The No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks have notched a 6-2 spread record in their last eight ‘board’ battles, including three straight cashed tickets in Lawrence. Bill Self’s squad takes its floor again for Sunday afternoon’s matchup against the Temple Owls, who have collected at a 4-1 ATS clip in their five contests away from home.
Jayhawks, Withey rolling at home
Kansas went unbeaten in December, with four wins coming in the confines of Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks last saw action on Dec. 29 in a ‘non-board’ affair, thrashing the American University Eagles with an 89-57 triumph.
Jayhawks freshman Ben McLemore ranks second in the Big 12 for scoring (15.8 PPG), while mates Travis Releford and Jeff Withey are two of the conference’s top five shooters, connecting from the field at 61.7 and 58.2 percent, respectively.
Kansas’ victory over American University saw Releford hit 7-of-8 buckets from the floor, including a stellar 5-of-6 beyond the arc. Withey logged four blocks, while guard Maadir Thorpe notched 12 of his side’s 25 assists.
Owls, Wyatt top Syracuse, Bowling Green
Temple ended its December with a pair of victories, defeating the Syracuse Orange, 83-79, as a 10-point dog in Madison Square Garden and the Bowling Green Falcons in a 75-57 rout as 13-point home ‘chalk.’ The Owls shot a combined 43.1 percent from the field over the two matchups, while connecting 41-of-51 free throws.
Owls guard Khalif Wyatt came away with a season-high 33 points against Syracuse, while mates Anthony Lee and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson united for 19 boards in the same affair. Lee followed up his feat with a double-double against Bowling Green, notching 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Temple’s Scootie Randall ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 for boards (7.4 RPG),while Wyatt is seventh in assists (4.3 APG) and eighth in scoring (15.4 PPG). Randall and Wyatt have united to hit 81.4 percent from the charity stripe, making the duo two of the conference’s top 15 foul shooters.
Back the Jayhawks as home ‘chalk’
The NCAA Basketball odds at Bookmaker opened Kansas as a 14 ½-point home favorite, with the number dropping a ‘hook’ to 14 after early wagers on Temple. The ‘total’ was first posted at 142, remaining unchanged with initially mixed betting.
I am laying the big digits here with Kansas as part of my day’s NCAA Basketball picks, looking for the Jayhawks to have their chances of running up the points here. Kansas has not eased up after blowout wins, going 4-0 ATS in its last four spots that followed victories of more than 20 points.
The Jayhawks have notched 81.1 PPG at home, shooting 50.4 percent from the floor, while holding visitors to a stingy 56.7 PPG. Temple has had its impressive moments in road spots, but faces a big step up in class with Kansas notching a 7-0 spread record in its last seven battles against Atlantic 10 foes.
Look for the Jayhawks to get the money here, piling up one last statement win before entering conference play next week.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas Jayhawks -14.5 at Bookamker