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Defense on Display as Kansas, TCU Lock Horns

The Kansas Jayhawks were feeling pretty good about themselves heading into their encounter with the Texas Longhorns – and in 40 brutal minutes of action, Bill Self’s crew went from No. 1 contender to a team looking for answers. The Jayhawks (8-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) will look to continue an incredible bounce-back trend Tuesday as they visit a TCU Horned Frogs team (9-2 SU, 4-6-1 ATS) kicking off one of the most grueling stretches of any team in the nation.

Kansas Jayhawks vs TCU Horned Frogs
  • Date/Time: January 5, 10 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Kansas -5.5 | O/U 137 (Line History)
  • Kansas vs TCU Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Kansas opened the betting cycle as a 5.5-point favorite, and that’s right where you’ll find the line now (aside from the odd -6 depending on where you bet). The total of 137 has jumped to 138.5 or even 139 in some spots.

Kansas News & Notes

After opening the season with a loss to Gonzaga, the Jayhawks responded by ripping off eight consecutive victories – including impressive triumphs over fellow ranked opponents Kentucky, Creighton, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The rival Longhorns put an unceremonious end to Kansas’s hot streak last time out, crushing the Jayhawks 84-59 – equaling the program’s worst-ever home loss.

Fortunately for Kansas, Self knows how to lead his team out of a rough patch. The Jayhawks are a stunning 9-0 ATS in their last nine games following a loss of 20 or more points – but to extend that streak, they’ll need more out of their secondary scorers. Jalen Wilson and Ochai Agbaji (Kansas’s two leading scorers) combined for 31 points against Texas, while the rest of the team managed just 28.

TCU News & Notes

The party might be over for the Horned Frogs, who did as expected and thrived thanks to an easy early-season schedule. Now comes the hard part: TCU will play 11 of its next 15 games against teams currently ranked in the top 15 in the national poll, including two games apiece against second-ranked Baylor, two against No. 4 Texas and two more vs No. 6 Kansas.

The Horned Frogs’ offensive success will likely hinge on star guard RJ Nembhard, who leads the team in scoring (18.7 ppg) and assists (4.4). He’s on a roll, having strung together three straight 20-point efforts while shooting 50 percent or better in all three – and he’ll be looking for revenge after being held to 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting in two games vs Kansas last year.

Betting Pick: UNDER 139 (-110)

Both teams boast impressive defenses and inconsistent offenses, which makes the UNDER a viable play here.

Shark Bites
  • Kansas is 6-0 SU in its past 6 games vs TCU.
  • TCU is 0-6-1 ATS in its last 7 home games.
  • The OVER is 6-3 in the teams’ last 9 meetings.