Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. The Jayhawks are 16-4 and 5-2 in Big 12 play, but they are licking their wounds after losing two of their last three games. One paper, defeats to #6 Kentucky and West Virginia, which is a school that has built up a ton of market credibility over the years, aren't going to do much to hurt Kansas' reputation, but we’re here to insist that the loss to the Mountaineers is a bad one. "Press Virginia" is not what it once was, as Bob Huggins and his team currently sits outside of KenPom's top 100 schools in the nation. This year's Kentucky side is made up of talented freshmen as always, but with the Jayhawks being loaded with veteran talent, a blown halftime lead and their complete collapse down the stretch in that game on Saturday should hold more weight than it is. The Jayhawks have lost all but five of their true road games this season and are feeling the loss of last year's top three scorers more than they likely anticipated. Kansas has no true three-point threat on its roster outside of Lagerald Vick, which makes it hard to win in an era where the longball is the most important shot in the game.
To the casual observer, that Texas is favored here over the #11 ranked Jayhawks after dropping five of its last six games is going to look out of place, but the Longhorns have played a schedule that ranks 10th in America according to KenPom, so even though they are just 11-9, they are battle tested. A double digit loss to Georgia on Saturday was not ideal, but the Bulldogs were shooting the light's out that day hitting 66.7% of their shots, including 12 three-point shots on 17 attempts. It doesn't matter who you are; if you run into a team that is dropping shots like that, it's going to be a long afternoon. Regardless of what happens between the whistles, all the market sees is wins and losses and Texas has done very little winning, which is what makes them being the chalk here so interesting. We suspect Kansas will have much appeal here taking back a plus price, but the books are not in the habit of giving away money, especially on a high profile game such as this one. The Longhorns are favored for a reason. Polls be damned.
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#620 TEXAS -1½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)