Two Top 10 teams will collide on Monday night when the No. 5 Texas Longhorns visit the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks in a Big 12 battle.
Texas (19-4) has won four of its last five, and leads the Big 12 with an 8-2 conference record. Kansas (18-5) has hit some bumps in the road lately, losing four of its last six, including a 68-53 loss at the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday.
The Longhorns may be playing better as of late, but it’s the Jayhawks who come into this game as home favorites. We’ll look at who has the edge in this tight matchup in our college basketball picks and predictions for Texas vs. Kansas on February 6.
Texas vs Kansas best odds
Texas vs Kansas picks and predictions
When Texas fired head coach Chris Beard earlier this season after he was charged with a family violence felony, it could have derailed the Longhorns’ season. Instead, the team has rallied around interim coach Rodney Terry, going 12-3 despite facing some stiff competition in Big 12 play.
The Longhorns are averaging 79.4 points per game, with four different players putting up double figures in scoring this year. Their defensive numbers don’t look as impressive — allowing opponents to score an unremarkable 67.6 points per game — but given the relatively up-tempo style of basketball they play, they come in as the 27th-ranked defense in the natiom according to Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric.
Kansas jumped out to a 16-1 record to start the season, but has slumped in Big 12 play as of late. The Jayhawks have lost four of five to conference foes, the first time that has happened in Bill Self’s 20 years as head coach.
The problem at the moment may be a lack of balance on offense. Junior forward Jalen Wilson is one of the nation’s top scorers, putting up 21.5 points per game, but he hasn’t gotten much help lately. In the loss to Iowa State, Wilson scored 26 points, while no other Jayhawk chipped in more than eight.
A handful of losses in arguably the toughest conference in college basketball isn’t enough to send Kansas into a panic, but it does make me question whether it can hang with some of the best teams in the country on a consistent basis — especially the way it's playing right now.
It’s a question that looms over tonight’s game. For all the quality opponents the Jayhawks have faced, they haven’t played anyone quite as good as Texas. They've been letting teams jump on them early, something Self has pointed to as one of the major problems for his squad right now.
If that happens on Monday, it’s hard to see them coming back against a Longhorns team that can keep up the scoring pressure all game long and plays enough defense to avoid giving up many big runs.
Texas isn’t that much better than Kansas. We shouldn’t discount the Jayhawks much for their recent losses, and I fully expect this team to be back in top form in time for March Madness. However, this game feels like a tossup at best for Kansas, despite the fact that the Jayhawks currently stand as a four-point favorite at most sites.
That makes it easy to recommend Texas on the spread. However, I’m going a step further and trying to get extra value by predicting a Longhorns upset in Kansas. I’m backing Texas on the moneyline, as I think it's the better team, playing better at the moment, and should be able to overcome the Jayhawks’ home court advantage Monday night.
My best bet: Texas moneyline (+164 at FanDuel)
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Texas vs Kansas spread analysis
Kansas opened tonight’s game as a 3.5-point favorite. The line has moved slightly towards the Jayhawks since then, and the consensus spread is now Kansas -4, though 3.5- and 4.5-point main lines are still out there on the market.
Neither team has been dominant against the spread this year. Texas is just 10-13 ATS, while Kansas comes in at 9-14. It’s perhaps notable that the Jayhawks are underperforming at home, however, as they are 4-8 ATS in their building.
That number gets even worse as of late. Kansas has covered just once in its last six home games and is 2-6 ATS in its last eight contests overall.
These numbers fit with the narrative that it simply hasn’t been playing up to its normal standard as of late. While the advanced metrics haven’t dinged the Jayhawks too much for losing to these Top 25 teams, it’s undeniable that something’s just a little bit off in Lawrence.
While it makes sense for Kansas to be a slight favorite given the metrics and the fact that the Jayhawks are at home, I don’t think they’ll win this game outright, let alone cover the spread. If you want to play this market rather than the moneyline, take Texas and the points.
Texas vs Kansas Over/Under analysis
After opening at 147.5, the total on tonight’s game has drifted downward. The Over/Under now sits at 145.5 at the majority of books as of the early afternoon on Monday.
Both of these teams can score, and both have hit the Over in the majority of their games this season. What makes this number feel a bit high, however, is that both teams have also been adept at preventing their opponents from putting up big numbers.
Even in Big 12 play, neither of these teams has really been cracked for big numbers regularly. Kansas has given up 83 points twice, but one of those was in an overtime loss to the Kansas State Wildcats. Texas has only allowed one of its last nine opponents to hit the 80-point mark since its infamous breakdown against Kansas State back on January 3, when the Longhorns gave up 116 in regulation.
It’s easy to see the winner of this game getting to around 75 points, a number both teams have hovered around against better competition. But the loser would also have to crack 70 to have a realistic chance of hitting the Over, and I just don’t see both teams getting to that number tonight. My money is on the Under, though I’m not happy about the line movement, and would get off this market entirely should the total drop another point.
Texas vs Kansas betting trend to know
Kansas is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games overall. Find more college basketball betting trends for Texas vs. Kansas.
Texas vs Kansas game info
|Location:||Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS|
|Date:||Monday, February 6, 2023|
|Tip-off:||9:00 p.m. ET|