consisting of a 3-8 finish.

In theory, this is a good matchup for Baylor. Iowa State's compact defense forces opponents to beat it over the top in the mid-range and from the perimeter. ISU forces the farthest shot proximity in college basketball.

And that's where Baylor primarily operates.

The Bears are 40th in 3-point% and shoot from the perimeter or the mid-range on 67% of all shots. They can spread the floor with three-to-four above-average shooters on the wing at any given time.

But Iowa State's defense has given the Bears fits. Baylor shot just 36% on 2-point field goals in the most recent matchup and 22.7% to open Big 12 play. The Clones have forced 33 total turnovers, too.

It's extremely difficult to beat a team three times, especially a team of Baylor's caliber.

I maintain the belief that Iowa State is overrated and rode a hot non-conference performance into Big 12 play against teams still finding their footing.

I lean Baylor with the points, but I'll be looking to get the Bears live or possibly parlay them in a two-teamer on the moneyline.

Pick: Baylor Live or as ML Parlay Piece

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West Virginia vs. Kansas Odds

Thursday, March 9
3 p.m. ET
ESPN
West Virginia Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+3.5
-114
149.5
-110o / -110u
+132
Kansas Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-3.5
-106
149.5
-110o / -110u
-160
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Just two weeks ago these two teams squared off and West Virginia went blow-for-blow against the Jayhawks in a two-point loss. It came despite the Mountaineers shooting 6-of-21 from 3 versus the Jayhawks' red-hot 10-of-20 night.

I wrote about West Virginia's recent success here, quoting that since the start of February, the Mountaineers have been the 19th-ranked team, per Bart Torvik, including the 13th-best offense.

Their physicality and aggressiveness inside is a huge bonus against a KU team that struggles in both defensive rebounding and FTA/FGA.

The key here is forcing turnovers and pushing transition. West Virginia is inside the top 50 in turnover rate, and the Jayhawks turned it over 19 times in their last matchup vs. the Mountaineers.

Kansas' switch defense could pose for some issues against WVU, and once the Jayhawks get downhill, it's hard to stop Jalen Wilson and Co. But I actually think the Mountaineers match up well here, and they shouldn't have any issues with tired legs.

West Virginia had 14 offensive rebounds in the first matchup and should have similar success creating second-chance opportunities on Thursday.

I would bet WVU +3.5 (down to +3).

Pick: West Virginia +3.5 (Play to +3)

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Oklahoma State vs. Texas Odds

Thursday, March 9
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Oklahoma State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+5.5
-102
142.5
-110o / -110u
+202
Texas Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-5.5
-120
142.5
-110o / -110u
-250
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Oklahoma State finds itself vying for an NCAA tournament bid, and took down Oklahoma in Bedlam III to sweep a three-game series of its in-state rival.

Surely, a win against Texas would supplant the Cowboys in the discussion for an at-large bid.

The Pokes have played the Longhorns twice this season and lost both games. They lost by double-digits each time, including a 14-point blowout on their home floor. UT had 1.19 PPP and shot 8-of-13 from the perimeter in that game.

Oklahoma State has been scathing by without Avery Anderson III, who remains out with injury. The Cowboys have relied heavily on their length and defensive prowess, a top-20 2-point defense headlined by 7-foot-1 Moussa Cisse and Kalib Boone.

The issue is the Cowboys are horrible from the perimeter and rank 320th in turnover rate. They're efficient around the rim, but shoot from the perimeter or mid-range nearly 60% of the time.

Oklahoma State struggles with aggressive defenses and turned it over 34 times in two games against Texas.

The question is: can Cisse make a difference? The center didn't play against the Longhorns in either game.

I wouldn't lay the points with Texas, but I do think the Longhorns win. I would look to moneyline parlay the Longhorns with another favorite — like Duke — on Thursday.

Pick: Texas Added to ML Parlay

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TCU vs. Kansas State Odds

Thursday, March 9
9:30 p.m. ET
ESPN2
TCU Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-2.5
-102
146.5
-110o / -110u
-132
Kansas State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+2.5
-120
146.5
-110o / -110u
+110
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The biggest news of this conference tournament is TCU big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. taking a personal leave of absence from the team. Lampkin is an energizer-bunny big man that's a force around the rim, but he's extremely unlikely to return to Fort Worth.

Thursday's matchup sets up to be the most entertaining of the Big 12 Tournament.

Kansas State enters as winners of four of its last five, while TCU dropped its season finale against Oklahoma just three days after taking down Texas.

Mike Miles Jr. is the key to this TCU offense. The Horned Frogs go as he does, and the same could be said for the duo of Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson for KSU.

Miles is the leading scorer (17.2 PPG) for TCU and is a relentless finisher.

This is a very physical TCU team that relies on its athleticism and physicality. The Frogs are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country, but rank inside the top 100 in offensive rebounding, 2-point% and free-throw rate.

The Horned Frogs are deep — they can still go nine deep without Lampkin — and are third in minutes continuity. The chemistry is there, and their ability to understand Jamie Dixon's defensive concepts makes them a championship-level team.

They're 26th in turnover rate and 33rd in transition offense, which they run nearly 18% of the time.

On the other side, Kansas State's duo of Nowell and Johnson is the heartbeat of this team.

Nowell ranks third in assist rate and is incredibly quick and athletic, drawing fouls at a high rate. He's also a talented scorer (17.0 PPG) at 5-foot-8.

Johnson is 80th in 3-point% and is the leading scorer (17.8) and rebounder (7.0) for the Wildcats.

Jerome Tang has arguably been the most impressive head coach this season. In just one year, he's brought a team made up almost entirely of transfers and turned it into a top-15 defense.

The Wildcats are 11th in 3-point defense and just outside the top 50 in turnover rate. They attack the rim on nearly 50% of all field goals and run transition at the eight-highest rate.

Forcing turnovers and creating quick offense is the key for this athletic group.

The issue for this team is that its aggressiveness often leads to foul trouble. The Wildcats are 300th in FTA/FGA, and their extension of pressure on the perimeter leads to poor defensive rebounding.

Miles didn't play in the Horned Frogs' recent blowout loss to Kansas State, but when the two teams played earlier in the season, it was a double-digit win in favor of TCU.

Lampkin's departure from the program is a blow long-term, but in this game, I'm looking to back TCU (-2) up to (-3).


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