The Big 12 tournament moves into the quarterfinals at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., with the top teams joining the fray Thursday after getting first-round byes. Covers has your must-read betting notes to help you unlock the betting odds for this quartet of contests.
Odds: Iowa State -3, 144 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Start Time: 12:30 p.m. ET, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
Season Series: BAY 2-0, BAY 2-0 ATS, 2-0 O/U
Iowa State is the ranked team in this matchup, at No. 25 in the nation, but is the lower seed, at No. 5 to Baylor’s No. 4. A big reason that’s the case is that the Bears won and cashed in both meetings this year, by nearly identical scores – 73-70 as 2-point home underdogs and 73-69 as 10-point road pups.
The seedings were enough for both teams to get first-round byes, but neither is hot entering this matchup. Baylor (19-12 SU, 15-14-2 ATS) lost its last three SU and is 1-7-2 ATS in its last 10 games, while Iowa State (20-11 SU, 15-14-2 ATS) is on a 1-5 SU and ATS purge and is just 2-8 ATS in its last 10 outings.
With those numbers in mind, the total is more appealing in this quarterfinal tilt. The Over is 7-2 in Iowa State’s last nine games, 5-0 in the Cyclones’ last five neutral-site contests, 14-5 in Baylor’s last 19 games and 17-5 in the Bears’ last 22 conference affairs.
On top of that, eight of the last 10 Iowa State-Baylor clashes have cleared the total, including both of this season’s meetings. So the Over 144 is worth a long look this time around.
Odds: KSU -4, 126 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Start Time: 2:30 p.m. ET, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
Season Series: KANST 2-0, 2-0 ATS, 0-2 O/U
Kansas State won the Big 12 regular-season title and the top seed that goes with it. The Wildcats (24-7 SU, 18-12-1 ATS) went a solid 9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games, including a 64-52 win laying 1 point at Texas Christian just 10 days ago.
Eighth-seeded TCU already has a Big 12 tourney game under its belt, edging Oklahoma State 73-70, but failing to cash as 4-point chalk Wednesday. In fact, not covering is commonplace of late for the Horned Frogs (20-12 SU, 15-17 ATS), who are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games and not much better SU at 3-6.
K-State has had the better of this rivalry of late, too. The Wildcats are 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six against the Horned Frogs, sweeping the season series this year. Beyond the rivalry, the ‘Cats have covered in their last four neutral-site outings. A rested Kansas State -4 squad certainly merits consideration in this quarterfinal.
Odds: TTU -12.5, 137.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
Season Series: TEXTECH 2-0, 1-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U
West Virginia appeared destined for a one-and-done in the Big 12 tournament, after a regular season in which it suffered a precipitous drop from its normal NCAA Tournament form. The Mountaineers finished 10th – dead last – in the conference at 12-19 SU and were 10-20-1 ATS, which rated 346th among 353 Division I teams.
But it is March, folks. So of course, West Virginia upended No. 7 seed Oklahoma 72-71 as 6.5-point underdogs in the Big 12 tourney opening round Wednesday.
That said, Texas Tech is having a monster year, tying Kansas State atop the Big 12 regular-season standings, though the Red Raiders settled for the No. 2 seed. Texas Tech (26-5 SU, 15-15-1 ATS) dropped the hammer in the last month-plus, going 9-0 SU and an almost perfect 8-1 ATS. That run included an 81-50 boatracing of West Virginia, with the Red Raiders 11.5-point home faves.
Still, it’s a bit of a big spread in this game. So how about this stat: During the Red Raiders’ nine-game run, they’ve outscored their opponents by 9 points or more in the first half eight times. So perhaps the better move – with the Red Raiders rested and the Mountaineers weary – is Texas Tech -7 against the first-half number.
Odds: Kansas -2.5, 137.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
Season Series: 1-1, TEX 2-0 ATS, 1-1 O/U
Kansas either won or tied for the Big 12 regular-season title each of the previous 14 years, but saw that streak snapped this season. The Jayhawks (23-8 SU, 14-17 ATS) ended up as the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament.
But keep in mind, the tourney takes place less than 45 minutes from Allen Fieldhouse. That effectively makes this quarterfinal pairing a home game for the Jayhawks, who went 16-0 SU on their home floor this year (9-7 ATS).
On the flipside, sixth-seeded Texas went 2-8 SU on the highway, though the Longhorns posted a reasonable 6-4 ATS mark in those 10 games. Texas has been hot for bettors lately (8-3 ATS last 11), but is a meager 7-15-1 ATS in its last 23 on neutral courts. Kansas should be able to beat the spread in this not-so-neutral-site game. But at a relatively light price, the Jayhawks -150 on the moneyline should be a safe bet.