College Basketball Picks: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Texas Longhorns

No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks at Texas Longhorns
Saturday, 1/19/12, 2:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Kansas -8
Current Betting Line:  Kansas -8
Opening Total:  124.5
Current Total:  125
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Travis Releford-kansas-12Kansas is set to make its second Big 12 Conference road trip of the 2012-13 season, while also looking to push its current win streak to 15 games.  The Jayhawks are coming off an impressive 61-44 victory over the Baylor Bears as 10-point home favorites, while going UNDER the total for the third time in four contests.  The team averages 76.8 points per game and is giving up 59.3 for a conference-leading +17.4 scoring margin.  Kansas is 4-1 ATS in its last five Saturday games.

The Jayhawks start four seniors and a freshman, with guard Ben McLemore leading the way in averaging 16.4 points per game in his first year with the team.  Kansas owns a 20-7 all-time advantage in this series, including wins in six of the last seven meetings, including a 73-63 triumph as 12-point favorites in the final meeting last year.  Defensively, the squad leads the NCAA in field goal percentage defense at 34.2 percent, which has been caused partly because of averaging 8.1 blocks per game.

Texas has dropped its last three games and will be trying to avoid their first-ever 0-4 start during Big 12 play in the Rick Barnes era.  “We’ve got to get every guy on our team understanding how hard you’ve got to play consistently every single day,” stated Barnes earlier this week.  The Longhorns are 30-14 against ranked opponents with him on the sidelines at the Erwin Center, including an 85-67 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels.  Texas is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 conference games, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks against the spread Saturday afternoon.

The Longhorns are trailing only their opponent this weekend in defensive field goal percentage, as their limiting foes to 34.3 percent shooting.  Texas point guard Javan Felix is certainly a player to watch, leading all freshman nationally in averaging 6.3 assists per game, while playing 36.4 minutes a contest.  He’s done a great job of lessening the amount of miscues the squad makes on the floor, as it has averaged 13.5 turnovers in the last eight games, compared to 19.3 in the first eight games.

Sports bettors will likely back the Longhorns due to their 6-1-1 ATS mark at home versus a team with a winning road record, while the Jayhawks have gone 1-3 ATS in their last four games.

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