Kansas (19-3) at Texas (17-6)
When: Monday, February 7th 2022
Where: Frank Erwin Center,
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Texas -1/135.5
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The Kansas Jayhawks have a chance to put a stranglehold on the Big 12 Conference when they visit the 23rd-ranked Texas Longhorns on Monday night in another pivotal conference matchup. With the previously top-ranked Baylor Bears struggling, the Jayhawks have taken control of the Big 12 by winning seven of their last eight games with the only loss coming out of conference to Kentucky. That was an embarrassing 18-point home loss to the Wildcats on Jan. 29, but the Jayhawks have bounced back with wins over Iowa State and most recently, Baylor. Kansas completely outplayed the shorthanded Bears in all aspects and lead the conference by two games over Baylor and Texas Tech.
The Longhorns are making a move up the standings with wins in four of their last five games including Saturday’s 63-42 route of Iowa State at home. That improved the Longhorns to 14-1 at the Erwin Center, but just 8-7 ATS. Texas is now 2.5 games behind Kansas, so a win here is a must if they want to win the regular season title. Texas will end the season in a month at Kansas. The Longhorns took the lead at halftime on a Marcus Carr three-pointer at the buzzer, then used a 15-0 run in the second half to take control. Texas won both meetings with Kansas a year ago including 75-72 overtime win at home. The Longhorns are 5-2-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.
The Jayhawks have moved on from the early-season upset loss to the Dayton Flyers, losing just twice since November 26. Both of those losses came against pretty elite squads in Texas Tech and Kentucky. Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun each scored 18 points and combined for 19 rebounds in the win over Baylor. The defense held the Bears to just 29.6 percent shooting from the field, while hitting 51.6 percent of their own. The Jayhawks owned the boards 46-37 and also held a 48-26 edge in points in the paint. Kansas will next host Oklahoma on Saturday.
Texas rebounded nicely on Saturday after a 77-64 road loss to Texas Tech on Feb. 1. The Longhorns held Iowa State to just 28.6 percent from the field and they hit only 2 of their 15 3-point attempts. The Longhorns have arguably the best defense in the Big 12, where they are second in adjusted defensive efficiency and third in opponents’ effective field goal percentage (45.3%). Texas is 17-0 this season in games in which they held the opposition to fewer than 60 points. In conference games, they have limited opposing teams to no more than 52 points five times. The Longhorns were led on Saturday by Andrew Jones and Marcus Carr, who scored 14 points apiece, while Christian Bishop added 10 points.
Texas has not been good at home against good teams. They are just 3-11 ATS against teams with a winning record and the road team is 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings. The Jayhawks are playing well right now and will win a tough game.
Pick: Kansas +1
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