- The Kansas Jayhawks (10-4, 4-3 Big 12) play the Oklahoma Sooners (8-4, 4-3 Big 12) on Saturday, January 23
- The winner of this game will move into at least a share of third place in the Big 12
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet, below
The Kansas Jayhawks and Oklahoma Sooners will meet for the final time in the regular season on Saturday afternoon (12pm ET).
Both teams need this win to keep their slim hopes alive for the Big 12 regular season title. Kansas did themselves no favors by getting beaten by the Baylor Bears on Monday. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is coming in hot after an impressive 76-50 beating of Kansas State on Tuesday.
The Jayhawks have won the last three meetings including a 63-59 victory on January 9th. The current odds are showing Oklahoma as 1.5 point favorites in this matchup.
Kansas vs Oklahoma Odds
|Kansas Jayhawks||+1.5 (-128)||-108||Over 141.5 (-110)|
|Oklahoma Sooners||-1.5 (+104)||-108||Under 141.5 (-110)|
Odds as of January 22nd at FanDuel.
Kansas Needs a Win
When the calendars rolled over to 2021 the Kansas Jayhawks were legitimate contenders in the Big 12. Five games and three losses later, they will need every win they can get to crawl back into contention. That didn’t happen in Waco, when they got rolled by the Baylor Bears 77-69 on Monday night.
Final from Waco pic.twitter.com/HCF9kDatWh
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) January 19, 2021
The Jayhawks are currently ranked 12th in defensive efficiency on the season according to KenPom. That defense was nowhere to be found in the first half against Baylor, as Kansas allowed the Bears to jump out to a 41-28 lead.
First halves have been a problem all season long as the Jayhawks rank 288th in the country allowing opponents to average 36.2 in the opening frame. The Jayhawks did fight back to within five points with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game and got a lucky +8.5 point cover on a Chris Teahan 30-foot heave at the buzzer.
Oklahoma Coming In Hot
The Oklahoma Sooners followed up losses to Baylor and Kansas with two of their most dominating wins of the season. The Sooners’ 40th most efficient defense in the country didn’t allow over 50 points in either game. In fact, over their past two games only four teams in the entire country have allowed less points to opponents.
The #Sooners have won their last two games by a combined 6️⃣2️⃣ points.
Up next? No. 9 Kansas on Saturday.
Limited ? on sale ➡️ https://t.co/qhOHrtSymo pic.twitter.com/UX4GA2FJCG
— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) January 20, 2021
In their last game against Kansas State, Oklahoma was out-rebounded 43-32 and still won the game by 26 points. Their suffocating defense fueled seven blocks and 13 steals en route to a 17-turnover game for the Wildcats. Kansas State was never able to get into any rhythm which led to them shooting 36% for the game. Offensively, the Sooners had three players in double-digits led by De’Vion Harmon’s 16 points.
Best Betting Angle
With all the talk of defense, it’s easy to overlook the Sooners’ offense. They rank 27th in the country in offensive efficiency (adjusted for opponent) and average 77.7 points per game on the season. Kansas was able to keep them under control in the first matchup but that was in Lawrence. This game is at Oklahoma’s house, which makes a big difference.
Oklahoma is a much better scoring team at the Lloyd Center in Norman. They are averaging 81.6 points at home, compared to only 69.8 on the road and it’s mainly due to three-point shooting. At home they shoot 37.6% while on the road they shoot 26.8%. That is a gigantic split which favors Sooner backers in this game.
Last but not least, the Sooners were winning the last matchup with Kansas with less than two and a half minutes to play. They covered the 6.5-point spread and really should have won the game had it not been for a three-pointer by Jalen Wilson with a 1:28 to go. This time around, at home, they should be able to finish the job and cover this small number.
Pick: Oklahoma Sooners -1.5 (+104)