Big 12 Conference Basketball: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Texas A&M Aggies at No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks
Monday, 1/23/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Kansas -18.5
Current Betting Line:  Kansas -18.5
Opening Total:  124.5
Current Total:  126
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Kansas Jayhawks have won nine games in a row entering Monday night

Texas A&M will look to snap a six-game losing streak in this series, while also alternating wins and losses over the last four contests during the 2011-12 campaign.  The Aggies will need to continue playing solid defense to be competitive in this game, leading the Big 12 Conference in allowing just 59.2 points per game.  “We need more than a repeat performance,” commented Aggies head coach Billy Kennedy.  “We have to be able to control the ball and handle ourselves well.”  Three starters come in averaging double figures, with junior guard Elston Turner leading the way in pouring in 13.7 points per game.  Texas A&M is 3-1 ATS as a road underdog of 12.5 or more points.

The Aggies are seventh nationally in field-goal percentage defense, while their losses have come to teams with a combined 103-32 record.  Texas A&M’s conference road losses this year have come to Baylor, Teas and Missouri—teams with a combined record of 32-2 at home.  Offensively, the team will look to get points inside the paint, scoring 46.7 percent of its points in that area this year.

Kansas will play its second-straight ESPN Big Monday game and will put its nine-game winning streak on the line.  The Jayhawks escaped with a 69-66 win over the Texas Longhorns as 3.5-point road favorites last time out.  “We needed that,” commented Jayhawks head coach Bill Self.  “This is the best win we have had all year, I thought we were fortunate.”  The program is outscoring opponents by 16.0 points per game and leads the conference in out-rebounding teams by 7.6 boards per game.  Kansas is 6-6 ATS as a home favorite of 18.5 to 24 points.

The Jayhawks are led by national player of the year candidate Thomas Robinson, who is the only player in the conference averaging a double-double with 17.7 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.  Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor has really upped his performance offensively over the past three games, scoring 22-plus points in each of those contests.  Kansas has won 17 of the 18 all-time meeting in this series.

Bettors will likely back the Aggies due to their 7-1 ATS mark as a road underdog of 13 or more points, while the Jayhawks are 0-4 ATS as a home favorite in the same point range.

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