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The Big 12 is a scary conference this season and two members of the conference face off tonight. Kansas State takes on Oklahoma State. Ben Rajavuori breaks down the game.

Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State Prediction, Pick, Odds: Can the Cowboys Win This Big 12 Battle?

The Big 12 is a scary conference this season. Not a single team in the conference ranks outside the top 50 in the net rankings, as the lowest team is Texas Tech, ranking at 41st. Some of these teams have been a surprise this season, including Kansas State. The Wildcats came into the season with a new coach, Jerome Tang, and were not expected to be close in the Big 12, as they opened as +3500 to win the conference.

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However, they now sit around +900, depending on your book. Kansas State has opened conference play 3-0, beating West Virginia, Texas, and Baylor, and their only loss on the season was a road game against Butler. Coming into this game, they are five-point favorites against Oklahoma State tonight. Oklahoma State is 9-6 on the season and has started conference play 1-2, with two tough losses to Texas and Kansas. Can they cover on the road tonight against Kansas State?

Kansas State vs Oklahoma State Start Time and Where to Watch

  • Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
  • Start Time: 7:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPNU

Kansas State vs Oklahoma State Odds

Spread: Oklahoma State +5.5 (-115), Kansas State -5.5 (+100)

Moneyline: Oklahoma State (+188), Kansas State (-205)

Total: Over 136.5(-110), Under 136.5 (-105)

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Kansas State vs Oklahoma State Prediction

Kansas State has excelled behind the play of new faces. Only one starter played for Kansas State last season. Standout player Markquis Nowell is one of the best players in the conference, and he is connecting on 37.6% of his threes, and he gets to the line often, where he is 87% on the season. The Wildcats were also busy in the transfer portal, bringing on Keyontae Johnson from Florida and Desi Sills from Arkansas State. Despite this being the first season these five starters are playing together, their synergy looks well-adjusted, and they are hot as could be right now, as Kansas State has won eight games in a row.

Kansas State is shooting 48% from the field this season, which ranks 38th in the nation. More impressive, however, is that the Wildcats are shooting 58.3% in effective field goal percentage across their three conference games. This is the first in the Big 12. What makes this so dangerous is that the Wildcats also have played at the fastest pace in the conference in conference games, meaning they can score often and quickly, a deadly combo when they get hot. Their defense is slightly worse, ranking at 48th in defensive efficiency and 9th in the conference. If they want to make a run late in March, they will need to lock it down better in the backcourt.

Oklahoma State has started a less impressive 9-6 this season, but their schedule has been brutal. Aside from an early-season loss to Southern Illinois, every one of the Cowboy's losses has been quad-one losses. Two of those were one-possession losses as well, one coming in overtime. Oklahoma State has lost two games by more than five points this season. One was a road game at previously number-one ranked Connecticut, and a home game against Texas without their best player, Moussa Cisse. Cisse dressed for the Texas game but was held out, which means he should be healthy to play tonight.

Moussa Cisse is a 7' 1" junior center who has played lockdown defense in the paint. His 12.8% block rate ranks sixth in the nation, and his length makes it nearly impossible to score under the rim. Because of this, teams have had to attack Oklahoma State from outside, but the Cowboys defend exceptionally well there, too. The Cowboys are holding opponents to 28% from three on the season, which ranks 14th in the country.

Because of this lockdown defense, Oklahoma State has held opponents to 42% effective field goal percentage, which ranks fifth in the country, and their overall defensive efficiency ranks 11th. It is on offense where Oklahoma State has struggled this season. They are only scoring 69 points per game, which ranks 242nd in the country. Part of this is because they have played such a tough schedule, but they still have to improve their shot-making to have a chance at a run in March.

The Cowboys play excellent defense, some of the best in the country, and defense always travels well. When looking at road teams, I always look at their defense because good defense travels well. The Cowboys traveled to Kansas and took on the Jayhawks, the defending national champions, and lost in a two-point game that was down to the wire. Kansas' largest lead was 67-64 with 21 seconds left. Oklahoma State had a 15-point lead at halftime and choked it away, but they still kept it close at the end, which they should be able to do here again.

Kansas State has started 3-0 in conference play, but two of those games went to overtime, and Oklahoma State is just as good as both of those same teams. I think this is a perfect time to sell high on Kansas State. Their 14-1 record is really good, and they are playing excellent basketball, but Oklahoma State is no slouch, and I feel they are being slightly overlooked at this number. This looks like a one-possession game, so I will gladly take five and a half points.

Kansas State vs Oklahoma State Pick

2 Unit Pick: Oklahoma State +5.5 @ (-115) Bet $200 to collect $373 BetMGM has the best odds, click here to bet

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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