College Basketball State of the Big 12 Betting Report: Post SEC/Big 12 Challenge Update
Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images. Pictured: David McCormack (Kansas)
This past weekend’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge may have been a nice break from conference play, but the results were not so nice for fans of the 10-team league.
Overall, the conference went 4-6 against the SEC, and some of the results have made re-evaluating the top teams necessary.
That’s precisely what I’m here to go over. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
The weekend’s biggest surprise came in the biggest matchup, as the Kansas Jayhawks hosted the Kentucky Wildcats.
The game got out of hand fast, and Kentucky dominated the Jayhawks in every facet, winning 80-62. I also can’t fail to mention that Kansas was a five-point favorite coming into this game.
The panic meter for Jayhawk faithful may be at an all-time high, as this showing was not promising.
However, there’s no reason to panic, as it should be chopped up to a bad outing — especially given this team’s track record.
Fortunately, they are still leading the conference because of another significant upset.
Just before we witnessed the trouncing of Kansas, the Baylor Bears were upset by Alabama.
The Bears were without a key piece in LJ Cryer, as he was ruled out late due to a foot injury. The offense did not drop off much without Cryer, though Baylor’s defensive performance was concerning. It allowed the Crimson Tide to shoot 59% from the field.
Unfortunately, the injury bug did not stop there, as 3-point specialist Adam Flagler joined Cryer on the end of the bench prior to their matchup with West Virginia. Therefore, it will be crucial to monitor their statuses leading up to the showdown with Kansas this coming Saturday.
One Big 12 team that made a statement in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge was the TCU Horned Frogs.
The Horned Frogs put the conference on notice after they upset perhaps the best defensive team in the country, the LSU Tigers.
If you’ve been following the Big 12, this kind of performance comes with no surprise, as TCU has quietly built a 15-4 record. With their most recent win against Oklahoma, the Horned Frogs are now 4-3 in conference play.
Furthermore, their run has come at the right time, as the conference is still wide open. Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech and TCU all sit within two games of each other, so the door is certainly open for the Horned Frogs.
The Look Ahead
Texas vs. Texas Tech
This game will be tightly contested, as these are two of the best defensive teams in the country.
The difference will be on the offensive end of the court, where Texas Tech has a slight advantage.
The Red Raiders’ offense may also be shorthanded, as Terrence Shannon Jr. is questionable for the matchup.
Regardless of his status, the value is with the Longhorns, as it’s just too many points. Take the Longhorns +6.5.
Baylor vs. Kansas
It’s entirely too early to handicap this matchup, as the injury report for Baylor looms largely.
KenPom has Baylor projected as a one-point favorite on the road here, and if the Bears are fully healthy, I’ll be looking to back them as a short favorite.
The line will depend on Baylor’s health and also how Kansas bounces back on Tuesday against Iowa State, which is no easy task.
Kansas vs. Texas
This is a spot where I’m expecting the Longhorns to catch a tired and sluggish Kansas team following its matchup with Baylor.
The Jayhawks will have to play in Austin just 48 hours after battling the Bears.
KenPom has the Longhorns projected as one-point favorites, though, I do not think they’ll open as favorites.
So, I’ll be looking to grab Texas as a dog in this Kansas letdown spot.