The Saturday college basketball slate tips off with a battle of two top 10 teams in the NCAAB Texas at Kansas pick. The #9 Longhorns have started off the year 7-1, but will be playing their first true road game of the season in this tilt. #4 KU is 8-1 on the season, and have won all five games at the Allen Fieldhouse so far.
Kansas is a -4 favorite in this meeting, and 70% of the public still likes the home team at that number. The Jayhawks are battle-tested after beating #13 Texas Tech and #9 West Virginia the last two games. The Longhorns are coming off a 77-74 win over 6-2 Oklahoma State the last time out, but have lost 9 of the last 10 in this series.
Texas Not Tested Yet
The Longhorns have an impressive 7-1 start, with their lone loss coming 68-64 at home against #4 Villanova as +1.5 underdogs in Austin. Texas also has wins over Davidson (78-76) and North Carolina (69-67) in the Maui Invitational that was held in Asheville this season.
The Jayhawks have an 11-day layoff coming into the NCAAB Texas at Kansas pick, but the Longhorns haven’t played in 13 days. That’s a lofty break, especially when Texas has to head into their first true road game of the season. Texas lost 69-58 when these teams met up in Lawrence last season.
Of course Texas definitely has a chance on Saturday, as oddsmakers have set the line at just +4.5. The Longhorns were a +14.5 underdog on the road at Kansas last February. Shaka Smart’s team has ramped up their defense, allowing just 62.5 ppg and have a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging at least 11 ppg.
Set Them Up and Knock Them Down for KU
The Longhorns have been at least a -17 favorite in two of their last three games, suggesting the competition of Texas State and Sam Houston State didn’t offer much resistance. On the contrary, the Jayhawks have knocked down ranked teams in their last two matchups, winning 58-57 at Texas Tech as +1.5 underdogs and beating West Virginia 79-65 as -2 point favorites.
Kansas has shifted their strategy a bit this season, relying more on outside shooting as evidenced by hoisting 37 three pointers in the win over West Virginia. Defending the perimeter is actually a strength of Texas though, as they hold opponents to 27% shooting from the outside which is 30th in the nation.
They don’t have the elite star power like they have in the past, but the Jayhawks still have some top notch talent led by Ochai Agbaji who is averaging 14.8 ppg, while Jalen Wilson pumps in 14.6. Another advantage for KU is that the Longhorns’ best player recently Greg Brown (24/14 vs. Oklahoma State) is a freshman, making his first road appearance. 2,500 fans are allowed in attendance at Jayhawks games.
Free NCAAB Texas at Kansas Basketball Pick
This one looks too easy on the KU side, which is never a good thing. Instead, four straight matchups in this series have gone under the total, which is set at just 135.5. Both teams are apt to come out flat after having nearly two weeks off, and this one looks like it ends in the 60s.
Kansas 65 – Texas 61
Free Pick: Under 135.5