Texas Tech vs. Kansas Odds & Pick: Points Will Be at a Premium in Big 12 College Basketball Rematch
David Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Bill Self, Bryce Thompson, and Christian Braun.
- The Texas Tech Red Raiders will be looking for revenge in Saturday's game against Kansas in Lawrence.
- Points will likely be at a premium between two teams jockeying for positioning in the standings.
- BJ Cunningham previews the matchup and gives his pick below.
Texas Tech vs. Kansas Odds
Texas Tech looks for revenge on Saturday when it heads to Allen Fieldhouse to take on Kansas.
The Red Raiders lost at home to West Virginia the last time they were in action, and Chris Beard was not happy about the officiating in the game.
Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard was ejected from the game after arguing with the referees. pic.twitter.com/o776Ypr4ji
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 10, 2021
Texas Tech is sitting at 6-5 in the Big 12 and in desperate need of another resume-building win to secure a No. 3 or 4 seed in the conference tournament. Kansas defeated them 58-57 back in December, so Texas Tech will be looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Jayhawks.
Kansas has been on a good run over the past month or so, as the Jayhawks have won five of their last six games in the Big 12. It’s currently projected to be a five seed, so another win over a top-25 opponent could boost it up to a four or potentially a three seed come March.
When Texas Tech has the ball
The Red Raiders’ offense has been solid during conference play, averaging 1.07 points per possession.
It sounds weird, but their biggest strength on offense is their ability to get to the free-throw line. Texas Tech has the second-highest free-throw rate in the Big 12 and is shooting better than 76% when it gets to the line. The problem for the Red Raiders is that the Jayhawks hardly foul, as they allow one of the lowest free-throw rates in the Big 12.
Texas Tech hasn’t been shooting the ball very well this season, averaging less than 34% from deep and less than 49% from inside the arc, per KenPom.
The Red Raiders really struggled shooting the ball from all over the floor in the first meeting with Kansas, going just 20-of-62 from the field. Kansas also has a distinct advantage inside, as it is allowing only 44% from 2-point range and 55.9% on shot attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math.
So for Texas Tech to win this game, the Red Raiders are either going to have to get to the free-throw line early and often or hit a high percentage from 3-point range.
When Kansas has the ball
Kansas has been extremely average offensively during Big 12 play.
The Jayhawks rank sixth in the conference in points per possession and are hitting only 33.7% of their 3-point attempts.
However, the strength of this Kansas offense is inside, where it averages 59.3% on shot attempts at the rim and has the third-highest offensive rebound rate in the Big 12. Texas Tech has struggled with defensive rebounding this season, so the Jayhawks may get a lot of second-chance opportunities on Saturday.
However, where opponents beat this Texas Tech team is behind the 3-point arc. The Red Raiders are allowing an absurd 41.7% from 3-point range and allowed West Virginia to shoot 50% from deep the last time they were on the floor.
Kansas did not take advantage of the Red Raiders’ weakness in the first meeting, as it hit only 33% of its 3s, so it will need to hit a higher percentage if it’s going to escape with a win.
Texas Tech also allows the highest free-throw rate in the Big 12. Kansas went 14-of-15 from the free-throw line in the first meeting.
So, if the Jayhawks can shoot a high percentage from 3 and get to the free-throw line often, they should be able to beat Texas Tech.
Betting Analysis & Pick
These two offenses really struggled in the first meeting, as neither averaged better than 0.95 points per possession.
Texas Tech, specifically, plays a very slow tempo, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a grind-it-out game played in the half-court.
I have a hard time seeing how both squads are going to drastically improve and play a faster tempo than the first meeting.
I have only 130.84 points projected for this game, so I think there is some value on under 133.5 points.
Pick: Under 133.5 points or better.