Wednesday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: TCU-Kansas, Auburn-Ole Miss
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self
After wild slate of college basketball on Tuesday night, including Texas A&M covering against Kentucky with a meaningless half-court heave, there’s plenty more action to get excited about this evening.
Among the 10 ranked teams taking the court, No. 25 TCU travels to No. 7 Kansas after No. 11 Auburn faces Ole Miss in Oxford.
Where’s the value in these two contests? Let’s break them down.
>> All odds as of Wednesday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.
Betting Odds: Auburn Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels
- Spread: Auburn -3.5
- Over/Under: 150
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
The Tigers (6-5-1 against the spread) enter this one after a nine-day layoff, failing to cover in five of their past six games. On the flip side, the Rebels (12-1 ATS) have covered in each of their past eight contests.
Both SEC programs are about even in size, as well as generating their fair share of second-chance opportunities. However, Auburn has an advantage via its rim protection, manufacturing the highest block rate (21.1%) in college basketball. Guided by the 6-foot-11 Austin Wiley, the Tigers are also allowing the 25th-fewest two-pointers.
With Ole Miss notching over half of its scoring from inside the perimeter, especially in transition, look for Bruce Pearl’s crew to load up in the paint. The Rebels’ 35th-ranked three-point shooting (38.5%) isn’t as concerning as it seems, with 36.1% of their attempts coming from behind the arc.
But the Tigers’ offense revolves around three-point shooting, with 46.0% of its attempts and 38.2% of its scoring stemming from that vicinity, respectively. Led by the 5-foot-11 Jared Harper (41.2%), Auburn will exploit Ole Miss’ erratic perimeter defense.
According to Bet Labs, Auburn is 17-10-1 (63.0%) as a single-digit favorite, dating back to the 2016-17 regular season. Look for Pearl’s group to cover and snap the Rebels’ eight-game winning streak in the process.
THE PICK: Auburn -3.5
Betting Odds: TCU Horned Frogs at Kansas Jayhawks
- Spread: Kansas -6
- Over/Under: 151
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
There’s two developments for this pivotal Big 12 matchup. For one, Horned Frogs (8-5 ATS) guard Jaylen Fisher is listed as questionable with a knee injury, and his coach Jamie Dixon noted his swelling hasn’t ceased since their tournament around Christmas.
Fisher is one of TCU’s best perimeter defenders, and the Jayhawks (6-8 ATS) are adding a sharpshooter via four-star wing Ochai Agbaji forgoing his redshirt season. The addition came roughly two days after Kansas coach Bill Self announced the 7-foot Udoka Azubuike will miss the rest of the campaign with a wrist injury.
It’s unclear how much of a role Agbaji will have in his first college game, yet the Horned Frogs’ defense shouldn’t be undervalued, yielding the 24th-ranked Effective Field Goal Percentage while letting up just 25.9% of their opponents’ scoring from that department — tied for the 37th-lowest in DI.
Even if Fisher is forced to sit out, freshman RJ Nembhard has proven he can fill in and provide a similar effect.
Given Kansas’ recent floor-spacing issues — and Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson facing a physical matchup against the 6-foot-8 JD Miller — TCU should be able to create havoc with its 21.0% opponents’ turnover rate. The Jayhawks are averaging 17.7 turnovers over their past four games, including 24 of them in a 17-point loss at Iowa State on Saturday.
The Horned Frogs’ offensive advantage comes via senior point guard Alex Robinson, who has amassed the fourth-highest assist rate in the country. His experience over Kansas’ youthful backcourt should allow him to attack the lane and put Dixon’s crew in position to play inside-out with its size edge.
Considering seven of their past 10 matchups have been decided by seven points or fewer, I’ll side with the road dog to cover. Even with Self’s bunch aiming to bounce back, these aren’t the typically reliable Jayhawks of past seasons.
THE PICK: TCU +6