Kansas St. & Kentucky to go 'Under' for NCAA Basketball Picks

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:53 AM GMT

The #9 seed Kansas St. Wildcats (20-12) take on the #8 Kentucky Wildcats (24-10) on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional with the opening tip coming at 9:40 PM ET. We have decided to focus our NCAA Basketball picks on the total for this affair.

The game will be played at the Scotttrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. According to NCAA Tournament betting odds, Kentucky is a 5.0 point favorite and the posted total is 132.5. Kansas St. finished 5th in the Big 12 regular season standings, and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament by Iowa St. Kentucky finished tied for 2nd in the SEC regular season standings, and then lost to Florida in the SEC Tournament title game.

[gameodds]14/262074/?r-1=19-43-349/us[/gameodds]

Worrisome Shooting Woes 

There’s never been a question about the plethora of athletic ability and talent that this Kentucky team possesses. However, what is worrisome is that they can go long stretches of being anemic with their field goal shooting. Kentucky has shot 46% or better from the field in only 2 of their last 8-games. In those previous 8-games they’ve shot a combined 39.2% from the field. Kentucky has also been a below average free throw shooting team at 68.3% for the season, although they do average a very high 30 attempts per game. On a positive not the Wildcats are a terrific rebounding club. In their last 9 contests Kentucky has a +9.2 per game rebounding edge over their opponents. Kentucky has gone under the total in 7 of 8-games this season when the total is 130.0 to 139.5.

NCAA Tournament Betting: Midwest Region Picks & Predictions

Staggering into the Dance 

The Kansas St. Wildcats enter the NCAA Tournament having gone 0-3 SU & ATS in their last 3-games. They do come off a very good shooting game in a 91-85 loss to Iowa St. in the Big 12 quarterfinals, but prior to that they had been in the midst of a 4-game shooting slump, that saw them connect on a combined 40% from the floor. Similar to Kentucky they’re not a very good free throw shooting team converting on just 65.8% of their attempts on the season. These Wildcats are a much better defensive team than they’ve shown in their previous 3-games versus some very hot offensive clubs. An erratic shooting Kentucky team may be just what the doctor ordered in that regard. Kansas St. has gone under the total in 8 of their 9 non-conference games this season with an average combined 125.2 points scored.

Which books are offering the best NCAA Tournament Odds?

NCAA Betting Systems 

  • Any neutral court team playing in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament, and both teams have a winning percentage of between .600 to .800, has seen 88 of those 136-games (64.7%) go under the total in the last 5 years.
  • Any neutral court team (Kansas St.) that’s allowed 75-points or more in each of their last 2-games, versus an opponent (Kentucky) coming off a loss by 6-points or less, has seen 66 of those 96-games (68.8%) go under the total in the last 5 seasons.
Free Pick: Kansas State/Kentucky to go under the total of 132.5