NCAA Men’s Basketball Odds Preview: Kansas (-1.5) at Texas

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(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Feb 07, 2022, 2:03 PM

It’s officially Super Bowl week, which means it’s time to start firming up those Super Bowl prop bets. You’re running out of time to take a value-added position on Sunday’s game, particularly if you like the Rams. That number only seems to be going in one direction. 

So yeah, it’s Super Bowl odds season. Don’t get it twisted. But there’s a lot of time between now and Sunday, which means plenty of other spots to jump in on other handicapping opportunities. 

One such opportunity exists in the world of NCAA Basketball lines, where Kansas travels to Texas for the second game of ESPN’s Big Monday double-header.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Odds Preview: Kansas (-1.5) at Texas

In the only top-25 college basketball matchup of the day, No. 8 Kansas (19-3 SU, 10-12 ATS) travels south to Austin to face Chris Beard’s No. 20 Texas squad.

Much like Kansas, Texas (17-6 SU, 10-13 ATS) is a good team whose ATS record has suffered from high marketplace costs. When Beard left Lubbock for the stronger brand to the southeast, he brought with him some fairly lofty expectations. 

Texas was selected to finish second in the conference preseason poll; since then, the Longhorns have played as favorites in 20 of their 23 games. As an underdog, Texas is 0-3 straight up and ATS, losing most recently at Texas Tech last week in a bitter (and highly entertaining) homecoming grudge match for Beard. 

During the non-conference portion of the season, Texas also dropped games as an underdog to Seton Hall and Gonzaga.

Enter Kansas, which has closed as a favorite in every game it’s played so far this season. Notably, Kansas opened this game in Austin as a 1.5-point underdog; the marketplace quickly flipped the line, after a flood of bets (both public and sharp) came in on the Jayhawks. 

Kansas heads to Texas hoping to defend its current first-place position in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have a 1.5-game lead in the conference standings, with Texas Tech and Baylor tied for second. 

It’s important to note how backloaded the Jayhawks’ conference schedule has been. In the Big 12 double round-robin schedule, every team plays a home and away against every other team, meaning Kansas will play eight total games against the other top-half teams. 

So far, Kansas has played three of those eight games. It beat Baylor at home, edged out Texas Tech at home in double overtime and lost in Lubbock. 

The Jayhawks are 2-3 ATS in true road games this season and 4-6 ATS across its last 10 games. Texas is 8-7 ATS in home games and 14-1 straight up in Austin.

College Basketball Betting: How to Bet Kansas (-1.5) at Texas

If my notes haven’t given it away, I am playing Texas tonight. There are a handful of reasons why, but one of the biggest revolves around the fact that the college basketball odds in this game have flipped from Texas -1.5 to Kansas -1.5.

For one thing, any time short public dogs are bet up to favorite status, I feel there’s an opening to bet the original marketplace favorite. This is especially true in situations like this game, where Kansas was initially hung as an underdog despite never having previously closed as a dog in any of its 23 games this season.

Chris Beard might be 2-8 against Kansas as a head coach in the Big 12, but do you know who knows that? Every online sportsbook. Yet despite that, and the Jayhawks’ first-place status, and the high tide of public opinion right after a beatdown of the reigning national champions, they still opened Texas as an unpopular favorite.

This is a classic spot to buy Texas, as Kansas is a sell-high candidate playing in a let-down spot. The fact that we can get the Longhorns as a short home dog after the line movement is just icing on the cake.

Bet: Texas +1.5

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.