The Texas Tech Red Raiders head to Lawrence, Kan., for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks.
The Red Raiders (13-7) are coming off a huge win against West Virginia and will be looking to pull off a big upset against Kansas on Saturday.
The Jayhawks (17-3) are on a roll with five straight wins, and they’ll be looking to make it six when they host the Red Raiders.
Although it seems clear that the Jayhawks will win this game barring a huge upset, the question becomes whether the Red Raiders can cover the nine-point spread. With both teams wanting to put another strike in the win column, let’s look at both teams and make our decision.
Can The Red Raiders Pull Off The Upset?
Although the Red Raiders aren’t one of college basketball’s best teams, they’re far from the worst. Averaging 73.6 points per game and having a stellar 10-2 record at home is no easy feat. This time, however, Texas Tech will be on the road facing the Jayhawks.
One of the Red Raiders’ biggest problems is being able to win on the road, with a record of 1-3 straight up and against the spread. Trusting Texas Tech on the road doesn’t seem like a good bet.
Not only is this matchup on the road, but they’ll also have to worry about Devon Dotson and a full-strength Jayhawks team. The good news is Texas Tech has some stellar guards of its own.
The two front men you’ll need to keep your eye on Saturday are Jahmi’us Ramsey and Davide Marretti. Marretti came into his own against West Virginia, dropping a career-high 25 points to help snap the Texas Tech two-game losing streak.
Perhaps the most concerning thing about the Red Raiders is how poor they are against the spread. With an overall record of 9-11 and a terrible 5-10 record in a 15-game stretch, the Red Raiders give little to no confidence in covering spreads.
In their last 18 games against Kansas, the Red Raiders have a 6-12 record against the spread, and with two players out due to “undisclosed” reasons and Kevin McCullar still questionable for Saturday, it’s hard to imagine Texas Tech keeping up with Kansas.
Trying To Keep Up
The Jayhawks are hot on the No. 1 Baylor Bears’ heels heading into Saturday, with only a couple of games keeping these two apart.
The Jayhawks team is full of standout players, but one I’d like to highlight for Saturday’s game is freshman Christian Braun. Braun had a huge game against Oklahoma State on Monday night, dropping 16 points, and he’ll look forward to another big game against Texas Tech.
If you were wondering if Kansas has any weaknesses, the only one worth noting is its horrible free-throw percentage (66 percent). With one of the worst rankings in college basketball, this poor shooting from the line could come back to bite Kansas down the stretch, especially late in the game.
Against the spread, the Jayhawks have played really well recently, with a record of 4-1 ATS in their last five games. The total has gone under in most of those games.
That being said, when Kansas plays Texas Tech, the total has gone over in six of their last six games. In their last 15 games, the Jayhawks have put up a remarkable 11-4 record ATS.
Pick and Prediction
The Red Raiders will have to travel to one of the best teams in college basketball on Saturday, and although they played well against West Virginia, pulling off an upset in Kansas is extremely unlikely. Considering how poor they are against the spread, even if this spread was bigger, I’d have a difficult time picking the Red Raiders in this one.
The Jayhawks are on fire, and they’ll look to continue chasing Baylor on Saturday when they face the Red Raiders. The Jayhawks are much better against the spread, and considering they’re at home, I’ve got to take the Jayhawks in this one. Give me Kansas -9.