Kansas vs Texas Tech Odds, Pick: Red Raiders in Sweet Spot?
Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Pop Isaacs (Texas Tech)
Kansas vs Texas Tech Odds
Editor's Note: Kevin McCullar Jr. (knee) is out for tonight's game, per Jon Rothstein.
I've been waiting to see this matchup for quite some time — Kansas vs. Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Kansas is coming off a huge victory against Baylor, while Texas Tech managed a narrow win over UCF.
Here's Kansas vs. Texas Tech odds and a pick.
Kansas battled and won extremely short-handed only two days ago without Kevin McCullar Jr. The experienced guard features the most indispensable skill set on Kansas' roster.
The Jayhawks don't have another guy like McCullar who checks each impacting game box. He can pass, dribble, shoot and defend the opposing team's best perimeter player, and the Jayhawks still beat a very good Baylor squad without him.
The only difference here? Kansas won at Allen Fieldhouse. That's a house of horrors for any other opposition in college basketball.
Plus, Kansas luckily beat Baylor — one poor defensive choice from Nicolas Timberlake, leading to a wide-open 3 from Jayden Nunn, and Dajuan Harris Jr. going under a screen on JaKobe Walter's 3-point tying attempt didn't haunt them.
You can't count on opponents missing good looks every game; it's just not an ideal formula for winning games long-term.
That said, it's McCullar's final time playing in Lubbock, which he called home for three years. I'm sure he'll do everything in his power to play.
The Jayhawks' defense remains elite, ranking 14th in defensive efficiency nationally. Opponents shoot 3s on 40% of their offensive possession against Kansas while connecting on only 32%. Those numbers will benefit the Jayhawks.
Driving the ball inside is unwise, as Kansas allows the 14th-best opponent 2-point field percentage in college hoops.
Texas Tech is much different than most people thought. Grant McCasland's style of suffocating defense hasn't quite translated from North Texas to Texas Tech.
During McCasland's time in Denton, UNT regularly posted some of the best defense numbers in college hoops year-to-year. So far in Lubbock, McCasland's unit ranks 88th in defensive efficiency, which is pretty mediocre.
Stopping the 3-point shoot is the biggest obstacle, as the Red Raiders allow 33.5% from 3 on a healthy number of attempts.
The Red Raiders' dominant offense ranks 13th in offensive efficiency, led by a trio of scoring guards, Pop Isaacs, Joe Toussaint and Chance McMillian.
Isaacs is the offensive engine, averaging over 16.9 points and 3.7 assists per game. The issue? He doesn't score efficiently, shooting only 37% from the field and 32% from 3.
Toussaint is more of a driver than a shooter and loves attacking the rim while using his elite strength.
The Red Raiders desperately need big man Warren Washington out of foul trouble if they want to limit Hunter Dickinson.
Just look at Texas Tech's performance against Baylor last week when Washington missed the game due to illness; the Red Raiders couldn't slow down Baylor's Yves Missi, so stopping Dickinson seems only possible with Washington on the court.
Texas Tech is a very good team, and won't let Kansas' cache deter it from the ultimate goal: winning a huge game in Big 12 play.
I love Tech in this spot. It's a home game for the Red Raiders in United Supermarkets Arena, where they've only lost once all season thus far.
Kansas looks mediocre on the road, falling short against UCF, West Virginia and Kansas State — three worse teams than Texas Tech.