NCAA Basketball Picks: Kansas vs. Kansas State

Darin Zank

Monday, February 23, 2015 11:59 AM GMT

Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 11:59 AM GMT

Kansas downright owns the rivalry with Kansas State, winning seven of the last eight meetings straight-up, going 6-1-1 against the spread. Closing in on another Big 12 regular-season title the Jayhawks hit Manhattan to take on the slumping Wildcats Monday night.

Jayhawks-Wildcats Betting Odds
Most members of the NCAA basketball betting odds opened Kansas at either -6 or -6.5 for this game, and those numbers were holding steady in the early betting.


Jayhawks-Wildcats: A Little Background
Kansas just defeated TCU over the weekend 81-72, although to our dismay it couldn't cover the spread as a 12-point favorite. The Jayhawks led that game by 16 about midway through the second half, but let the Frogs rally to within six, before closing things out. Kansas shot 58 percent from the floor, and held TCU to just 41 percent shooting, and still couldn't cover the spread.

Big-picture, at 22-5 overall and 11-3 in conference play Kansas leads the Big 12 by a game over second-place Iowa State, and by a game and a half over Oklahoma. The Jayhawks end their regular season with a visit to Norman March 7.

Kansas is of course also playing for good seeding in the upcoming NCAA tournament. If the Dance started today the Jayhawks would probably be a two seed somewhere.

K State, not all that long ago, was three games above .500 in Big 12 play; now, with seven losses in their last eight games the Wildcats have played themselves out of any postseason possibilities.

Saturday Kansas State lost at Baylor 69-42, completely whiffing on the spread as an eight-point underdog. The Wildcats shot just 38 percent from the floor, made just one of 16 shots from 3-point land and committed 15 turnovers.

At 13-15 overall and 6-9 in conference play K State will miss the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.


Jayhawks-Wildcats Recent History
Kansas has won seven of the last eight meetings in this in-state rivalry, going 6-1-1 ATS in the process, after taking the first meeting between these teams this season three weeks ago in Lawrence 68-57. The Jayhawks jumped out to a 20-5 lead and never let K State back in the game. But KU took its foot off the gas late, and for the game went just 10-for-17 from the free-throw line, resulting in a push on the 11-point spread.

That game played UNDER its total of 135.

Last season these teams split two games, each winning and covering on its home court. The Jayhawks blew out the 'Cats 86-60, covering at -11, but the Wildcats upset Kansas in the second meeting 85-82 in overtime, winning outright as four-point home dogs.


By the Numbers
On the season Kansas is shooting 45 percent from the field, 41 percent from 3-point range, which ranks in the top ten in the country, and 71 percent from the FT line. At the other end of the court the Jayhawks are limiting opponents to less than 40 percent FG shooting.

Kansas State is shooting 43 percent from the floor, 35 percent from long range and 67 percent from the line, while allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent.


Jayhawks-Wildcats Betting Trends
Kansas is 13-11 on the totals this season, as Jayhawks games have averaged 136 points.

Kansas State has leaned toward the UNDERS this season by a 14-8 margin, as Wildcats games have averaged 127 points. K State has also played seven UNDERS in its last nine games, mainly because it's been held to under 60 points in seven of those last nine contests.


Jayhawks-Wildcats Free Pick
After losing at West Virginia Monday night we backed Kansas on a bounce-back play Saturday, but came up a couple buckets short. But for this match-up we still see the Jayhawks as the much-better team, lined at what looks like a very doable spread. KU just beat K State last month fairly handily, and if they do the same thing Monday night, they'll cover your college basketball picks.

Free College Basketball Pick: Kansas -6.5  at 5Dimes

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