Oklahoma vs. Kansas College Basketball Odds & Pick: Bet the Sooners On Saturday
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Reaves.
- The Kansas Jayhawks look to build off their win on Monday over TCU when they host Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
- Kansas is a 7.5-point favorite but might be without defensive leader Marcus Garrett.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down what his absence could mean for the Sooners and shares his betting pick below.
Editor’s Note: It was announced around 3:50 p.m. ET that Oklahoma’s Brady Manek and Jalen Hill will not play against Kansas due to COVID-19 protocols.
Oklahoma vs. Kansas Odds
Kansas looks to build off its win on Monday over TCU as it hosts Oklahoma at Fogg Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
The Sooners have had an up-and-down season, where every one of their losses have come against teams ranked ahead of them, outside of an upset against West Virginia.
They were blown out, 76-61, at second-ranked Baylor on Wednesday and shot just 16.7% from beyond the arc. Oklahoma was projected to finish right in the middle of the Big 12, but an upset on Saturday could see the Sooners move towards the top half of the conference.
However, it’s been almost 19 years since the last time Oklahoma defeated Kansas on their home court.
Kansas got its swagger back on Monday by dismantling TCU at both ends of the floor.
The Jayhawks need a performance like that after getting thrashed by Texas the last time they were on their home court. They potentially will have to play once again without five-star freshman Bryce Thompson and unquestioned leader Marcus Garrett, as both are questionable to play on Saturday.
Will the Jayhawks be able to repeat their performance from Monday?
When Oklahoma has the ball
The biggest change to the Sooners’ offense this season is playing less isolation ball. Over the years with Buddy Hield, Trae Young and Kristian Doolittle, Oklahoma played more isolation ball than anyone in the country. Now, they have a much more balanced approach offensively, which has paid off. The Sooners rank 18th in offensive efficiency (per KenPom) and have three starters averaging double figures.
The key for Oklahoma’s offensive success is quick ball movement. If the Sooners are able to move the ball efficiently and effectively, they can pick teams apart. When they go back to their old ways of slow, clear-out isolation ball, their offense tends to suffer.
Kansas put the clamps down on defense against TCU, allowing the Horned Frogs to score only 0.97 points per possession and shoot 43.2% from inside the arc — and the Jayhawks did it without their best defender, Garrett. However, a second game without Garrett may prove costly, as he is the best perimeter defender in the Big 12 and maybe even in the country.
If Kansas is going to win and cover this game, it is going to have to defend well inside the paint again. Austin Reaves and Brady Manek are two dynamic scorers that like to go to the rim as often as possible, so keeping those guys out of the paint is going to be crucial for their success on defense.
When Kansas has the ball
As long as the Jayhawks don’t shoot 3-of-23 from 3 like they did against Texas, their offense is incredibly difficult to stop from long range.
The Jayhawks are shooting 36% for the season and tend to lean on the 3-point shot. However, the biggest improvement offensively against TCU was their performance inside the arc, as they shot a blistering 64.3% from 2-point range against the Horned Frogs.
Kansas is also a machine on the offensive glass, grabbing boards at a ridiculous 36.1% rate, which ranks 21st in the country. David McCormack and Jalen Wilson are two of the best rebounders in the Big 12, so Oklahoma’s frontcourt is going to have to be disciplined in their boxouts on Saturday.
Beating Oklahoma on defense is quite simple actually: Just shoot a ton of 3-pointers.
The Sooners are allowing their opponents to shoot almost 40% from 3, which is one of the worst marks in the country. On the contrary, they are only allowing 43.3% from 2-point range. Kansas should be able to get a ton of wide-open looks from behind the arc.
Betting Analysis & Pick
If Oklahoma plays like it did against West Virginia, it will be in this game.
The loss of Garrett wasn’t felt on Monday, but it’s a huge loss for Kansas defensively, especially trying to shut down a dynamic scorer like Reaves.
If Garrett is out, I think Oklahoma will be able to do enough offensively to stay in this game and cover the +7.5.
Pick: Oklahoma +7.5 or better (if Marcus Garrett is out).