Big 12 Rivalry Game: Bet Kansas Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. K-St.

Nikki Adams

Saturday, February 20, 2016 5:38 PM GMT

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 5:38 PM GMT

Kansas descend on Kansas State on Saturday, marking a jam-packed schedule of college basketball betting action. How do the NCAAB odds stack up and where are the value picks?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas -4.5 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

No. Kansas (22-4, 10-3 Big 12)
Kansas City Jayhawks are after proving why they are one of the best teams in the nation, beating Oklahoma City in such convincing fashion leaving nothing to the imagination. The 94-67 victory at home saw the Jayhawks cover the whopping 14.5-point spread with lots to spare. However, Oklahoma State aren’t exactly enjoying a great season, sat in the basement of the Big 12 with a 3-10 mark in conference action and a subpar 12-14 mark on the season. So the victory was hardly surprising in its completeness.   

In Kansas State, the Jayhawks come across a similarly struggling conference foe, so it comes as no surprise that they are matched as the significant road faves. But the market seems to be moving against the Jayhawks at several sports betting shops. 

Odds makers opened the game with the Jayahawks favored at 5-points on the road. Since early doors, that line has shrunk to 4.5-points at some outlets. Similarly, money line odds opened with the Jayhawks favored around -220 to win outright, but those have shrivelled down to -190 at some sports betting outlets.

Is it possible that the public is betting against the road faves? Potentially shading the home underdogs to mastermind what would be a huge upset in the context of the Big 12 conference, let alone the league?

The Jayhawks are riding the momentum of a six-game winning streak which includes four wins at home and two on the road – all of which they covered too. They are also 8-2 SU in their last ten games but just 2-2 on the road over the course of that run.

There is an argument to be had then that they are somewhat vulnerable on the road, underscored by their less than stellar 4-3 SU and ATS record on the away which includes just a 0.4-point winning margin and a negative 4.1-point differential versus the spread. As away faves they are 3-2 SU and ATS with a 2.4-point winning margin and a negative 4.9-point differential versus the spread.

Of course, on the season as a whole they more than make up for it with a 22-4 SU record and a 16-8 ATS record that includes a whopping 14.3-point winning margin and a plus 1.3-point differential versus the spread.

In Conference games they are 10-3 SU and 7-6 ATS with a 7.1-point winning margin and a negative -1.5-point differential versus the spread, which includes a 77-59 win over Kansas State at home earlier this season when they were matched as the staggering 11.5-point home faves.

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Kansas State (15-11, 4-9 Big 12)
On paper, Kansas State strike a poor figure with a 15-11 mark on the season and a woeful 4-9 mark in conference play. Yet, the Kansas State Wildcats are coming off a solid win over TX Christian on the road, a 63-49 win that could send them into this home clash with some momentum.

One win is hardly anything to write home about though, or is it? Recent form paints a rather bleak picture with the Wildcats boasting just four wins in their last ten games – three at home and one on the road. It’s going to take a herculean effort one would think to mastermind the upset in this game and send seismic shockwaves through NCAAB betting markets.

Taking the win might be a long shot NCAA basketball pick, but where the Wildcats show some value is against the spread. They are second best in the conference after Kansas with a 14-8-1 ATS mark which includes a 4.4-point winning margin and a plus 2.6-point differential versus the spread. Try as they might, wins are hard to come by but the cover seems to be there, which suggests they’re playing better than the market would have them.

As home underdogs, they are 2-1 ATS with a 5.1-point losing margin and a plus 0.9-point differential versus the spread, and in conference play, they are 8-5 ATS with a 2.2-point losing margin and a plus 1.3-point differential versus the spread.

 

Betting Verdict
Kansas City Jayhawks are undoubtedly on a tear right now, which makes them the obvious choice for many college basketball bettors in straight up betting markets. They are riding the momentum of a six-game winning streak, looking all the more confident with each win as the season hurtles to the finish line. It’s going to be quite the task to derail them today. Where the hosts appear to present some value is against the spread. Odds makers consistently underrate them as they happily defy the NCAA basketball odds. It’s very possible that they’ll do so again, seeing they have home advantage and are buoyed by a recent win on the road. Yet, for our money, we’re going with the odds makers’ faves here. A lot is at stake at this point in the season and with the kind of momentum the Jayhawks have right now, they could very well finish the season strong.

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