Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#655 Kansas -6 vs.
#656 Texas 128.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes



#655 University of Kansas
#656 University of Texas


This article covers a past game!

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No. 6 Kansas takes on Texas in a Big 12 rivalry game on Saturday at 2pmET from Austin.

Last season, Kansas took two of three games from the Longhorns. KU is coming off a 66-52 win over Oklahoma on the road on Jan. 14, while Texas has won two straight games, including a 76-64 win over Oklahoma State on the road on Wednesday.

Winning without Dotson

Great teams have balance and don't necessarily rely on great players. Kansas lost to Baylor 67-55 last Saturday and guard Devon Dotson was held to nine points and three assists. The 6-2 sophomore guard averages 18.0 points per game and 4.4 assists on 46.1% shooting. Dotson missed the Jayhawks' next game against Oklahoma on the road and KU still won the game by 14 on the road. Wing Isaiah Moss (8.3ppg) stepped up with 20 points for the Jayhawks, while center Udoka Azubuike (7-0, 270) added 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks (four turnovers).

Kansas shot 44% from the field and 8-of-19 (44%) from beyond the arc against the Sooners. But the key was their defense, holding OU to 31% shooting. They also outrebounded the Sooners by 15.

The Jayhawks rank first in KenPom's ratings, 12th in adjusted offensive efficiency and third in adjusted defensive efficiency. Kansas averages 77.1 points per game on 49.9% shooting (6th) and 36.6% from beyond the arc. They allow just 60.8 points per game (24th) on 29.4% three-point shooting (45th) and 37.2% field goal shooting (14th).

It also doesn't hurt to have David McCormack (6-10, 265) and Azubuike in the post. They outrebound teams by 7.2 per game, but if teams can hang with them on the boards, they have a chance to win.

A statement game

Shaka Smart was supposed to take this Texas program to another level, but that hasn't happened yet. They may never reach the level of Kansas, but there's no reason why Texas should be 8-10 in the Big 12 and winning an NIT title. That usually leads to something bigger the following season, but the Longhorns haven't really caught fire. This is the same team that lost to Providence by 22, to Baylor by 15 and Oklahoma by 10 at home.

The Longhorns beat up on Oklahoma State on Wednesday by 12 on the road. They had five players score in double figures led by Jase Febres and Kamaka Hepa with 15 points apiece. Texas also shot 15-of-32 from beyond the arc, which was the difference in this game.

That win wasn't enough to lift them in the rankings. KenPom has the Longhorns at just 57th, 105th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 35th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Offensively, Texas is mediocre at best, averaging just 67.1 points per game on 44% shooting (34% 3pt). They are one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the nation (64.3%). On defense, they rank 25th in points allowed with 60.9 ppg and 83rd in field goal percentage defense (40.4%).

Texas offers four players who average in double figures, with the leader being point guard Matt Coleman III (12.1ppg, 44.8% 3pt., 4.4apg). They aren't as big as Kansas but they do have sizable players in Hepa (6-9, 225), Jericho Sims (6-9, 240, 9.1ppg, 8.4rpg) and Royce Hamnm Jr. (6-8, 240).

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Dotson might play in this game, but why risk it if you're Bill Self? He'll need him in March so playing him in a conference game in mid-January with a bruised hip doesn't make much sense. Even if he plays, he should be limited and that will help Texas, who defend the Jayhawks as tough as any team in the Big 12. They also have the size and girth to keep Kansas' big men off the boards. They were an NIT team last season and still beat Texas at home. I'm going back with the Horns at home to get the upset.

Prediction: Texas +8

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Texas ranks 275th in adjusted tempo (possessions per 40 minutes) according to KenPom. Kansas ranks just 234th so it's crazy that these two Big 12 juggernauts are not all about running and getting out on transition. It's not that they can't, but if you have bigs like Azubuike, you rely on your post players. That means slow the game down some and get into the paint. Texas allows just 60 points per game so they are all about defending, because they are not going to outscore teams.

Prediction: Under 128

Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!