Tuesday College Basketball Best Bets: How to Bet Texas vs. Baylor, Kansas vs. Kansas State, Other Games (Feb. 2)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Ochai Agbaji.
- Tuesday's college hoops slate is a big one, featuring a number of ranked matchups throughout the night.
- Our college hoops staff broke down four games with four ranked teams, including No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 6 Texas and No. 23 Kansas vs. Kansas State.
- Check out the full breakdown and pick for each individual game below.
Tuesdays have a history of being big college basketball days, and that’s exactly the case today.
It all starts with Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest, which is followed by No. 6 Texas vs. No. 2 Baylor. Then, our writers close things out with No. 17 West Virginia vs. Iowa State and No. 23 Kansas vs. Kansas State for an in-state rivalry game.
Check out full breakdowns and picks for each game below, and feel free to navigate to any game by using the table below.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
All listed odds have been updated as of Tuesday morning. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing on Tuesday morning.
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest
By Pat McMahon
This is an interesting matchup featuring two ACC bottom feeders that are both playing much better as of late.
The Irish (6-9, 3-6 ACC) lost their first five conference games but have won three of their last four. They’re coming off their most impressive performance of the season — a dominant 84-58 win at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Wake Forest (5-7, 2-7 ACC) has had a similar start to conference play, losing its first six before winning two of its last three. The Demon Deacons are fresh off one of their best performances of the season on Saturday as well, beating Miami at home by 12 points.
These teams are similar on paper in several areas, but there’s one key mismatch that makes me like the Irish in this spot: the Notre Dame offense against the Wake Forest defense.
The Irish rank 28th in offensive efficiency, and the Demon Deacons rank 116th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
The Irish are the second-best 3-point shooting team in the conference, hitting 38.4% of their attempts from distance. They’re even better at home, knocking down 41% of their triples in eight games at Purcell Pavilion this season.
The Irish’s offensive performance against the Panthers also gives reason for optimism heading into this game.
They shot 54% from 3-point range and 56% overall from the field. Most importantly, Prentiss Hubb and Cormac Ryan got hot, shooting a combined 10-of-13 from 3.
Both have been inconsistent on the year, and getting them going should do wonders for their confidence, which will in turn make this offense a lot more dangerous.
Scoring 84 points despite an off night from Nate Laszewski, their leading scorer and the ACC’s top 3-point shooter, is a great sign that the offense is starting to turn a corner.
On the other side of the ball, Wake Forest doesn’t have nearly as much offensive firepower as the Irish.
They’re a decent 107th in offensive efficiency but are averaging just 64.6 points in five ACC road games. The Irish haven’t been terrific on defense all season, but they have really turned it on in their last four games, where they’re surrendering only 59.5 points per contest.
Both teams are trending in the right direction, but the Irish have more talent and are finally starting to click on both ends. With a fairly manageable remaining schedule, Mike Brey’s team knows it can make a move up the standings and will be playing with plenty of confidence on its home court.
I like the Irish to take care of business here and would play them up to -6.
Pick: Notre Dame -4.5
No. 6 Texas vs. No. 2 Baylor
There’s too much love in the market for Baylor here on the road in a top-10 matchup.
I make this line closer to 4 and like some of the things that Texas should be able to do against Baylor. It has plenty of shooters to take advantage of Baylor’s no-middle focused defense.
Remember, Texas had no issues against a similar scheme in Texas Tech in a game the Red Raiders stole. The Horns should also absolutely dominate the offensive glass in this one.
And while I think Baylor and Gonzaga are in a class of their own, the Bears do likely have some 3-point shooting regression coming their way.
I think this goes right down to the wire like almost every Texas game against the better teams on its schedule has.
Texas, which also had a week to prepare for this one, has three losses this year to Oklahoma, Villanova and Texas Tech, which came by margins of 1, 2, and 4, respectively.
For what it’s worth, Shaka Smart has been a cash cow as an underdog against top-10 foes during his tenure in Austin. He’s gone 15-8 ATS (65.2%) and covered by an average margin of 2.8 points over those 23 contests.
Pick: Texas +5.5
No. 17 West Virginia vs. Iowa State
The scene is set for a potential blowout in Ames, as the Cyclones welcome West Virginia.
Iowa State has had a tough season, sitting at 2-9 on the year with those two wins coming against teams ranked 300th or worse in the country, according to KenPom rankings.
The Cyclones turn the ball over on 22.4% of their offensive possessions, they rarely secure offensive rebounds, and they don’t get to the free-throw line very often.
Now, enter West Virginia, which boasts the 13th-ranked offense in terms of efficiency, creates chaos defensively with constant pressure, and grabs offensive rebounds on 36.3% of its misses.
The 11-5 Mountaineers hope to improve upon their 4-3 Big 12 record in preparation for the conference tournament.
Iowa State’s season is spiraling out of control as it’s lost the last three games by an average margin of 22.3 points against lesser-quality teams than West Virginia.
These two teams met back in December, and the Mountaineers secured a 70-65 win over the Cyclones. In that game, the box score tells a different story than the final score.
Iowa State had one of its best shooting nights of the season while West Virginia was subpar, and it still secured a five-point victory.
West Virginia’s style of play is a nightmare matchup for Iowa State, and it will want to come out strong after dropping the last game to Florida.
I’m taking West Virginia to win in a rout.
Pick: West Virginia -11.5
No. 23 Kansas vs. Kansas State
Kansas State has fallen off of a cliff. There’s no other way to say it.
Sportsbooks are monetarily incentivized to protect awful teams, yet no matter how many points they throw the Wildcats’ way, it’s been the same result. Kansas State is 4-13 ATS this season, dead last in the Big 12.
It hasn’t even come particularly close to covering, falling by an average of 6.3 points per game against the closing number. That includes six in a row when catching double digits.
Then, we have the Bill Self, coming-off-a-loss factor at play here. Since arriving in Lawrence back in 2003, Self is 55-33-5 ATS (62.5%) following a loss. That’s the fourth-best mark in college basketball among qualifying teams (30 or more games).
On the floor, Kansas has been stuck in neutral offensively.
The Jayhawks have averaged 65 points per game across their last six but have shown flashes this season when facing lackluster defenses (TCU, St. Joe’s).
K-State is the kind of defense that can get KU back on track.
The Wildcats let teams get comfortable inside and outside the arc, posting shooting percentages of 53.7% and 38.8% respectively.
They’re also content with allowing teams to run their sets without significant pressure. That has translated to just 12.5 turnovers per game.
If Kansas were in the midst of one of its classic Big 12 runs, I’d pass on a game like this for fear of getting backdoored. But in this case, Kansas needs to generate some momentum with three of its next four at home.
I foresee a dominant performance and a 25+ point victory in this Sunflower State showdown.
Pick: Kansas -18