On Monday night, Kansas lost its third consecutive game. As one of the country's premier programs and the defending national champions, that would usually raise some eyebrows and bring up some serious questions. However, in the Big 12, it's really not that alarming. Kansas lost three games to teams that are currently in the top 17 of the AP poll. All three teams are ranked in the top 26 of KenPom's efficiency rankings.
If the season ended today, you could make a very good argument for nine of the conference's 10 teams to get into the tournament. The only school ranked outside of KenPom's top 40 is Texas Tech, and it is ranked 65th. Not bad for what is viewed as the worst team in the conference at the moment. Nobody would be surprised if the Red Raiders turned things around. They opened the season at 25-to-1 to win the national title.
Overall, six schools in the Big 12 currently have odds of +850 or better to finish the season on top of the conference. It's the deepest conference in the country, and any team is beatable on any night. That's highlighted on Tuesday night with a trio of intriguing games.
Three Big 12 games
The best game of Tuesday's college basketball slate looks to be taking place in Ames, Iowa. No. 12 Iowa State is a 5.5-point home favorite against No. 5 Kansas State. The Wildcats currently lead the conference at 6-1, with their only loss coming on the road at TCU. Kansas State has already proven it can go on the road and win, picking up big victories at Texas and at Baylor. Iowa State has a chance to jump into a first-place tie if it can get the win on their home court on Tuesday night. The Cyclones' lone home loss this season came in non-conference play against UConn.
Elsewhere in the conference, No. 11 TCU is a 5.5-point home favorite against Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs are coming off a dominant 23-point road win at Kansas over the weekend. However, they're also the only team to lose to West Virginia in conference play. Oklahoma has played a bunch of close games this season, losing to Texas, Iowa State, Kansas and Baylor by a combined 10 points.
In Austin, No. 10 Texas is an 8.5-point favorite against Oklahoma State. Texas went on the road and beat the Pokes by 10 points earlier in the season in Stillwater.
Elsewhere in college basketball
Two ranked teams in the ACC are in action on Tuesday night as well. No. 20 Miami is a 3.5-point road favorite against Florida State. Isaiah Wong is Miami's best player, but he's struggled the last two games, going just 3-for-16 from the field and scoring just 16 combined points over that span. Florida State was absolutely terrible to begin the season, but it's slowly figured things out and actually has a winning record in conference play.
Elsewhere in the conference, No. 24 Clemson is a 10.5-point favorite over Georgia Tech. North Carolina is a 4.5-point road favorite against Syracuse, and NC State is laying 7.5 points at home against Notre Dame.
In the Big Ten, Rutgers is a 6.5-point favorite at home against Penn State while Illinois is laying 3.5 points at home against Ohio State.
In the SEC, Arkansas is a 12.5-point home favorite against LSU. Kentucky is laying 5.5 points on the road at Vanderbilt.
Seven-game NBA slate
There's a seven-game schedule on tap in the NBA on Tuesday night.
On paper, the best game is in New Orleans, where the Pelicans are 1.5-point home underdogs against the West-leading Denver Nuggets. However, injuries put a damper on the game. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram remain out for the Pelicans. Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. are questionable to play for Denver.
In the East, the Boston Celtics are 3.5-point road underdogs against the Miami Heat. Boston played on Monday night and lost in Orlando. Elsewhere, the New York Knicks are home underdogs to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Indiana Pacers are small 1.5-point home underdogs against the Chicago Bulls.
Out west, the battle of Los Angeles takes place. The Lakers are 4.5-point home underdogs against the Clippers.
11 games in the NHL
There's plenty of action on the ice on Tuesday night as the NHL gifts us with an 11-game slate.
On paper, the best game might just be in New Jersey. The Devils are hot again, getting points in 10 of their last 11 games. New Jersey is a -165 home favorite against the Vegas Golden Knights, who have cooled down a little but are still one of the top teams out West.
Other intriguing games include a matchup between the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche. The defending champions are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot, but they are -150 home favorites against the Capitals. Elsewhere, Tampa Bay is a -165 home favorite against Minnesota, and Pittsburgh is laying -145 at home against Florida.
What's the best bet?
I'll stick on the ice for my best bet of the night. The Florida Panthers have seen four straight games feature at least eight goals. The Panthers can score goals but they certainly give up their fair share as well. That's the main reason they are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot. Pittsburgh is a high-powered offensive team as well, and I see this game featuring plenty of goals. I'm going with over 6.5 goals between Pittsburgh and Florida.