February 18, 2017
There are two College Hoops picks today.
#1: Take Kansas +2 spread against Baylor for 3% of the bankroll.
There is no question that the Kansas Jayhawks are once again the team to beat in the Big 12 and that was never more apparent than in their victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers in their last contest. Kansas trailed by 14 points with just under 3 minutes remaining and somehow, they managed to send the game into overtime and wound up 'stealing' the victory in double OT. It was an incredible and miraculous comeback win for the Jayhawks and one that we expect to have given them another level of confidence heading into this matchup with Baylor.
The Baylor Bears were once considered the team that would potentially wrestle away the Big 12 title from Kansas this season. They are currently in sole possession of second place at the moment, however a loss here would put them three games behind the Jayhawks with just 4 games to go. Baylor seems to be a team that cracks when the pressure starts to mount and that was evident in their most recent loss to Texas Tech. This is a team that was known for their hard-nosed defense, however they have been shredded on the defensive end the last couple of games. In such an important matchup against a powerhouse team like the Jayhawks, we believe the situation will simply get too big for this team and they will once again crack in the later stages of this contest.
The Jayhawks have been a little bit untrustworthy themselves when it comes to covering spreads, failing to cover for their backers in a handful of games recently. That being said, they have always been a team that has found ways to win basketball games and now that they are listed as the underdogs, winning by a certain margin should not be a factor. This game undoubtedly means more to Baylor and they are at home which are the only reasons that the oddsmakers have listed them as the favorites, however we believe Kansas is the better overall team. The Jayhawks simply have too many playmakers on both sides of the basketball and Baylor cannot be trusted to come through in the clutch. The cream always rises to the top and there is no question that Kansas is the team to beat in the Big 12 and we believe they win this game outright. Even if this happens to be a close battle and Baylor somehow manages to pull off the victory, it will likely be on the final shot of the game in which the points are likely to come into play.
#2: Take Texas +2 spread against Kansas State for 3% of the bankroll.
The Kansas State Wildcats have really seen its season turn south in a hurry and you have to wonder how much more this struggling team can actually take before they completely give up on the season. This is a team that had won 12 of their first 13 games this season and looked like they might be a real contender in the Big 12. Since then however, they've dropped nine of their last 13 games heading into this matchup with Texas. Defense has been a staple of this K-State program, however over their last three games they have allowed teams to score an average of 82 points per game.
There are few teams in the nation who have had as disappointing season as the Texas Longhorns. After coming into the season ranked in the Top 25, the Longhorns have failed to live up to their lofty expectations. The fact that they are a young team, with mostly underclassmen are a big reason for their struggles, however this is still a team that is loaded with talent and we have seen flashes of that at times this season. They are catching the Wildcats at the most opportune moment and we expect them to capitalize with their talent in this matchup.
Another big reason for the Longhorns' struggles have been due to their play on the road this season. Texas is winless away from home, going 0-9 in true road games this season. It's easy to look at this team and think that they are poor given the number of losses on the season, however, at home, Texas has been an incredibly tough team to beat.
The Longhorns have won four of the last five meetings in the series against K-State and swept the regular-season series in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, prior to dropping a 65-62 decision in Manhattan to open league play this year. Texas made a final run late in the second half as the Horns shrunk an 11-point margin down to 63-60 with 7 seconds left, but Stokes made both free throws to push the lead back to five and that iced it for the Wildcats. This is a revenge game for Texas and the fact that they played the Wildcats close on the road, should give them confidence with this game now being played in the Frank Erwin Center.
Texas hasn't had much to celebrate this season and they are not making the NCAA Tournament, so at the moment the remainder of the season is all about finding those 'small wins' that this program can build on for next season. The Wildcats are currently on the bubble in terms of making the NCAA Tournament and the Longhorns have the opportunity to play spoiler in this contest. We believe the oddsmakers have listed the wrong team as the favorites in this matchup as Texas should go on to win this game outright; getting the points in this matchup is simply a bonus.
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