It’s a blockbuster game when defending National Champion Kansas travels to Lubbock to face Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders are talented, but they’ve fallen in essentially every 50/50 game this season. They desperately need a marquee win and will be coming into this game off of a six-point loss to TCU.
Kansas has mostly kept the beat rolling on from a season ago. Since getting thumped by Tennessee in late November, the Jayhawks haven’t lost. They’ve registered wins over teams such as Indiana, Missouri, and Seton Hall in that period. They are not great wins, but they are undoubtedly notable. They are in the middle of a positive stride right now and will look to keep that going tonight.
Find my best bet in today’s college basketball picks and predictions for Kansas vs. Texas Tech.
Kansas vs. Texas Tech best odds
Kansas vs. Texas Tech picks and predictions
You have to like Texas Tech tonight. The situation is perfect for an upset win, and I actually project Texas Tech as the favorite here. Getting the Red Raiders as a home underdog feels a bit insane.
From a matchup perspective, this feels like the Tennessee showdown from a little over a month ago. Texas Tech has a better defense than Kansas by any metric, and it should use that to take over this game as much as the Vols did. But, as I noted above, Texas Tech needs this game more than Kansas.
Tech has yet to log a Quadrant 1 win this season, going 0-3 in such opportunities. Now it’s getting another chance at one, and again, it’ll be playing in front of a raucous home-court environment.
Nearly 20% of the Jayhawks’ offense comes in transition, and they score as efficiently as anyone there. They average 1.2 points per possession in transition, placing them in the sixth percentile nationwide, and they shoot 57% from the field when they get in these spots.
Not only do the Raiders allow few transition opportunities, but when they do happen, they are slowed down significantly. There are several moving parts to transitional defensive numbers, but there’s no denying how good the Red Raiders are. The length of Kevin Obanor and Richard Issacs, among others, have contributed to a transition defense that allows under .80 points per possession – that’s quite a feat when you consider how many of those chances come near the rim.
If Tech makes this a half-court game, its chances of winning increase immensely.
There’s a general lack of toughness to Kansas’ game. That’s a wild statement about a team that just won a national championship, but the losses of key contributors can’t be underestimated. That lack of toughness will be called into question by Texas Tech on both ends of the court but especially on offense.
The Red Raiders have been great, scoring on second-chance points with 1.2 offensive rebounding points per possession. They can hurt Kansas there. Beyond that, Obanor may be the most efficient post-up scorer in the country.
I’m not sold on Kansas’ rim protection or its post-up defense. At times, David McCormack’s career was much maligned by Kansas fans, but this season without him has illustrated his importance. Although the numbers are good, my eyes tell me this team is still susceptible to a strong post player. Obanor fits that bill.
Texas Tech must take care of the ball tonight, as it’s been a bugaboo throughout the season, but I trust that head coach Mark Adams can fix that. If it happens, I expect to win. However, I’m taking the free points because the juice is more favorable against the price I’m getting for the moneyline.
My best bet: Texas Tech +1.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
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Kansas vs. Texas Tech spread analysis
We’re rolling with Texas Tech tonight. The Big 12 has been an absolute gauntlet this season, and it’s gone up in difficulty tenfold when teams travel. There have been six conference games so far, and the home team has won five of them. The lone road win came over the weekend when Texas won by a point in Oklahoma.
So for the purposes of our spread bet, the home team has covered all six games.
This spread opened at 2.5 points, and we saw a quick buy on Texas Tech, with all books moving the number to 1.5. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game reaches pick ’em by the tip, as there seems to be a steady flow of money on the Red Raiders.
At the end of the day, Texas Tech needs this game to boost its NCAA Tournament resume. It has two non-conference Power Five wins on the season, and they were both against awful teams in Louisville and Georgia. I love backing them in this spot.
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Kansas vs. Texas Tech Over/Under analysis
If I’m going anywhere here, it’s gotta be Under. My projections see six points of value perfectly suitable for a play. However, I’m going to wait. There’s a decent chance that one of these teams starts hot out of the game (likely Texas Tech), and we get a few more points on the total. I’m looking for around 142.5 to jump in on the Under, and we’re just a tick away from that right now.
There’s a strong trend favoring the Over with both of these teams. The Over has gone 10-3 in the Jayhawks’ last 13 games against a team with a winning record. Conversely, the Over has gone a perfect 6-0 in Texas Tech’s last six home games. With that said, I’ll most likely be fading those trends if I end up on a side, but it does illustrate the difficulties with the handicap here.
Kansas vs Texas Tech betting trend to know
Texas Tech is 10-2 ATS at home in its last 12 games following a loss. Find more College basketball betting trends for Kansas vs. Texas Tech.
Kansas vs. Texas Tech game info
|Location:||United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, TX|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 3, 2023|
|Tip off:||9:00 pm ET|
Kansas vs. Texas Tech key injuries
Kansas: Wilder Evers G (Out), Charlie McCarthy G (Out), Kyle Cuffe Jr. G (Out).
Texas Tech: D’Maurian Williams G (Questionable), Fardaws Aimaq F (Out).