Kansas vs. Texas College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions: Can Jayhawks Exact Revenge? (Tuesday, Feb. 23)
William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The Kansas Jayhawks.
- The Kansas Jayhawks travel to Austin on Tuesday for a Big 12 matchup with the Texas Longhorns.
- Kansas looks to exact revenge from its embarrassing 84-59 home loss against Texas earlier this season.
- BJ Cunningham previews Tuesday's game and shares his betting pick below.
Kansas vs. Texas Odds
Kansas will be looking for some revenge on Tuesday night when it travels to Austin to take on 14th-ranked Texas.
Kansas has been red hot over the past month, winning five straight including a win over 18th-ranked Texas Tech on Saturday.
The Jayhawks have been stifling their opponents with fantastic defense, which is good news because the last time they faced Texas, their defense was anything but stifling. Texas blew out Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, 84-59. Can the Jayhawks put those bad memories behind them and get a resume-building win on the road?
Texas lost a top-15 battle on Saturday against West Virginia, dropping to 7-5 in the Big 12.
The Longhorns haven’t looked anything like the team that was ranked in the top five for a period in January, especially defensively. Shaka Smart’s team can’t afford another loss or its hopes at top-four seed in the tournament will go up in flames.
When Kansas has the ball
Offense hasn’t been the Jayhawks’ strong suit, as they are averaging only 1.04 points per possession during conference play.
The main problem is the Jayhawks are shooting it poorly from beyond the arc, as they are hitting only 33.5% of their 3-point attempts. In fact, in its last meeting with Texas, Kansas only shot 3-of-23 from deep.
The strength of this Kansas offense is in the paint, where it is making over 59% of its shot attempts at the rim. The Jayhawks are also grabbing offensive rebounds at a 31.2% rate, which is the third-best mark in the Big 12. However, this is a bad matchup for Kansas, because the Longhorns are very difficult to score on inside.
The Longhorns allow only 47.1% on 2-point attempts and are the best defensive rebounding team in the Big 12.
The way to beat this Texas defense is to do exactly what West Virginia did on Saturday: Shoot a high percentage from 3 and get to the free-throw line early and often.
The Mountaineers hit 48% of their 3-pointers and shot 37 free throws on their way to averaging 1.18 points per possession. Those two areas are not Kansas’ strong suits, so the Jayhawks could struggle offensively on the road.
When Texas has the ball
The Longhorns have been solid on the offensive end of the floor during conference play, averaging 1.06 points per possession.
The great part about this Texas offense is it has no real weaknesses. The real reason it beat Kansas the first time around was because they it lit the Jayhawks up from beyond the arc, making 13 3-point attempts. The Longhorns did hit 14 3s against West Virginia on Saturday, and they could run the Jayhawks right out of the gym again.
The problem for Texas in this matchup is they are playing a much-improved Kansas defense. The Jayhawks are allowing only 0.95 points per possession during conference play and held Texas Tech to only 61 points on Saturday.
Quite frankly, the only way to beat this Kansas defense is to do what Texas did in the first meeting and hit a ton of 3-pointers.
Kansas has the best paint defense in the Big 12, allowing only 44% from 2-point range and 55.9% on shot attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math, so the Longhorns will need to do most of their scoring from outside.
Betting Analysis & Pick
With the way the Jayhawks are playing on defense lately, it’s really hard to bet against them. In their last five games, they’ve held their opponents under 1.00 point per possession in every one of those games, so I think they’ll be able to shut down Texas’ offense on the road.
I am backing the Jayhawks to get some revenge in Austin on the moneyline at +124.
Pick: Kansas +124