Kansas vs Oklahoma Picks and Predictions: Take the Over in Sooner Country

Oklahoma's defense has looked beatable in recent efforts, and Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is just the type of player that can light the Sooners up. In addition to liking the Jayhawks -4, we hit the Over in our betting picks in what could become a shootout.

Last Updated: Jan 18, 2022 3:16 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Ochai Agbaji Kansas Jayhawks College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The No. 7-ranked Kansas Jayhawks rebounded from their recent road loss to Texas Tech with two wins at home this past week and will head on a two-game road trip beginning with a date in Oklahoma against the Sooners on Tuesday night. The Jayhawks, winners in 10 of their last 11, will need to take care of business before starting a five-game stretch against ranked opponents. The Sooners, on the other hand, have lost three of their last four and need to turn things around quickly as Tuesday marks the beginning of a four-game stretch that features three Top-10 opponents.

Continue reading for our free college basketball picks and predictions for Kansas vs. Oklahoma on Tuesday, January 18th for more.

Kansas vs Oklahoma odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Kansas opened as 3.5-point favorites and has moved up just slightly to -4. The total opened at a modest 145 and has since dipped to 142.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Kansas vs Oklahoma predictions

Predictions made on 1/18/2022 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Kansas vs Oklahoma game info

Location: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, OK
Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Kansas at Oklahoma betting preview

Injuries

Kansas: Remy Martin G (Questionable), Zach Clemence F (Questionable).
Oklahoma: Ethan Chargois F (Questionable).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Kansas has played 10-6 to the Over this season, including a 7-3-1 mark when the total is 140 or higher. Find more NCAA betting trends for Kansas vs. Oklahoma.

Kansas vs Oklahoma picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Jayhawks have achieved much of their success this year with a highly efficient inside-out approach. They may rank "just" 76th in total two-point shots attempted and "just" 54th in percentage of shots taken at the rim, but they possess the 23rd best field goal percentage at the rim at 67.2% and are 10th in two-pointers made.

Leading scorer Ochai Agbaji generates high efficiency through crafty finishes at the rim (79.2% field goal percentage) and a dangerous shot from outside (47.7%), culminating in a per-game average of 20.6 points that ranks 14th in all of Division 1. Agbaji has improved on his 3-point shot in each season, starting as a 30.7% shooter his freshman year and improving by at least 3% each season. It is unlikely he can keep up at his current clip, but he should remain a very serious threat across the larger sample of the season.

He is joined on the perimeter by the likes of Remy Martin (38.5%) and Jalen Coleman-Lands (42.5%), who help make the most out of Kanas' relatively infrequent looks from deep (222nd in 3-point attempts per game) and keep defenses honest. Their team-wide 37% shooting percentage ranks 51st and is a crucial element to their success. But the Sooners have been able to at least limit the effectiveness of those looks, as they allow just 30.1% from deep, which ranks 57th.

However, a handful of teams have found extensive success against the Sooners' zone-centric defense through a particular screen action. As a result, an opposing guard has nearly doubled his scoring average in four of Oklahoma's five losses.

Player School PPG PTS vs OU FG/FGA
Brock Miller Utah State 8.8 16 5/11
Chuck Harris Butler 10.5 26 10/21
James Akinjo Baylor 13.9 27 10/15
Andrew Jones Texas 10.9 22 7/15

Teams will have a guard start with the ball on a wing of the perimeter and then set a screen on the inside (the side closest to the middle of the court) of the on-ball defender. The idea is to bring the middle zone defender (typically the big man) into the play to make a decision. If he sags to defend the lane, it provides an open jumper. If he steps up to help over the screen, it opens up the lane to cuts. If he also steps up too aggressively, the ball-handler can blow by him for a clean look at the rim.

This is the exact type of game plan that a guard like Agbaji can exploit given his proficiency from deep and his ability to get to the rim. Given that James Akinjo and Andrew Jones were able to do the same thing twice in the last two weeks, expect a coach of Bill Self's caliber to be aware of the opening.

Prediction: Kansas -4 (-109)

Kansas also has an offensive advantage down low due to Oklahoma's lack of a true rim protector. Tanner Groves is arguably the closest thing they have to one, but Kansas' David McCormack has him beat in size and has the ability to stretch the floor a bit with his jump shot (43.6% of two-point jumpers). This could obviously further help the effort to open up the lane.

The Sooners are no slouches on offense, either, with their ninth-ranked field goal percentage (49.9%). They accomplish a large part of their offense at the rim, shooting at a 69.7% clip (10th in the nation).

And as much as McCormack can open the inside a bit for Kansas with his shooting, Groves is even better in that regard. He's is both unafraid to shoot the three (3.1 attempts per game) and well-equipped to do so (38.0%). This helps open the lane for ancillary players like Jalen Hill, Ethan Chargois, and CJ Noland - all of whom excel at finding and finishing at the rim.

Player % of Shots at Rim FG% at Rim
Jalen Hill 66.3 84.1
Ethan Chargois 55.8 91.7
CJ Noland 50.9 82.1

Prediction: Over 142.5 (-110)

A game for Oklahoma in front of its home crowd could also be a massive help. The Sooners have won four straight at home, shooting 42% during that span. That includes a huge double-digit win against Iowa State, handing the Cyclones just their second loss of the season at the time, with the other loss coming against top-ranked Baylor. So whether it's their Top-10 offense at the rim or their hot shooting from three at home as of late, the points should be there for the Sooners.

And as previously mentioned, the makings of this matchup for Kansas' fifth-ranked offensive efficiency, according to KenPom, should also lend its hands to boosting the total. In essence, Oklahoma may not find the win it desperately needs by bringing a defensive approach that has been picked apart of late, but they can at least contribute to a total that has come down quite a bit since open.

Pick: Over 142.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

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