Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Kansas Home Cover -4 vs. Utah

Steven Suarez

Saturday, December 13, 2014 1:35 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 1:35 PM UTC

Both teams sit at 7-1 on the season, but we look for the Jayhawks to take care of business and cover the college basketball betting lines as favorites this afternoon. Check out why inside.

Odds Overview
Right now we can either find a spread of 4 or 4.5 points on the NCAA basketball odds board, with Kansas of course the favorite on the "neutral court" at Sprint Center.

The total varies depending on the book, but for the most part we can see the O/U at roughly 132.5 to 133. Utah has been one of the more efficient offensive teams this season, but we imagine it'll be a scrappy affair against the Jayhawks here on Saturday.


Kansas Jayhawks
Remember in the middle of November when Kansas got taught a thing or two by Kentucky

That was certainly a night to forget for the Jayhawks, but they've responded in a great way, reeling off six consecutive wins to move to 7-1 on the year. During that span, they've beaten some solid programs in Tennessee, Michigan State, Florida and then Georgetown most recently, with each win coming by at least five points.

Against the Hoyas, Perry Ellis came through with 13 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks, and Frank Mason III helped out with a 14/3/3 line. However, the spark came from Brannen Greene, who hit five threes off the bench to finish with 19 points in only 18 minutes. Greene got hot and it was exactly what Kansas needed to grab the road win. 

Ellis, Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr. have been playing the heaviest minutes for Kansas, but there have been a lot of contributors to the program so far this season. Bill Self has a lot of depth to his team this time around, which is definitely going to come in handy.


Utah Utes
Just like Kansas, Utah has gone on a great roll since an early-season loss. For the Utes, the defeat came to San Diego State, but they've since recorded six straight wins.

Included in that span are triumphs over Wichita State and BYU, two great basketball programs. After surviving against the Shockers in overtime, the Utes also held on to beat the Cougars in a 65-61 win at home.

Delon Wright was the star of the show, logging 18 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in a fantastic all-around individual effort. He was the only player on Utah to hit double figures in scoring, with the team shooting 45.8 percent overall and just 14.3 (2-of14) from beyond the arc. Despite turning the ball over 15 times, the Utes had firm control of the boards, out-rebounding BYU 43-31. 

Will Utah be able to carry over this momentum into the Sprint Center? With four players who average double-digit scoring (Wright, Jordan Loveridge, Jakob Poelti, Brandon Taylor), the Utes have proven to be one of the tougher teams to slow down this season. We'll have to see if Kansas is ready for the challenge.


NCAA Basketball Pick
You've got to be impressed with what the Utes have been able to do this season, and we've been particularly impressed with their latest two victories.

That being said, we like the value that comes with Kansas in this spot. The Jayhawks have been on a great roll since getting blown out by Kentucky, and they've been clawing their way through as tough of a non-conference schedule as you're going to find. That's left them prepared for a lot of different types of challenges, so we like their chances against this efficient Utah squad.

Don't get it mixed up either. The game will take place at the Sprint Center, which theoretically is a neutral court, but there's going to be Kansas blue dominating the arena. When making your NCAA basketball picks note that this may as well be a home game for the Jayhawks -- expect them to follow through and cash as the NCAA basketball betting chalk.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Kansas Jayhawks -4 at 5Dimes

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