Kansas vs. Oklahoma State College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Too Many Points for Cowboys at Home? (Tuesday, Jan. 4)
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Boynton Jr
- No. 6 Kansas travels to Stillwater to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
- This will be the Jayhawks' first true road game in a hostile environment this season.
- Keg explains why 6.5 is too many points to give Oklahoma State.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma State Odds
-110o / -110u
|Oklahoma State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Oklahoma State entered the season with high hopes, returning four starters and 73% of its points from a team that made the Round of 32 for the first time since 2009.
However, things haven’t gone according to plan for the Cowboys this year. They are currently 7-4 on the season and have yet to beat a team ranked inside the top 100, per KenPom.
Things won’t be getting any easier for the Pokes, either.
Oklahoma State will begin conference play with back-to-back games against Kansas and Texas, two teams that rank inside the AP Top 25. And based on current standings, the Cowboys will not play another team ranked outside the top 75 for the rest of the season.
Even though they are ineligible to play in the NCAA Tournament this year, there is a lot of work to do if they want to finish in the top half of the Big 12.
Kansas, meanwhile, is 11-1 on the season and has not moved outside the top 10 at any point. The Jayhawks’ offense has also been one of the most productive in college basketball all season, led by Ochai Agbaji, who is averaging 20.6 points per game.
But the Jayhawks have yet to play an actual road game, and Oklahoma State will be Kansas’ first opponent ranked better than 74th, per KenPom, since it beat Michigan State on a neutral court to begin the season.
The Jayhawks also have some potential issues on their roster.
Oklahoma State has always seemed to give alumnus Bill Self and his team issues in Stillwater, as well. The Cowboys moved to 13 wins against Kansas since 2000 when they won 75-70 at home last year.
Can Oklahoma State get its season back on track and record its first win over a ranked opponent this season?
First and foremost, the biggest question for Kansas will be whether or not Remy Martin will return on Tuesday. Martin had stiffness in his knee and did not play in Saturday’s game against George Mason.
Self said he practiced on Monday and should be available for Tuesday’s game in Stillwater, so we’ll see if that holds true.
That’s not the only question on the Kansas roster, though. Mitch Lightfoot will start in place of David McCormack against the Cowboys. McCormack started all 12 games for Kansas this season and 28 of 29 last year, but Self is going with the better player as of late in Lightfoot.
McCormack has averaged 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 rebounds per game on the season. He is also shooting just 48.7% so far and has been a liability at the free-throw line, making just 59.1% of his shots.
Lightfoot, on the other hand, tied a career-high against George Mason on Saturday, posting 14 points while going 7-for-7. He has shot 62.5% on the season and has been considerably better from the charity stripe, making 68.8% of his attempts.
As a team, Kansas has averaged 85.2 points per game, and I think it will only improve with Lightfoot in the lineup. But the Oklahoma State defense will be the best Kansas has seen since North Texas.
In their first road game of the season, I don’t think this will be as easy for the Jayhawks as many expect.
Led by Avery Anderson III and Bryce Williams — who are both averaging double digits in points — the Cowboys have been solid on offense. As a team, they are shooting 45.8% from the field and averaging 74.9 points per contest.
But they won’t be able to beat Kansas in a shootout. The Oklahoma State defense will need to step up and limit the Jayhawks if the Cowboys want to get conference play started with a win.
That is something I think this team is more than capable of. The Cowboys are limiting opponents to just 39.2% from the field and just 66.5 points per game.
Kansas excels in 2-point shooting (58.8%), but that is where Oklahoma State has been one of the best at defending, ranking 17th in college basketball by limiting opposing teams to just 43%.
Posting a 20th-best adjusted defensive efficiency, OSU has allowed only four opponents all season to score more than 70 points.
A big part of this defense specifically has been turnovers. The Cowboys are forcing a turnover on 25.9% of their defensive possessions. And even when teams have been able to avoid turning the ball over, they are getting blocked 17.6% of the time.
At home against a big-name conference foe, the OSU defense could cause some serious havoc for one of the best offenses in the country.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma State Betting Pick
Kansas has been outstanding all year, but the Jayhawks have done it against inferior teams. They also have yet to play a single game in an actual road environment.
6.5 feels like too many points for Oklahoma State at home as it is, but I think the public will drive this number up, so I’ll be waiting to see where it goes before placing my bet.
Should it start to drop, I would still take the Cowboys at +6.