Free Picks: Texas Longhorns vs Kansas Jayhawks

Texas vs Kansas NCAAB
Texas Longhorns vs Kansas Jayhawks, NCAA, Erwin Center

The No. 23 Kansas Jayhawks (17-7, 11-5 Big 12) got steamrolled when they last played the No. 12 Texas Longhorns (13-6, 7-5 Big 12) back on Jan. 2. That began a rough stretch for the Jayhawks, but now with the season coming to a close they’ll have another chance to take down one of the conference’s best. The Longhorns, meanwhile, are searching for their first quality win in the past six weeks.

Longhorns’ ATS cold streak shouldn’t be the focus against the Jayhawks

A recent five-game win streak by the Jayhawks has turned Tuesday’s matchup with the Longhorns into a truly compelling matchup in the NCAA Division I landscape. Despite how hot Kansas has been, though, they might be the perfect opponent for a Texas team that has lost five of its past eight games straight up — and covered in just two of its past 10 against the spread.

You see, the last time Kansas and Texas matched up — way back on Jan. 2 in Kansas — the Longhorns thumped the Jayhawks to the tune of an 84-59 win as five-point underdogs. We aren’t entirely sure what to expect on the upcoming NCAA basketball odds for this game, but you can be sure Texas won’t be a five-point underdog inside their home arena. Regardless of who is favored and by how much, this figures to be a much harder fought affair on both sides, and we’ll cater our BetPicks prediction to which team we think provides better value on the money line.

The real dogfight will happen when Texas has the ball, because it’ll pit the Longhorns’ 19th-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency against the Jayhawks’ 12th-ranked adjusted defensive efficiency (both metrics courtesy of KenPom). During its five-game win streak, Kansas has held all of its opponents under 70 points, with an average of 56.4 points allowed per game. In that same five-game span, the Longhorns have averaged 73.6 points per game on offense.

Looking back on their prior matchup this season, the Longhorns won by 25 points despite being on the road, committing more fouls and relinquishing more turnovers. Of course, they also shot 46.2 percent on 26 threes and won the rebound battle by nine.

We aren’t suggesting Texas will channel its inner Kevin Durant again and shoot the lights out. But if a marginal regression on offense is traded off with improved level of care regarding basics like turnovers and fouls, the Longhorns will be in great shape to down the Jayhawks once again.

Stats

  • Texas is 2-8 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in eight of the Longhorns’ past 10 games
  • Kansas is 6-4 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The UNDER has cashed in five of the Jayhawks’ past nine games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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