Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST.
9:00 PM EST. Kansas State is 12-5, but in desperate need of some signature wins if it is going to make a case for an NCAA tournament appearance. The Wildcats have been on the wrong end of some close games lately against quality programs like Kansas, West Virginia and Arizona State. K-State brings a trio of double-digit scorers to the court tonight with Barry Brown (16.6), Dean Wade (15.0), and Xavier Sneed (11.5). The Wildcats stock is low after losing three of its last four games, as well as starting point guard Kamau Stokes and his 13.4 points a night.
The Sooners have the most high profile college basketball player in American with Trae Young leading the hottest offense in the nation. When you average 93.6 points per game as a team, it gets noticed. When you score 30.1 points and average 9.9 assists per game, you get national recognition. Young has been compared to superstar guard Steph Curry by the national media, with Curry himself commenting on the young freshman's scoring prowess. It takes a lot for a kid like Young to break through to the mainstream outside of the tournament bubble, but the market loves points, and the Sooners have delivered in spades. Oklahoma is now 14-2 and ranked #4 in the AP poll after climbing five spots, which is more than any other school this week. The Sooners' stock is soaring after a 102-97 overtime win over TCU on Saturday.
While we are not here to discount anything Oklahoma has done already this season, we are about situational plays. The Sooners' hype train pulls into Manhattan, Kansas tonight, but a date with rival Oklahoma State looms for the Okies in Stillwater on Saturday. If last nights Oklahoma State/Baylor game is any barometer, there's a case to be made against the Sooners, which has them getting caught looking ahead to the Bedlam Series. Bramlage Coliseum was much better to Okie head coach Lon Kruger when he was a player, as his number hangs in the rafters, but as a bench boss, Kruger has lost five straight games at his alma mater dating back to 2012. Spotting a small price with a ranked team, in conference play, in another team's barn, have proven to be a risky proposition over the years. This host is chomping at the bit to get noticed by the tournament committee, and a signature win over a Top-5 conference rival would do just that. We're selling on the Sooners, as their prices are going to be inflated until Trae Young and the offense comes back down to earth. The Sooners can certainly score, but their commitment to defense is nearly non-existent after giving up 81.2 points per game, including 78 or more in five of their last six games. K-State is balanced and flying under the radar while most of the markets foaming at the mouth to spot a small price with this scoring juggernaut. That’s our cue to move in hard. K-State outright is the call.
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#540 KANSAS ST +114 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.28)