Kansas State vs Texas Tech Odds & Prediction | Big 12 Betting Preview

Kansas State vs Texas Tech Odds & Prediction | Big 12 Betting Preview article feature image

Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Desi Sills and Abayomi Iyiola

Kansas State vs Texas Tech Odds

Saturday, Feb. 11
7 p.m. ET
Kansas State Odds
-110o / -110u
Texas Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Let’s journey back to the preseason. Specifically: the Big 12 preseason poll.

The league’s coaches tabbed Texas Tech as a middle-of-the-pack squad (T-fifth), placing it squarely in hunt for an NCAA Tournament bid. Kansas State, on the other hand, was selected last, almost unanimously.

Fast-forward almost four months and the two teams have essentially swapped places. The Red Raiders have swooned badly, plummeting to the Big 12 basement via a 1-10 record. The purple Wildcats are a game behind league-leading Texas and in line for a high NCAA Tournament seed.

That, folks, is why they play the games.

Speaking of which: these two have already played. Kansas State won by 10 in Manhattan, a place where the Wildcats have been dominant (13-1 straight up, 10-4 against the spread). They’re still solid on the road, but not to the same degree (3-4 straight up, 4-3 ATS).

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State’s first win over Texas Tech was, unsurprisingly, due in large part to its dynamic duo. Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson combined for 38 of the Wildcats’ 68 points while adding 19 rebounds and eight assists. If you want to beat Kansas State, you have to limit one of that pair (or both, ideally).

Nowell is tough to corral. He’s a lightning bug on the ball who also has deep range on his jumper. Coach Jerome Tang puts him in an endless stream of ball screens, and his vision is deadly for foes who are not sound in their coverages.

Both Nowell and Johnson can destroy switches. Nowell is faster than almost anyone else on the court, and you cannot back off him because of his perimeter stroke. Johnson is the quintessential matchup nightmare: too skilled for big men, too strong for guards. He lives at the free throw line as a result; both he and Nowell took 10 free throws each in the first meeting with Texas Tech.

The Wildcats’ defense is another strength. They can frequently switch liberally, as only Nowell’s size and Abayomi Iyiola’s footspeed are severe limiters. Digging deeper, though, Kansas State has some risk built into how it defends. Opponents are shooting just 28.6% from 3-point range this year, and that dips even further to 27.3% in league play. Shot Quality expects those shots to be at 33%; regression could lurk.

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Texas Tech Red Raiders

These Red Raiders are difficult to figure out. Yes, they are 1-10 in the Big 12, but it is unquestionably the toughest league in America. And despite that gruesome record, they have not quit.

Texas Tech has covered three of its last four games, including the comeback of the year against Iowa State less than two weeks ago. That is despite missing Pop Isaacs and Fardaws Aimaq, two starters who would add considerable punch on both ends.

Isaacs is particularly notable as the team’s best long-range sniper. Interestingly, though, Texas Tech scores more efficiently when he is off the floor, per Hoop-Explorer. That’s primarily due to a dip in turnovers and an increase in free throw rate.

Aimaq’s absence is less notable after he missed the first 16 games of the campaign. Daniel Batcho has had a terrific year at center without him, but depth is thin.

To answer that lack of depth, coach Mark Adams has leaned into more small-ball lately. Batcho has come off the bench the last two games, playing just 17.5 minutes per game. With a smaller, quicker lineup on the floor, both games have gone over the betting total.

Playing smaller also might detract from Texas Tech’s biggest edge in the first meeting: the offensive glass. The Red Raiders snagged a staggering 23 offensive rebounds (46% of their misses).

Kansas State vs. Texas Tech Betting Pick

I am of two minds here. Part of me wants to bet Kansas State as a short road favorite against a reeling Texas Tech squad that lacks the interior punch needed to punish the Wildcats in the paint. The other half of me loves the over, especially given the lineup shift Texas Tech has made recently.

Considering Texas Tech’s string of covers and the potential for a motivated home dog performance, I’ll go with the total. Kansas State loves to play up-tempo, playing at the fastest pace in the Big 12 in league play. Texas Tech may be willing to play along with its faster rotation. And remember: no Isaacs has been a sneaky help to the over, despite missing his shooting.

I would bet this up to 147.

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