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Kansas-Texas Tech Betting Guide: Will Red Raiders’ Defense Get Revenge?

Kansas-Texas Tech Betting Guide: Will Red Raiders’ Defense Get Revenge? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Brandone Francis and Devon Dotson.

Kansas-Texas Tech Betting Odds

  • Odds: Texas Tech -5.5
  • Total: 135.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and win probabilities on your bets.

Texas Tech is on its second four-game conference winning streak this season, with its last loss coming by 16 points at Kansas three weeks ago. But there is a distinct difference between their first streak and their active one.

In the first streak, the Red Raiders were outscoring their Big 12 opponents by just 5.5 points per game. Most recently, they are outscoring their opponents by an astounding 24 PPG.

Can the stifling Texas Tech defense limit Kansas, or will the Jayhawks keep their Big 12 title hopes alive and score a big road upset?

Market Moves for Kansas-Texas Tech

Despite Texas Tech’s defensive prowess, the total rose from 133.5 to 135.5 overnight Friday. The Red Raiders reached -6 at most books, but Kansas money pushed it down to -5.5.

Betting action is almost dead-even on this game so far. — Steve Petrella

Trends to Know

Kansas and Texas Tech played at the beginning of February in a game the Jayhawks won 79-63. Bettors shouldn’t bank on the Red Raiders getting revenge. Since 2005, Kansas is 76-59-2 (56%) ATS when they previously had beat their opponent by double-digits. — John Ewing

Kansas has had a full seven days to prepare for this game. Since Bill Self took over as head coach of the Jayhawks in 2003-04, this will be Kansas’ first game as an underdog, while coming off at least seven days to prep for an opponent.

In the previous 55 games as a favorite with a week to prep, Self’s Kansas teams are 50-5 (90.9%) straight up and 30-25 (54.5%) against the spread. — Evan Abrams

When Texas Tech Has the Ball

With Texas Tech’s incredible defensive efficiency a given, the Red Raiders need to focus on getting quality offensive opportunities as often as possible. Their best chance is inside the arc. Texas Tech ranks fourth in Big 12 conference play in 2-point efficiency and 92nd overall in points generated by 2-point baskets. Their best chance for interior scoring is senior forward Tariq Owens (8.4 ppg), who has averaged 11 points in his last two games.

It would be a huge boost if senior center Norense Odiase (3.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg) could stay out of foul trouble. He brings a chance for a double-double in any game plays longer than 15 minutes.

Texas Tech ranks seventh in Big 12 play in 3-point accuracy, averaging only 33.8% per game. But over their last three games, the Red Raiders have been on fire, shooting 44.7% (34 of 76) from beyond the arc. Leading scorer Jarrett Culver (17.7 ppg) has finally started to heat up from deep, shooting 45.5% (5 of 11) from 3P in his last two games. Guards Davide Moretti (10.9 ppg, 43.5% 3P) and Matt Mooney (10.7 ppg, 37.7% 3P) are also huge weapons.

In their first matchup, the Red Raiders were abysmal from the field, managing only 34.4% (22 of 64). Expect that to improve at home, especially with Kansas playing without senior guard Lagerald Vick. If Texas Tech can continue its hot shooting from deep, the Jayhawks will struggle to keep this within six points. — Mike Randle

When Kansas Has the Ball

Not only do the Red Raiders boast the lowest Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (84.1 opponents’ points per 100 possessions) in college basketball, but they’re letting up a mere 53.8 points per game over their past four contests, as well. Texas Tech is primed for revenge after getting wrecked in Lawrence on Feb. 2, as the Jayhawks shot 43.3% from behind the arc en route to a 16-point win.

Bill Self’s squad has primarily relied on interior offense in conference play, generating Big 12’s the second-highest two-point scoring rate (51.4%). Nevertheless, Chris Beard’s unit has allowed the second-lowest scoring percentage (44.0%) in that department, paced by their elite ball pressure.

Expect Norense Odiase and Tariq Owens’ physicality to give Kansas star Dedric Lawson (19.2 points per game) more issues this time around, especially with Tech’s offense in more of a flow. In their first meeting, the Red Raiders’ produced 0.86 PPP, allowing Kansas to utilize its transition attack and feed Lawson early and often on the break. — Eli Hershkovich

As Eli mentioned, Texas Tech’s defense has been nothing short of elite this season. The Red Raiders’ national rankings would be impressive if you read them as conference rankings. Just take a look at a few highlights of their national defensive rankings:

  • No. 1 in effective FG%
  • No. 1 in Adjusted Efficiency
  • No. 4 in 3 point defense
  • No. 4 in 2 point defense
  • No. 3 in turnover rate

And that last bullet is critical, as Kansas has struggled with turnovers, ranking No. 9 in the Big 12 in turnover percentage during conference play. — Stuckey

The Stakes

This game is absolutely massive in regards to the eventual Big 12 regular season title, as both teams are tied for second place — one game back of Kansas State. If Kansas wants to win its 15th-straight regular season title, it likely needs to win this game. And if the Jayhawks do, they will then host Kansas State on Monday for a chance to move into first place. (The Wildcats haven’t won in Lawrence since 2006).

On the other hand, a win for the Red Raiders would put them in prime position themselves to take the Big 12 regular season crown — with a favorable schedule up until a trip to Ames in their season finale. This game will also have seeding implications for the NCAA Tournament. — Stuckey

Kansas’ Road Struggles Are Real

Kansas has struggled mightily on the road this season. Understandably so, as its roster is now essentially Dedric Lawson and a bunch of freshmen as a result of injuries/Vick leave of absence.

The Jayhawks are 2-6 straight-up on the road this season, including one win in overtime at TCU. Their defense has especially struggled, allowing 73 points per game on the road  — including at least 65 points in all eight games. Why do I mention that? Well, Texas Tech is 18-0 when scoring 65 or more this season.

Tech is simply rolling right now, winning four straight by an average of 24 points per game. And that defense is playing at a different level of late. I didn’t even mention it above, but Texas Tech throws in a zone about 10% of the time and that has been uber-effective. It has only allowed a miniscule .606 points per possession when in zone, per Synergy Sports. That’s best in the country.

I think Tech gets to that 65 mark and gets its revenge from an earlier season blowout loss in Lawrence when it ran into a buzzsaw (Kansas had lost two straight prior to that game). I have this line around -6, so there’s not a ton of value, but I do think Tech is the perfect moneyline parlay piece for Saturday. — Stuckey

Randle: A Case for the Under

My favorite bet in this game is the under at 135.5. With Kansas limited personnel-wise, Bill Self has committed his team on the defensive end. While Texas Tech’s defensive prowess is well-known, the Jayhawks rank 13th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. Kansas has been even better in Big 12 play, ranking second in effective field goal percentage.

Kansas will not be able to repeat its 43.3% 3-point mark from that 79-63 win over Tech on Feb. 2. The Jayhawks need to continue their defensive efficiency, especially in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have held four consecutive opponents under 62 points, with three of those teams under 55 points.

Taking the under is never fun, but that is the choice in this battle of defensive stalwarts. — Mike Randle

Randle’s Pick: Under 135.5

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