Big 12 regular season title to be decided when Texas Tech hosts Kansas
February 20, 2018 3:03 AM
by Ramon Scott
Through the ups-and-downs of this wild and wacky Big 12 season, we’ve come to a pivotal game to decide the regular season title this Saturday when Texas Tech hosts perennial champ Kansas.
However, the storyline changed a bit last week when Red Raiders scoring star Keenan Evans went down with an apparent toe injury. The game rates big enough to bring ESPN College GameDay to Lubbock for the first time for a show during the basketball season.
Tip-off will be at 1 p.m. PT (ESPN) with the Jayhawks coming in as a 5.5-point underdog with a total of around 140.5. It was Tech’s win at then tenth-ranked Kansas that sent a message to the Jayhawks they would be in line for the challenge to their Big 12 throne when the Raiders won at Allen Fieldhouse, 85-73, for their first-ever win in there.
Evans had 15 points in that game and is Texas Tech’s leading scorer, as well as the second-leading scorer in the conference behind Oklahoma’s Trae Young.
Evans left in the first half against Baylor last Saturday and the Bears knocked off the red-hot Red Raiders, who came in having won seven-straight.
The Jayhawks were in a 2-8-1 run to the UNDER heading into the Monday clash with Oklahoma.
North Carolina (-3.5, 142.5) at Syracuse (Wed., 4, ESPN): North Carolina answered their first three-game losing streak in years with this current five-game win streak that put them back in the national title picture just like that. Syracuse revived its season with a huge win at Miami on Saturday. Tar Heels are 4-7 to the UNDER on the road, while Orange is 6-10 to the UNDER at home.
Michigan (+3, 133) at Penn State (Wed., 4, BTN): Wolverines got the win and cover vs. Ohio State on Sunday, while Penn State covered at slumbering Purdue despite 2-point move on the Boilers to -9.5. For the Lions, it was their seventh cover in their last eight games. Penn State is 4-9 to the UNDER at home this season, while UM is 6-12 to the UNDER at home.
Florida (+6.5, 140.5) at Tennessee (Wed., 6, ESPN2): The Vols were starting to attract some serious attention after winning nine of ten in conference, but lost road games at Alabama and at Georgia. The Gators are 6-3 ATS on the road this season and have gone UNDER in five-straight on the road. Florida has been a disappointment, so last four tough games will lend clues.
Louisville (+11.5, 162.5) at Duke (Wed., 6, ESPN): Are the Cards a sleeping giant all of a sudden with five straight road covers? Louisville is 6-2 to the OVER on the road this season as part of a season-plus string of 11-3 to the OVER on the road and 28-12-3 run to the high overall. Duke’s Marvin Bagley (knee) missed his third-straight game on Sunday in win at Clemson.
Arizona State (+1, 158) at Oregon (Thu., 6, FS1): The Sun Devils have been in a spread funk since their season peak at the start of the New Year, going just 3-9-1 ATS over their last 13. The Ducks, who won the first meeting in Tempe, 76-72 on Jan. 11 after trailing by 12 points in the first half, have gone UNDER in six of last seven at home.
Ohio State (-3.5, 135.5) at Indiana (Fri., 5, FS1): Buckeyes have covered six of last eight on the road, but failed their last two in losses, including at Penn State. Ohio State has gone UNDER in 21 of its last 27 games overall, including its last four on the road. Hoosiers have covered nine straight at home and 13 of last 16 overall into Tuesday’s game at Nebraska.
Baylor (+4.5, 150.5) at TCU (Sat., 9 a.m., ESPN): Baylor’s six-game cover streak included five-straight wins into Tuesday’s home game with West Virginia. TCU has gone OVER in 10 of its last 11 games at home, but Bears are 3-6-1 to the UNDER on the road. Frogs were unbeaten heading into conference play, but had eight B12 losses into Wednesday’s game at Iowa State.
Wichita State (-3.5, 144.5) at SMU (Sat., 11, ESPN): Wichita made its AAC statement with a win against Cincinnati on Northern Kentucky’s home court on Sunday. Still, the loss was the Bearcats’ first “at home” in 40 games. Shockers had gone OVER in six-straight games into Wednesday’s home game with Tulane. SMU just 2-9-1 ATS over last 12 into Wednesday’s game at East Carolina.
Villanova (-6, 165) at Creighton (Sat., 11:30, FOX): Wildcats finally faltered a bit, losing at Providence last week to give them two losses in four outings. Still, Nova is 8-4-1 ATS on the road. Creighton had failed in five straight lined games heading into Tuesday’s tilt at Butler. Villanova had gone OVER in seven of its last eoght. They play DePaul at home this Wednesday.
Missouri (+4.5, 140.5) at Kentucky (Sat., 5:15, ESPN): Mizzou was on a season high before suffering a one-point loss at LSU on Saturday. The Wildcats, who snapped an ultra-rare four-game losing streak on Saturday at home against Alabama, are 8-11 at home ATS. Kentucky is on a 9-3 run to the OVER at home, while Missouri is currently in a 2-7 run to the UNDER on the road.
Michigan State (-8.5, 134.5) at Wisconsin (Sun., 10, CBS): Season finale, though nothing special about Spartans’ recent 4-10-1 ATS run on the road despite finally reaching expectations as a sure serious national title contender. MSU is 2-7 to the UNDER on the road over its last nine. Badgers are just 6-10 ATS at home this season and 9-6-1 to the OVER at home.
UNLV (+2, 166) at New Mexico (Sun., 11, CBSSN): Maybe even an earlier road start will jump start up-and-down Rebels, who lost by series-record margin at San Diego State on Saturday. UNLV is one of worst long-term road bets at 5-22-3. Lobos had covered six of last seven at home. Rebels had gone UNDER in four-straight into Wednesday’s home game with Fresno State.