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Oscar Tshiebwe of the Kentucky Wildcats attempts a layup while Braelen Bridges of the Georgia Bulldogs guards at Rupp Arena on Jan. 17, 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Oscar Tshiebwe of the Kentucky Wildcats attempts a layup while Braelen Bridges of the Georgia Bulldogs guards at Rupp Arena on Jan. 17, 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images via AFP.

The marquee matchup on Saturday night's college basketball slate has the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks visiting the Kentucky Wildcats. Check out below for our top Kansas vs. Kentucky college basketball picks based on the best NCAAB odds.

We take a break from conference play for the Big 12/SEC Challenge, an event that started during the 2013-14 season. There are 10 matchups between a Big 12 school and an SEC program, where the former has a 48-41 overall record in this series.

In a battle of blue bloods, Kansas and Kentucky have often faced each other. The Wildcats dismantled the Jayhawks at home, 80-62, in last year’s meeting and Kansas head coach Bill Self’s squad eventually went on to win the national title. This season, Kansas (16-4) enters the matchup on a 3-game skid while Kentucky (14-6) won four in a row.

Here is our best Kansas vs. Kentucky college basketball pick (odds via Caesars Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our best March Madness betting sites.

Kansas vs. Kentucky game info

  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • Location: Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, Lexington, KY

Kansas vs. Kentucky odds

Kansas vs. Kentucky odds analysis

For a brief moment, Kansas opened as a 1.5-point favorite when FanDuel first released lines for this game Friday. The rest of the shops opened Kentucky as a short favorite, and the line moved to 2.5 and 3. Those wanting to bet against the Jayhawks losing four in a row for the first time in the Self era should take advantage of Caesars' 3-point spread.

The total opened at 142, but dropped down to 140 and 140.5. The best place to bet an Over is at Caesars with its 140 offering, while FanDuel and BetMGM both hang a 140.5 for Under bettors.

So far this season, Kansas is 7-13 against the spread and 11-9 to the Over. Kentucky, meanwhile, is 8-11-1 ATS and 11-9 to the Over.

Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.

Kansas vs. Kentucky pick

Kansas +3 (-110 via Caesars) vs. Kentucky ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The season is long, and we forget how much these teams change over the course of a year. Just a few weeks ago, people talked about who Kentucky’s next head coach would be while Kansas had a case to be college basketball's No. 1 team. The spread would have been much different if this game took place then.

Instead, we've reached the ultimate buy-low opportunity on the Jayhawks. They've never lost four in a row under Self, but they don't need to win to cash this ticket. Other than the TCU loss, Kansas played every game within 6 points since Jan. 1. This matchup should be a pick 'em, so you get good value on the current spread.

Kentucky adjusted its lineup to provide more shooting recently, but still only had one game where it hit more than six 3-pointers since late-December. KU’s defense is due for some positive shooting regression, as opposing teams shoot 36.1% from deep against Kansas since Big 12 play began. Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe will be hard to handle inside for the Jayhawks, but they'll do their best to trap him down low and get the ball out of his hands. 

If either point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. or forward K.J. Adams Jr. snap out of their funk, Kansas has a shot to earn a road win over a Kentucky team that ranks No. 31 on Kenpom. By comparison, KU is No. 10 and faced three teams ranked inside the top 25 during this skid. A trip to Lexington might actually be a breather from the Big 12 gauntlet. 

Kansas vs. Kentucky best odds

Caesars (-110)


Caesars is the best place to play your bet for this game, thanks to the full 3-point spread at -110 odds. I'd play this down to 2.5, though it's likely just a three-star pick at that line.

If you can’t get 2.5 or better, look for an opportunity to bet on Kansas live. The Jayhawks had a problem starting slow the entire month, something the players admitted was a problem this week.

Kansas-Kentucky pick made 1/28/2022 at 8:56 a.m. ET.

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