College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Kansas vs. Oklahoma (Tuesday, Jan. 18)
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Goldwire (Oklahoma)
- Oklahoma, which has lost three of its last four, is hosting Kansas in a true desperation spot when it comes to its NCAA Tournament resume.
- The Jayhawks pounded West Virginia on the road, but lost their last road game at Texas Tech.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup and makes his top selection.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Kansas had its first sustained blip of the season when it lost at Texas Tech and then barely survived a home game with Iowa State in two consecutive games in Big 12 play.
The Jayhawks responded with a rout of West Virginia over the weekend and will now hit the road for the first of two road games at Oklahoma on Tuesday.
The Sooners have been a predictable opponent in conference play thus far, defeating both Iowa State and Kansas State at home, but losing to Baylor, Texas and TCU on the road to drop to 2-3 in conference.
It’s been an up-and-down first year of the Porter Moser era in Norman, but this week will be a true test as OU hosts both Kansas and Baylor in the next four days.
Kansas may have one of the best offenses in the entire country, but the total is a bit inflated against a desperate Oklahoma defense that has some positive regression coming.
Trying to poke holes in this Jayhawks offense is pretty hard to do given how efficient they are across the board and how many different scoring options they do have.
But the ShotQuality numbers suggest they’ve been scoring well above expectation based on the quality of shots produced in recent games. They could have some regression coming from beyond the arc.
Ochai Agbaji is one of the best players in the country, but the improvement he’s made from 3-point range is a bit steep for just one season. He jumped from 37% from deep to 47%. That kind of leap is pretty unsustainable for a player in year four.
Oklahoma’s interior defense and rebounding is better than its length would otherwise suggest, and that could prevent the Jayhawks from living on the glass after their misses.
The Jayhawks scored 12 points over expected against Oklahoma State, seven over against Texas Tech, 12 more than predicted against Iowa State and 15 against West Virginia.
Kansas’ 261st ranking in percentage of open 3s isn’t exactly indicative of an elite shooting team, even if the Jayhawks have some great shotmakers through contests.
The Oklahoma offense has gone into the tank in the last couple of games, failing to break 60 points in either game. The offense managed just 0.82 points per possession in the Sooners’ most recent defeat to TCU in overtime and 0.84 PPP against Texas in the game prior.
The main issue is turnovers, as the Sooners are 316th in offensive turnover rate and 245th in non-steal turnover rate. That’s terrible news when you’re playing against Kansas, which boasts the 15th-best offense in transition in the entire country, per ShotQuality.
The Sooners also don’t get to the free throw line much, they don’t foul much and Moser’s defense does an excellent job of taking away the strength of the opposing offense.
For Kansas, that’s preventing mid-range looks and easy rim chances and forcing them to be shooters. That was both Texas Tech and Iowa State’s game plan to beat Kansas, and it’s proven effective if you’re all in defensively.
Off of two consecutive losses, the Sooners are in a desperation spot, and this is the first of two chances to make a statement to the NCAA Tournament committee.
I’d expect an all-in defensive effort on Tuesday night. OU is top 50 in defensive turnover rate and ShotQuality allowed on 3-pointers and it rebounds at an above-average rate.
All of that should be able to keep the Jayhawks’ offense in check — to an extent — and try to make this game as ugly as possible with a lot of turnovers and few free throws/second-chance looks.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma Betting Pick
Oklahoma’s turnover-prone offense and turnover-producing defense has a way of forcing opponents into sloppy games and mucking it up. They now get a game with Kansas in a dream desperation spot at home with a chance to get back to .500 in conference play.
Both offenses haven’t been operating at peak form in recent games — with the exception of Kansas’ beatdown of West Virginia at home — and both teams have seen a noticeable decline in pace in the last games.
There is a concern that Kansas will be able to push the pace with live-ball turnovers and score lots of easy points in transition. But if the Jayhawks are able to get separation from the Sooners in this game, Oklahoma isn’t really built to try to play from behind either.
I’d play the under 145 (down to 143), and I expect this game to be played in the 130s.
Pick: Under 145 (down to 143)