NCAAB odds, pick for Texas vs. Kansas (Big 12 final)

Texas vs. Kansas Odds

The Big 12 tournament ended with little surprises, as the finals unfold with Kansas and Texas meeting for the third time this season.

The Jayhawks made light work of Iowa State en route to a double-digit victory, while Texas and TCU battled it out in a low-scoring rock fight. The Longhorns eventually pulled away from the Frogs thanks to a combined 30 points from Dylan Disu and Christian Bishop.

Here’s how to bet on the championship fight as Kansas seeks to win both the regular season and tournament titles.

Despite losing Timmy Allen to a leg injury — his status remains uncertain heading into the championship — Texas easily defeated Oklahoma State before winning the season series against TCU.

A season that could have spiraled out of control was stabilized by the hand of Rodney Terry. The Longhorns lost then-head coach Chris Beard after parting ways with off-field issues and yet Texas finished as the second-best team in the Big 12.

Texas’ offense is all about forcing the ball inside. This often comes via off-screen moves and mid-range jumpers with Marcus Carr as the primary ball handler.

They are one of the most experienced teams in the country (6th), and this veteran leadership shows it with low turnover and an A/FGM of almost 60%.

The biggest contributions to this offense from the Longhorns have come via the transfer portal. Tyrese Hunter (Iowa State) and Sir’Jabari Rice (New Mexico State) solidify a talented Texas backcourt and can shoot the 3 at a consistent rate.

Hunter’s numbers increased significantly over the season and saw a 7% jump from his debut campaign at Ames. Rice and Carr also provide consistent shooting from 3 at 37.5 and 36.2 percent, respectively.

Although, as mentioned earlier, the Texas offense is the best inside. He’s 55th on 2% points and Disu – when not at fault – provided a huge boost inside. He averages 1.4 blocks per game.

Texas is one of the few teams with a top-20 offense and defense, according to KenPom. Like TCU, the Longhorns are athletic and disruptive. The pressure on the ball is a constant and they force rotations at a top 20 rate.

They are the third most efficient team in transition and rank 20th in rim defense despite their occasional lack of size. As expected, their defensive aggression can lead to fouls and their prolonged pressure on the perimeter leads to defensive rebounding difficulties.

But overall, it’s a tough defense to break. Rollovers often lead to transition opportunities and Texas thrives on the run-and-gun style of play. The Longhorns are one of the most complete teams in the entire country and should be considered as such.

Once again, Kansas finds itself in familiar territory. The Jayhawks returned to the Big 12 Tournament championship in search of their second consecutive title.

This time it will be without head coach Bill Self, who is struggling with a medical issue.

Despite losing five of its seven players in rotation a season ago, Kansas hasn’t missed a beat. Jalen Wilson has finally taken that long-awaited step forward and is the star of attack, while rookie Gradey Dick provides stability from the perimeter and a much-needed second goal threat.

Kansas’ offense comes mostly through the pick-and-roll — sixth most in college hoops — whether it’s Dajuan Harris Jr. and Wilson, or big man KJ Adams Jr. Self emphasizes the attack from the rim, and that’s exactly what the Jayhawks do on over 40% of the shots.

The PnR also opens opportunities on the perimeter for Wilson, Dick, Kevin McCullar Jr., and more.

They are a team that thrives in transition and is extremely athletic and capable of finishing on contact. Their shooting is not consistent other than Dick and Harris, the only two who shoot above 34% from 3 (both shoot 41.2%).

Where this Jayhawks team comes apart is defensively. Kansas is the eighth-ranked defense, according to KenPom, and ranks around the top 50 in 2-point and 3-point defense.

The Jayhawks are best around the perimeter, but Adams and Ernest Udeh Jr. have also provided regular minutes and contributions around the edge.

McCullar was the ultimate boost to that defense. The Texas Tech transfer ranks in the top five in defensive rebounding and is seventh in steal rate in the Big 12 game. Harris is sixth in steal rate.

Kansas’ defensive aggression can lead to foul issues, especially for its frontcourt. But the Jayhawks can lead a five-player small-ball lineup with the 6-foot-8 Wilson at five.

There are few teams as complete as Kansas. Once they hit cruising speed in late January, the Jayhawks didn’t look back. They are 10-2 in the last 12 games, and one of those losses came against Texas in a meaningless game with the Big 12 title already wrapped up.

Texas vs Kansas betting picks

It’s been a pretty even streak this season, but I think the advantage is the underdog Longhorns here.

Kansas has depth issues and Texas’ frontcourt has been playing much better lately. The Longhorns should be able to attack the rim consistently and be successful.

Texas doesn’t have many defensive issues that Kansas can take advantage of. The Longhorns can switch on defense and force a lot of turnovers, and can match KU in transition.

Given Texas’ form and their hot shots from Hunter and Rice, I trust the Longhorns here. It’s a veteran team vying for a tournament championship, especially after falling short in the regular season against Kansas.

Even without Allen, Texas didn’t miss a beat. It looked like the best team in the conference.

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