College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Kansas vs. Texas Tech (Saturday, Jan. 8)
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Clarence Nadolny.
- The line for the Kansas vs. Texas Tech now sits at Jayhawks -4.5, according to updated odds.
- Entering as home underdogs, the Red Raiders are looking for a signature win in Lubbock on Saturday.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down this Big 12 battle and shares his top betting pick.
Kansas vs. Texas Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
Kansas survived a nine-minute stretch without scoring in the opening half at Oklahoma State and still managed to win by 11 on Tuesday night in Stillwater.
Next up for the Jayhawks is Texas Tech, a second consecutive road trip and the first top-20 opponent the Jayhawks have faced since opening night against Michigan State in the Champions Classic.
The Red Raiders have been a difficult team to peg at this point of the season because their non-conference schedule was mostly a mix of studs and duds.
They played just four teams inside the KenPom top 150, and all were in the top 50. A neutral-site win against Tennessee is Texas Tech’s most impressive win, but this is the first high-profile home game of the Red Raiders’ season. No game on the home schedule is better than when Kansas visits.
Despite the high ranking and elite metrics for the Jayhawks amid their recent impressive winning run, this is an all-in spot for the underdog Red Raiders. Their stellar defense and length can cause issues for Kansas’ offense.
When the college basketball season hits March and April, Kansas is sure to be one of the 5-to-10 teams with the best chance of cutting down the nets.
Bart Torvik and KenPom rate the Jayhawks as the fourth-best team in the entire country, while ShotQuality puts them in second behind only Arizona based on quality of shots.
The Jayhawks’ offense does appear to have a bit of regression coming in the half court, though. Both Ochai Agbaji and Remy Martin — the Jayhawks’ highest volume shooters — are shooting well above their 2020-21 numbers.
You’d expect some improvement, but Martin has jumped from a career 34% 3-point shooter to nearly 40% this season. Agbaji is one of the best players in the country, but his jump from 37% to 45% seems unsustainable at this point in the year.
Kansas also hasn’t really been tested since opening night against Michigan State, and even the Spartans are playing considerably better at this point in the season than they were on opening night.
KU caught Sparty in a great spot, given the turnover within the MSU program. But Kansas hasn’t played a team since then that can compete with it athletically.
Oklahoma State slowed down this Kansas offense by limiting second-chance opportunities and turning the Jayhawks over and stealing possessions.
Texas Tech is defensively an even better unit than the Cowboys — at both crashing the glass and turning opponents over. It plays even slower than the Cowboys, too, and can frustrate a fast-paced KU offense if it makes it play in the half court.
Texas Tech has played its four biggest games — and really only four games against level competition — in a neutral or road environment this season.
This is the first big home game of the Mark Adams era in Lubbock, and the Red Raiders were really unlucky to lose to Iowa State based on the quality of shots generated at both ends of the floor.
The offense has been a struggle to watch at times. ShotQuality ranks it as the 25th-best offense in the country based on the looks it is getting, but the Red Raiders turn it over a lot (259th) and don’t shoot it particularly well from deep (141st in 3-point percentage).
They are heavily reliant on second-chance looks, and that’s one area they can take advantage of against the Jayhawks. TTU has the eighth-best offensive rebounding rate in the entire country. and the Jayhawks are barely in the top-100 defensively.
Given how slowly Tech runs its offense, an extra 20 seconds of shot clock and extra looks at the hoop could grind this game to a halt. And that’s how Texas Tech can pull off the upset against an untested Kansas team.
The Red Raiders are unlikely to shoot 3-for-17 from 3 again like they did against Iowa State. The Jayhawks’ defense will give you open looks from deep, and Texas Tech’s offense is better than some of the metrics suggest thus far.
Kansas vs. Texas Tech Betting Pick
The Texas Tech defense allows a ton of 3s, more than almost any team in the country. Only Syracuse and UNC Greensboro allow more.
The Red Raiders prioritize elite interior defense, rebounding and use their length to disrupt shooting from the perimeter. Denying the middle and the mid-range while forcing Kansas to shoot over the top is the way to slow down this Jayhawks offense.
Kansas has shot at an elite rate this season, but I remain skeptical of both Martin and Agbaji maintaining their current stellar jump shooting. Add in the Red Raiders’ opportunity for second-chance looks on the offensive glass, and Texas Tech is a live dog at home on Saturday.
Anything +2 or better is good enough for me to back the Red Raiders at home.
Pick: Texas Tech +4 or better
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