Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:20 PM EST.
9:00 PM EST. This is going to look like a big pile of points to take back with the #25 ranked Sooners, as they come into this opening night of Big 12 play at 11-1 and on a heater after ripping off seven wins in a row, but let's not forget that this was supposed to be a down year in Norman after the departure of Trae Young. The Sooners weren't expected to sniff the Top 25 this season and barely cracked College Sports Madness' list of the top 100 (#99) teams to start the season. In the annual Big 12 poll, the Okies were picked to finish eighth in their conference. While the wins are nice, it is a fact that none of them have come against ranked competition and in the only game the Sooners did play against a Top 25 team, they got blasted 78-58 by the Badgers. However, what the market will see here is a ranked team that has covered nine of its last 10 games, including a 76-69 overtime win as a pooch on the road at Northwestern on December 21st, but these Sooners are trading at a much higher price than they should be and that long layoff will also not likely do them any favors here, as they head right into the lion's den to start the conference portion of their schedule.
The Jayhawks need no introductions, as expectations are always high in Lawrence and head coach Bill Self once again has the horses to compete for a National Championship despite losing his top three scorers from last season. Udoka Azubuike, who had been out with a sprained knee returned in the Jayhawks last game, which was played on December 29th against EMU and so he and his team are not coming into this Big 12 opener cold. Kansas has enjoyed great success in this spot over the years, as it has won 27 straight conference openers, but winning and covering are two different things. However, the Jayhawks are not just a good team; they are a great team that has quality wins over Villanova, Tennessee and Michigan State. If this game were played even a month ago, the Jayhawks would easily have been double-digit chalk. This contest tonight will be a prime example that all ranked teams are not created equal. Kansas is short priced on its home floor and we're not going to miss what should be a rout. Although all things are not equal, Kansas was an 8½-point favorite at Allen Fieldhouse last February and that was when the Sooners had Young. The Jayhawks won that game by 30. A similar result is not out of the question.
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#822 KANSAS -8½ -107 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)