by Aengus Moorehead
Cowboys: 12-13 SU,13-9-1 ATS
Jayhawks: 21-4 SU,15-8 ATS
When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, February 15, 2016
Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
Fresh off impressive victories against No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday and West Virginia a week ago, the Kansas Jayhawks return home to host the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas this Monday night.
While the Cowboys did beat Kansas handsomely in an earlier showdown, Oklahoma State comes to Lawrence tonight without their leading scorer, Jawun Evans. Playing at the intimidating Allen Fieldhouse should also rattle the Cowboys, who are likely to feel the pressure coming from the partisan Jayhawks crowd.
The Cowboys knocked down 11 threes in the previous Kansas game, but they are averaging just 6.2 three-pointers on 33.2 percent shooting thus far this season.
In any case, the Jayhawks have enough firepower to outduel Oklahoma State. After all, Kansas is 17th in the league in scoring with 82.7 PPG and is fresh off a 76-72 win over Oklahoma on Saturday, wherein it shot 46.3% from the field and went 11-for-26 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Devonte’ Graham was a monster in that game, as he dropped 27 points with eight threes.
Kansas has averaged 77.5 points and shot 50.3% from the field over its last six games. The Jayhawks look to be just as deadly on offense later tonight against Oklahoma State’s poor defense that surrenders 69.7 points per game in conference play.
Despite missing their top two scorers, the Cowboys still managed to find a way to eke out a hard-earned 58-55 overtime win over Kansas State on Saturday.
Playing without Phil Forte (elbow) for the 22nd time this season and Evans (shoulder) for the third-straight contest, the Cowboys were left mostly relying on Leyton Hammonds and Jeff Newberry , who led the team with 13 and 10 points, respectively, against the Wildcats.
Forte is likely done for the season, while Evans’ status remains uncertain. If the latter can’t go later tonight, Hammonds and Newberry should expect heavier loads on offense again. Evans was key in Oklahoma State’s 86-67 upset win in Stillwater over then No. 3 Kansas on January 19, as he scored 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Hammonds and Newberry are tied for third on the team in scoring with identical averages of 10.6 points per game.
That said, how the Cowboys would fill in Evans’ team-leading 13.3 points per game is largely up to their bench that outscored Kansas’ relievers the last time, 28-18.
Tavarius Shine, who scored 11 points against Kansas State, will look to team up again with fellow second stringer Chris Olivier, as the two combined for 16 points off the bench in the earlier meeting with the Jayhawks. Jeffrey Carroll, meanwhile, needs to bounce back from a pathetic five-point outing on Saturday and lend added firepower to the starting unit. He chipped 11 points with three triples against Kansas last January.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas Jayhawks Early Odds & Betting Lines
Live NCAA Tournament Odds & Scores - Click here
Kansas was a 76-72 winner in their most recent outing on the road against Sooners. They covered the +3-point spread as underdogs.
Oklahoma State was a 58-55 winner in its last match at home against Wildcats. They covered the -1.5-point spread as favorites.
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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas Jayhawks Betting Trends
Oklahoma State is 3-9 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Oklahoma State's last 5 games
Oklahoma State is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games on the road
Current Streak: won 5 straight games.
Kansas is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Kansas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Kansas's last 6 games
Oklahoma State home to Texas Tech Saturday, February 20
Kansas at Kansas State Saturday, February 20
Without their two best players, the Cowboys will find it difficult to compete against a much more talented Kansas squad. If Oklahoma State plays like it did on Saturday, this affair could be over by halftime. Kansas will avenge its earlier loss in a rout. Take Jayhawks -15 and the over 142½.
Aengus NCAA College Basketball Prediction and Pick: Kansas -15 at Mybookie
chris olivier - jawun evans - jeff newberry - jeffrey carroll - kansas jayhawks - leyton hammonds - oklahoma state cowboys - phil forte - tavarius shine