Big East-Big 12 Battle Odds, Picks & Predictions: Previewing All 10 Matchups
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaren Holmes (Iowa State)
We have all 10 Big 12 teams and 10 of the 11 Big East teams playing this week in the 2022 Big East-Big 12 Battle.
There are some monster matchups in here, as four Big 12 and two Big East programs are currently ranked in the AP Top 25.
Plus, it’s nice we don’t have to watch DePaul.
So, read on for a full event preview, with a few matchups to circle for either entertainment or betting value.
Tuesday, Nov. 29
Baylor vs. Marquette
I don’t know how he does it, but Shaka Smart is inevitable as a dog. Shaka is 72-49-3 ATS in his career catching points, including a 13-5-1 ATS record since he joined the Golden Eagles last season.
I auto-bet Shaka as a dog, but it’s worth mentioning this is a favorable matchup.
Plus, the Golden Eagles have the spacing and shot selection to beat the no-middle.
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Wednesday, Nov. 30
Kansas State vs. Butler
This is perhaps the best under-the-radar matchup in this event.
Jerome Tang and Thad Matta are already working wonders with their new programs. Butler’s new offense is cooking, while Kansas State’s new combination of Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson have led the Wildcats to a 6-0 record.
Interestingly, both teams have turnover issues on offense and force plenty of turnovers on defense. Moreover, you’re looking at two teams that generate most of their points inside the arc.
Both teams run above-average in tempo, so maybe we’ll see a lot of turnovers leading to fast-break points.
KenPom makes the total under 140 here, and I am enticed by the over. I am a little scared that these two teams are 5-9 to the over this season, though.
Georgetown vs. Texas Tech
I thought Mark Adams would figure it out. Sure, the Red Raiders’ 19.2% minutes continuity is 315th in the nation, but the defensive scheme should’ve seamlessly transitioned to this year’s squad.
Looks like I’m wrong. Texas Tech is still efficient on the defensive end, but Creighton and Ohio State manhandled the Red Raiders.
Luckily, Georgetown is a worthless basketball program led by a worthless head coach in Pat Ewing.
This is going to be an ugly, low-scoring game. Bet the under if you want, just avert your eyes.
Providence vs. TCU
The luck has run out for Providence. The Friars already have two close losses — Miami (FL) and Saint Louis — while opponents are shooting 39.8% from 3 against them.
The Friars are likely due for some positive regression, considering they’re 249th in KenPom’s Luck metric.
What a world!
Anyway, I think this might be a tough matchup for Providence. TCU returned basically its whole roster from last year’s team and is led by a stud guard in Mike Miles. The Frogs have a size advantage, too, meaning Ed Cooley’s interior-based offense is likely cooked.
However, I’m not betting against Cooley when he’s catching points. Cooley is 121-92-3 ATS as an underdog in his coaching career, including 85-56-2 ATS on the road.
I’m passing on this game, but it could be a fun matchup.
Thursday, Dec. 1
Oklahoma State vs. UConn
UConn looks good. The Huskies are probably worth a buy in the national title market.
It’s hard to overstate the improvement of Adama Sanogo, who has developed a surprisingly strong scoring arsenal. Also, watch out for East Carolina transfer Tristen Newton, who is replacing R.J. Cole’s lost scoring.
Moussa Cisse can maybe neutralize UConn’s dominant interior presence — at least to a degree — but I am very low on the rest of the Oklahoma State roster. The Cowboys have been good defensively, though.
I’ll probably pass on this matchup. KenPom makes this spread 10, which is too high for me to back the Huskies.
Creighton vs. Texas
This is absolutely the best game of the event. No questions asked.
And overall, Texas is the No. 1 team in KenPom’s Adjusted Efficiency metric this season. Did you know that?
Chris Beard has something special with this roster. The defense is suffocating, while the additions of Tyrese Hunter, Sir’Jabari Rice and two five-star freshmen have put the offense over the top.
Creighton is an offense-first team this season. Greg McDermott’s Bluejays are eighth in eFG% and fifth in ShotQuality’s offensive SQ metric, dropping 84 points per game as a result.
So, there are some matchups to dissect here.
Can Texas stop Ryan Kalkbrenner/Arthur Kaluma on the interior?
Given how they dismantled Drew Timme and Gonzaga, I’d like to think yes. However, most of that was due to bad ball-handling by the inexperienced Gonzaga guards (10 assists, 20 turnovers).
Can Texas stop Baylor Scheierman on the perimeter?
I’m also going to say yes. Texas is top-50 in 3PA% allowed and top-20 in 3P% allowed. The Longhorns are due for some negative shooting regression, but they’re elite at running guys down on the perimeter.
Can Creighton stop Texas on the interior?
Creighton is elite at rebounding and defending without fouling, and it’s also really good at the rim. However, the Bluejays allow a monster amount of shots to come from the interior and are just 109th in 2P% allowed.
Image credit: CBB Analytics
I’m leaning Texas, but the KenPom spread of -8 is a hefty price for me to pay. I’ll likely pass.
Lean: Texas ATS (-8 KenPom Spread) But Likely Pass
Seton Hall vs. Kansas
Shaheen Holloway’s unit looks clueless on offense. The Pirates are 311th in offensive turnover rate behind a five-man lineup that cannot stop running into each other in ball screens.
Put Seton Hall in the half court, and this team is scoring .834 PPP, which ranks in the 28th percentile of D-I basketball programs.
The Pirates have the defense to compete with anyone, as Holloway’s efforts have not failed on that side of the ball. But they also have an offense that can score just 55 points — like in a loss to Siena.
Kansas is well-rounded, but the Jayhawks like getting downhill and scoring in the paint. That will not go well against KC Ndefo and Tyrese Samuel.
Plus, the Jayhawks look like they’re playing too much hero ball. I’m a little surprised at the lack of offensive continuity — although the offense is going through a transition period after losing Remy Martin and Ochai Agbaji.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this game plays similarly to the Tennessee, Wisconsin or Duke games (low-scoring, as Kansas failed to reach 70 points in all three matchups).
I’ll bet the under, as long as the number is reasonable.
Saturday, Dec. 3
Oklahoma vs. Villanova
Villanova is doomed until it gets Cam Whitmore and Justin Moore back.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma has bounced back with six straight wins following its opening-night loss to Sam Houston.
The Sooners have a consistent offensive identity, running pick-and-rolls with Grant Sherfield or high-post sets with Tanner Groves.
Porter Moser is 41-31-1 ATS as an underdog over the last eight seasons. KenPom has this spread at Oklahoma +1, and I’ll be on the Sooners if the line opens at that number or worse.
Pick: Oklahoma ATS at +1 or Better
West Virginia vs. Xavier
Bob Huggins has three seniors running between the one and the four, resulting in a high-level version of the West Virginia press that’s as efficient as ever.
The Mountaineers are 14th in defensive turnover rate this season, while Xavier is 340th in offensive steal rate.
That’s a tough matchup for the Mountaineers.
Moreover, I’d be surprised if Xavier continues to shoot a ridiculous 46% from 3 for the rest of the season. The Mountaineers are top-20 in ShotQuality’s adjDEF SQ metric, attesting to their ability to contest shots.
I think West Virginia can win this game outright. KenPom has this spread projected at West Virginia +2, and I’d play the Mountaineers to a PK.
Pick: West Virginia +2 (Play to PK)
Sunday, Dec. 4
St. John’s vs. Iowa State
It’s a very interesting contrast in style.
I think St. John’s is better prepared to handle the pressure, but Iowa State is much more effective defensively.
I don’t have a feel for this game, so I’ll pass.