Kansas vs. Oklahoma NCAA Basketball Preview and Best Bet

Guard Ochai Agbaji #40 of the Kansas Jayhawks. John E. Moore III/Getty Images/AFP

There’s a traditional look to the Big 12 standings with Kansas on top, and the Oklahoma Sooners would like to change that when the Jayhawks come to Norman on Tuesday’s NCAA Basketball odds card.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 – 07:00 PM EST at Lloyd Noble Center

After winning 14 consecutive Big 12 regular season titles from 2005-18, the conference finally caught up to Kansas and denied Bill Self’s squad the crown two of the last three seasons. The Jayhawks suffered their lone conference loss a couple of Saturdays ago, but posted a pair of winning NCAAB scores last week to climb two spots to No. 7 in the AP poll.

Oklahoma is transitioning to the coaching style of Porter Moser, and the first year under the former Loyola Chicago skipper has produced its fair share of growing pains. The Sooners went down in defeat a couple of times last week while out on the Big 12 highway, but own a 3-2 record against ranked teams, two of those wins coming at home.

Martin Questionable for Jayhawks

The old rivals are getting prime-time treatment from ESPN with Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla courtside and calling the action amidst a sea of Crimson & Cream in the Noble Center stands. DraftKings is carrying the visiting Jayhawks on a -3.5 spread, and the total varies from 144 to 144.5 at most wagering outlets.

Kansas was able to scoot up those two places in the AP poll after enjoying life at home with a couple of wins this past week. Coming off a defeat at Texas Tech, it looked like Iowa State might hand the Jayhawks a second consecutive loss seven days ago before they pulled it out in a crazy finish. The Jayhawks didn’t come close to covering as 13.5-point favorites in the 62-61 squeaker, and the final also never really got close to a 140-point total.

Things were a little easier in the follow-up game on Saturday with West Virginia in town, Kansas breaking open a close contest with a huge second half for the 85-59 win. The Jayhawks only led by two at halftime, but started the second half on an 11-2 run and completely dominated the Mountaineers in the paint.

Kansas was without Remy Martin in both games last week after the fifth-year guard injured a knee in the loss at Texas Tech. The transfer from Arizona State was named the Big 12 preseason player of the year, and is questionable for Tuesday’s game.

OU Hoping Home Cooking Helps on Tuesday

Moser is about to get a crash course in how much deeper the Big 12 is than the Missouri Valley Conference where his old Ramblers reside. The Sooners had a small taste in the last couple of weeks with 3-straight against ranked opponents, and will have Baylor in town this Saturday before going on the road to West Virginia and Auburn next week.

There’s another stretch against five teams that are currently ranked three weeks out on the horizon, but let’s see how Oklahoma does tonight and the next 10 days before going there. Life on the road last week certainly wasn’t all that much fun, the Sooners first getting belted by 14 in Austin to rival Texas and then dropping a 59-58 overtime decision at TCU as small chalk at most of the best online betting sites.    

‘Over’ a Winning Play at Norman in Recent Years

Kansas and Oklahoma will be colliding for the 222nd time in their rivalry, and the Jayhawks enjoy an overwhelming 152-69 (.687) record against the Sooners. Oklahoma has at least managed to keep it more respectable in Norman where Kansas has a 51-44 edge in the series. The Jayhawks have won four of the last five, though the Sooners did manage to cover the numbers at top sportsbooks in two of the three matchups last year.

Oklahoma even won the contest in Norman outright, posting a mild 75-68 upset of the then-No. 9 Jayhawks. That was the third loss in the last four trips to Noble Center for Kansas, and the final just got past a 141.5-point total to make it 3-1 O/U in the last four at Norman.

Hey, we all know that on any given night, any team in the Big 12 is capable of beating another. That’s certainly true for this one since the Sooners have done well on their home floor. Still, even if Martin can’t lace ‘em up for the Jayhawks, I’m confident enough in my free NCAA Basketball pick on the visitors.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas -3.5 (-110) at DraftKings