The Missouri Tigers (25-3) and Kansas Jayhawks (23-5) will meet up in a Big 12 Conference showdown Saturday afternoon inside Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS.
Missouri Tigers at Kansas Jayhawks
Missouri hits the road and will seek to sweep the Kansas Jayhawks in their 2011-12 series, picking up a 74-71 win as three-point home favorites in the first meeting on Feb. 4. The Tigers will look to bounce back from a disappointing 78-68 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats as nine-point home favorites last time out. Total players will find that the “over” has cashed in their last three games. Missouri is 2-0 ATS as an underdog and 14-8 ATS overall this season.
The Tigers are shooting 48.1 percent as a team on the road this season, with five players averaging in double figures. Saturday will mark the fourth time in history that both teams will possess a top-10 ranking, with Missouri winning all three previous meetings. Offensively, the team is led by senior guard Marcus Denmon, who is averaging 17.8 points per game. One important aspect of this game if its close down the stretch is the Tigers free-throw shooting, ranking first in the Big 12 in hitting 76.8 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe.
Kansas could wrap up at least a share of an unprecedented eighth-straight conference title, which would also be its 12th in the 16-year history of the Big 12. The Jayhawks have won five consecutive games and will be looking to gain revenge against their longtime rivals. “We’re still bitter about the first time we played them,” commented Jayhawks guard Tyshawn Taylor. “We felt we let that one slip away.” The program is 4-3 against ranked foes this season and 39-21 under the direction of head coach Bill Self. Kansas is 8-5 ATS at home and the “over” is 7-5 in that situation.
The Jayhawks are 14-0 at home this season and bring in a 20-game home court winning streak, which ranks tied for sixth nationally. Kansas is led by star forward Thomas Robinson, who is the only player in the Big 12 to average a double-double with 17.4 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. The team has won the last 12 meetings with Missouri inside Saturday’s venue dating back to 2000.
Bettors will likely back the Jayhawks due to their 36-16-1 ATS mark as a home favorite of 7.0 to 12.5 points, while the Tigers are 0-6 ATS as a road underdog in that point range.
Recommendation: Kansas Jayhawks -7.5
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