Houston vs. Kansas odds, props, predictions: Clash of Big 12 titans set for Saturday in Lawrence

The top two teams in the Big 12 battle on Saturday in what could be a decisive game in deciding the conference championship. Each team ranks in the top 10 in the AP and coaches poll. This will be the first of two matchups, with the next coming in the regular season finale. 

The Cougars have been one of college basketball’s most consistent teams and have only lost two games all season. Houston is 19-2 overall and 11-9-1 against the spread, having covered two of their last three. Their defense is elite, but their offense has been improving, hitting the OVER for total points in two of the last three.

Kansas has not been as consistent but boasts elite talent and at its best can beat anyone. The Jayhawks have not been as good against the spread, with an ATS record of 9-11-1. Their last several contests have been a series of up-and-down performances. The Jayhawks are 2-2 over their last four and have covered twice. Their usually elite offense has been a little down, too, hitting the UNDER in two of the last three.

Here is the Houston vs. Kansas betting news, team props and a betting prediction for tonight’s Big 12 Conference matchup. The game tips off Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

Live odds for Houston vs. Kansas

Here are the spread, moneyline and total points live odds for Houston vs. Kansas at the best online sportsbooks.

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Houston Cougars betting news

Houston has one of the best defenses in college basketball, and they hold opponents to a minuscule 52.9 PPG. Their offense is solid, though, averaging 74 points a contest and ranking 15th for adjusted efficiency. The Cougars rank No. 1 on Kenpom for adjusted efficiency margin.

They are also the top-ranked team for defensive adjusted efficiency. So they are clearly able to control opponents at either end of the floor. They have the 352nd-ranked adjusted tempo, but that’s not necessarily because the Cougars play slowly — their opponents tend to wind down the shot clock searching for a limited amount of good looks. 

On offense, the Cougars share the load scoring-wise, with seven players scoring over five points a night. All seven have had multiple double-digit scoring games this season. They do have a go-to player in L.J. Cryer, who leads the team at 15.1 PPG. He’s a solid three-point shooter at 37.8% and leads the team at the free throw line, shooting 88.9%.

Sharing the scoring load are two other guards, Jamal Shead (12.3 PPG) and Emanuel Sharp (12.2 PPG). Each is a strong 3-and-D player shooting better than 35% from three, with both averaging over 1.5 steals per contest. Shead leading the team at 2.2 SPG. J’Wan Roberts is a presence in the frontcourt, leading the team in rebounding (7.1 RPG) while scoring efficiently, shooting 56.1% from the field and averaging 8.7 points.

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Houston Cougars team futures

Here are some of the top futures markets for the Houston Cougars from the best U.S. online sportsbooks.

  • Houston to win the National Championship: +900 (BetMGM Sportsbook)
  • Houston to make it to the Final Four: +200 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
  • Houston to win the Big 12: -170 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Kansas Jayhawks news

The Jayhawks have battled inconsistency this season but always show up in primetime matchups. They have the home-court advantage and need the win a little more, being that they are behind the Cougars in the Big 12 standings. They also match up well with Houston, as they are strong defensively and offensively.

Kansas ranks 24th for adjusted offensive efficiency and 22nd for adjusted defensive efficiency and has earned those rankings playing against the 24th-ranked strength of schedule. The Jayhawks play at a much faster tempo than Houston, and if they can get on the break, some of the Cougars may have a hard time keeping up.

Kansas also has more scoring talent than Houston, as they are the only team in the nation with two players in the top 75 for scoring average. Kevin McCullar Jr. does it all for the Jayhawks, leading the team in scoring at 19.8 PPG and is second in assists (4.7 APG) and rebounding (6.4 RPG). His co-star, Hunter Dickinson, is one of the nation’s best centers.

He is one of only a few players to average a double-double. Dickinson scores 18.7 PPG and grabs 11.2 RPG while also blocking 1.3 shots per game. He can score at all levels, shooting 37.8% from the three and 59.2% from the field. Houston will have a tough time contending with Dickinson’s size, which could be a significant advantage for the Jayhawks.

Kansas Jayhawks team futures

Here are some of the top futures markets for the Kansas Jayhawks from the top online sportsbooks.

  • Kansas to win the National Championship: +2000 (BetMGM Sportsbook)
  • Kansas to make it to the Final Four: +700 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
  • Kansas to win the Big 12: +750 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Houston vs. Kansas prediction: Jayhawks get big win at home

The Jayhawks have as much talent as any team in the nation. The inconsistency that plagues them sometimes has come against lesser opponents when Kansas doesn’t play their best. That won’t happen against Houston; expect Kansas to bring their A-game, leading to a big win.

Pick: Kansas XX

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