Game: Texas Tech Red Raiders @ Kansas Jayhawks
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Red Raiders +7, Jayhawks -7
The No. 18 team in the country, Texas Tech, travels to Lawrence and Allen Fieldhouse to take on the No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks. That doesn’t scare the Red Raiders who have already beaten the Jayhawks once this season. At home on Jan. 8, the Red Raiders recorded a 75-67 win over Kansas, which was then ranked No. 6 in the country.
The Red Raiders, 13-4 overall, do not fear anyone. After beating Kansas, head coach Chris Beard’s team went on the road and beat the nation’s then No. 1-ranked Baylor Bears, 65-62. The Red Raiders now have wins over Kansas, Baylor, and a 15th-ranked Iowa State.
One of the big reasons for the Red Raiders’ success is defense. Beard has been a proponent of tough, physical defense since taking over at Texas Tech. It was that defense that propelled the Red Raiders to the Final Four in 2019. Beard’s team lost in the national championship game. That defense is back and ranked No. 11 in the country. Texas Tech allows just 59.1 points per game.
Texas Tech is 5-1 in its last six games with a surprising loss to Kansas State on Jan. 15. The most points allowed in that six-game stretch were in the win (75-67) over Kansas. Now, Beard and company will face a Jayhawk team looking for a little revenge. Kansas has won 12 of its last 13 games. The only loss, of course, was to Texas Tech.
The Jayhawks have won four straight since the loss to the Red Raiders. Three of the four wins were by three points or less. The most recent win was on Saturday when Kansas beat in-state rival Kansas State 78-75. Leading scorer Ochai Agbaji hit a baseline jump shot with nine seconds left to give the Jayhawks the win. Agbaji finished with 29 points and leads Kansas with an average of 20.4 points per game.
While the Jayhawks are 16-2 on the season, they do not do well against the number. They are 8-10 ATS for the season and just 1-4 ATS in their last five games. The Red Raiders are the opposite. They are 12-7 ATS for the season and they have covered in six of their last seven games.
One of the keys for Texas Tech has been the return of their best player – Terrance Shannon. The 6-foot-6-inch guard averages 12.8 points per game. He scored 23 points in the Red Raiders last game, a 78-65 win over West Virginia. Shannon is one of four Red Raiders that average in double figures.
With its defense, it’s no surprise that eight of the Red Raiders last 12 games have seen the total go Under. Both of their last two games went Over and the previous meeting with Kansas went Over as well. Interestingly, 11 of Texas Tech’s last 16 games played in January have gone Over. Kansas ranks in the top 20 in scoring (80.8 ppg) and 17 of its last 20 home games have gone Over.