Unranked Oklahoma State will play host to No. 6 Kansas in a Big 12 contest on Tuesday night. Kansas is 10-2, while Oklahoma State is 8-3 overall.
The opening tip from Stillwater, Okla., is scheduled for 8 pm ET. Kansas is 4-1 in its past five games. Oklahoma State hasn’t been as efficient, with a record of 2-3 in its previous five matchups.
For those betting online, Kansas will enter Gallagher-Iba Arena as a four-point road favorite. The over/under for the game is set at 142½ points.
Smooth Sailing for the Jayhawks
Kansas is clearly one of the best teams in the country. The Jayhawks made college basketball news when they were defeated by No. 1 Gonzaga in their first game of the season.
Texas also dealt the Jayhawks a loss on their home court. Kansas was outplayed against Gonzaga, but it just didn’t show up against Texas.
The team is averaging 76.9 points per game but only dropped 59 in its home loss to the Longhorns. Kansas has won almost all of its victories with relentless defensive effort. The Jayhawks are only giving up 66.8 points per game.
Kansas, which is led by Jalen Wilson down low, wears teams out in the paint. Wilson is pulling down 8.1 rebounds per game.
He is aggressive on the offensive end of the court as well. This forcefulness has given Kansas extra possessions all season long.
The Jayhawks’ leading scorer is Ochai Agbaji, who is scoring 14.8 points per game. Kansas wins with defense, but the junior has propelled the Jayhawks to victories with his clutch scoring ability.
Oklahoma State started an easy schedule. The Cowboys faced six unranked teams and won every contest.
The Big 12 Conference has a lot of talented teams in 2020-21. The Big 12 portion of Oklahoma State’s schedule hasn’t been favorable for the team.
Oklahoma State is 2-3 against conference opponents. The Cowboys played No. 4 Texas and No. 13 West Virginia tight, suffering a three-point loss in each of those matchups. They also lost to unranked TCU by one point.
Oklahoma State needs to learn how to win tight contests if it wants to advance to NCAA March Madness. The Cowboys have played teams tough, but they haven’t found a way to make the big shot down the stretch against solid opponents. Winning is learned, and the Cowboys have a young squad.
Oklahoma State’s leading scorer is freshman Cade Cunningham, who is going to be a force in the Big 12 as his career progresses. The guard is scoring 17.8 points per game. When he is clicking, Oklahoma State can play with any team in the Top 25.
For Oklahoma State to win, Cunningham is going to have to be sensational. However, this isn’t the only key for the Cowboys. Cunningham is going to need support from his teammates to seal the deal down the stretch.
The team can’t just rely on the freshman to do all the work. Oklahoma State is going to need to be physical in the paint to match Kansas’ toughness down low.
The Jayhawks win with defense. If Oklahoma State gets hot from the field, it has the ability to win.
Oklahoma State is scoring more points per game than the Jayhawks, but it is a weaker defensive team. Kansas is 5-6 ATS, but I like it to cover on Tuesday night.
The Jayhawks are 4-1 in the Big 12 Conference. If they control the boards, they’ll take a victory in this defensive battle.
When making my college basketball picks, I’m taking Kansas -4 and under 142½ points.