Second-Ranked Kansas to Rock Washington with Chalky Cover

Willie Bee

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:56 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 1:56 PM UTC

Kansas City’s Sprint Center is the site for tonight’s interconference clash that finds No. 2 Kansas a big favorite on the NCAA basketball odds vs. Washington.

NCAAB Season Record: 9-11 (-2.55)

Free NCAAB Pick: Kansas -20½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Washington Huskies vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Following Tuesday night’s exciting college hoops card, the schedule starts to wane the next few weeks as schools take extra time off for finals and the Christmas break. That doesn’t mean we have no games to stir our interests, just that they’re fewer and further in between without many that give us a March Madness feel.

What we’re left with are contests like tonight’s encounter between the Washington Huskies and Kansas Jayhawks. Officially, it’s being played at a neutral site, but anyone tuning into the 9 PM (ET) telecast on ESPN2 will quickly realize it’s a home game for the No. 2 Jayhawks in KC’s Sprint Center. The NCAA basketball odds certainly reflect some of that advantage with Kansas backers giving up 20-20½. While that spread suggests the Pac-12/Big 12 clash won’t go down to the wire, the 158½-point total is the highest on the board to give fans of offense something to be excited about.

UW Rotation A Work-In-Progress

Washington arrives in the American heartland riding the good vibes of a 4-game win streak, though the competition hasn’t exactly been anything to write home about. The Huskies’ only real tests came in the 2K Classic a few weeks ago, and they dropped both of those contests to Providence and Virginia Tech. First-year head coach Mike Hopkins still has a work-in-progress rotation as he searches for the right mix to give him extra offense and help on the glass.

Bill Self’s Kansas squad has been about as consistent as they come, especially in the polls where the Jayhawks are No. 2 in the AP, Coaches, Pomeroy and BPI rankings. Unbeaten in the win column, that consistency is also seen in their record against the spread where the Jayhawks are just a bucket away from covering all six lined games. It certainly helps having a pair of seniors such as Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk leading the way, and Graham is coming off a career-best performance in Miami this past weekend, netting 35 in a 76-60 win over Syracuse that Bookmaker closed KU on a -9½ line.

Series Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Kansas and Washington are meeting for the 10th time with the Jayhawks up 8-1, but only one of those matchups took place in the last 20 years. It came on this floor in the 2008 Hall of Fame Classic, KU earning a 73-54 decision that easily covered a 6-point spread. The Huskies’ lone win over the Jayhawks came in Lawrence 43 years ago, a 74-64 upset.

Six players account for about 88% of the Kansas floor time, so the big question here is how long Self keeps the throttle revved with a high-octane club like Arizona State coming to Lawrence this Sunday. I’m counting on it to be just enough to get a Rock Chalk cover with my free college basketball pick.

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