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College Basketball has been a bit of an up-and-down year for me. I haven’t been following it quite as closely with the other obligations I have, but I found a few spots that I want to share with you all for tonight. There are two games I’ll talk about and then I’ll share a few smaller plays that I have on my card for the evening.
Kansas vs. Kansas State, 7:00 ET
There are a lot of rivalries in college basketball, but for Kansas and Kansas State, this is probably the biggest. Just under 30 miles separate the schools and each year it is looked forward to by players and fans. Now, we have the chance to make a play on the game. I don’t remember the last time the teams were both in the top 20 of the country when the game was played, but this time we get #2-ranked Kansas traveling to take on #13-ranked Kansas State. For the season, both teams match up rather well scoring in the high 70s and their defense allowing around 65 points. Where I think Kansas has a bit of an edge in the defense. They are able to create turnovers and get out into the open court to put up points. I think this game comes down to who has more turnovers. If the Jayhawks control the ball and force the turnovers, they should win. If the Wildcats can control the ball and exceed their 18.6 assists per game they should be able to take this game down. I will take Kansas to win this game and cover the -2. I think their talent is better but they also have better three-point shooting and I think they will force Kansas State into more turnovers.
Texas vs. Iowa State, 8:00 ET
This is the only other game between ranked opponents and usually, that means they are tougher games to handicap. The teams are often closer to each other in talent level. Texas comes into this game with a 15-2 record and a top-notch offense that is averaging 81.5 points per game. They do have to face a really tough Iowa State defense though. I don’t think they’ll be able to get to the basket as much as they normally do – thought that might not matter because they are not a very good free throw shooting team anyway. They do a good job of protecting the ball, but they don’t get enough assists and don’t play well enough together. They just have a ton of talent. I think Iowa State plays more team focused on offense. On defense they definitely work together. They are an even worse free throw shooting team and also are not very good at shooting from deep. In order for them to win this game, they need to rely on a slow pace and tough defense every possession. I think Texas is the better team and we are getting points with them. I’ll take the +2 points with Texas – I think they win the game outright though.
Some smaller plays that I like in this one – Creighton hasn’t won a game on the road this season and Butler is 8-2 at home. Creighton has been competitive lately, but I’m going to take Butler with the 7.5 points in this one. It is a bit of a risk as the money has come in on Creighton, but they haven’t shown me enough on the road to give me any faith. Butler and Creighton are fairly similar teams in my rankings. I also will take the over in the Alabama vs. Vanderbilt game. Both teams can put points on the scoreboard. Asking for 156 points can be a lot for teams, and this is the second highest total on the board tonight, but I don’t expect either to play defense and Alabama should get 80 points.
For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024