How to Bet on the Kentucky Wildcats vs Kansas Jayhawks Game
This Saturday night, the #20 Kentucky Wildcats visit the #4 Kansas Jayhawks, with tipoff at 7:00pm Eastern time. The Big 12 and the SEC are playing 10 non-conference games against one another as a kind of break in the middle of conference play. Let’s take a look at this matchup of two of the NCAA’s marquee programs, and don’t forget to check out our NCAAB lines!
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 30, 2016
Should you bet on Kansas?
The Jayhawks have dropped three of their last five, but given all of the shuffling at the top of the ranks in the NCAA (with OU staying at #1 despite a loss last week), Kansas is still ranked #4 in the nation, but while their athletes are really hard workers who have a lot of skill, the Jayhawks have not shown that killer instinct that they have shown in years past. They are looking to this game to provide them with a shot in the arm and a clear sense of their identity as a program.
Take a look at their most recent loss, to Iowa State. Kansas was up with a comfortable lead, but then Iowa State went on a 24-7 run during the middle of the second half, and they had an 80-67 lead with two minutes left in the game. Perry Ellis (23 points) and Frank Mason III (16 points) were their usual dominant selves on the offensive side, but the defense simply couldn’t get any stops down the stretch. Kansas has now lost three straight road games. After starting by making 17 of 29 from the floor and going into the intermission up 43-36, their lack of defensive spirit in the second half was disappointing.
Should you put your money on Kentucky?
The Wildcats are coming off a home blowout of Missouri (88-54). Derek Willis dropped 18 points on the Tigers, a career high, and Tyler Ulis poured in 20. The Wildcats went on a 20-0 run early in the game to set the tone for what would be a rout. Kentucky now has a three-game winning streak, and as coach John Calipari said in the press conference after the game, “We are playing desperate now. We are playing with an attitude. Refuse to lose.”
The key for the Kentucky attack is guard shooting (52 percent against Missouri and 55 percent against Vanderbilt). Willis went 6 for 9, including 4 for 5 from behind the three-point arc. His 12 rebounds gave him his second double-double in four games, a sign that he has worked his way into calipari’s trust. He has 94 points in his last 14 games for the Wildcats. Skal Labissiere had 12 points, Isaiah Briscoe added 15 and Jamal Murray had 11 to round out the rout.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Kentucky has fallen in some big games this year, but they are hitting on all cylinders at the right time. I’m picking them to go to Kansas and get the win, 75-68.