UC Davis Aggies vs Kansas Jayhawks - Midwest Region, 1st Round 

Jay Pryce

Thursday, March 16, 2017 3:59 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 16, 2017 3:59 PM UTC

No. 1 Kansas will not be the first top seed to fall to a No. 16 in the Round of 64. Kudos to UC-Davis for reaching March Madness for the first time in program history, but the trip will be short-lived. The Jayhawks are expected to win by 20 points or more. The total, though, may offer some value for bettors.

  UC Davis Aggies vs Kansas Jayhawks 

Midwest Region, 1st Round 
6:50 pm E.T

UC-Davis extended its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament following a 67-63 victory over North Carolina Central in the play-in game Wednesday night. The Aggies’ March Madness debut will likely come to a screeching halt on Friday night when they square off against the Midwest’s No. 1 Kansas. A betting line is not listed as of publication, but look for the Jayhawks to tip off around 21 or 22-point favorites for the mismatch. Its doubtful a 16-seed will get its first ever upset over a No. 1 in this matchup.

UC-Davis (23-12 SU, 18-12-1 ATS) is coached by Jim Les, formerly of Bradley. Defense is his ace, ranking 112 in adjusted efficiency on KenPom. The team has won and covered the spread in seven of its last eight games, but faces the insurmountable in this spot. In Miles’ six-year tenure, the Aggies have gone off underdogs by 6.5 points or more only six times, going 0-6 SU and 2-4 ATS overall. The Big West Conference, in fact, is just 1-27 SU and 12-15-1 ATS against Big 12 foes in the last 28 meetings, spotted 13.6 points per game on average in the betting market. The one victory occured under a 3-point spread.

Kansas (28-4 SU, 12-18 ATS), despite an unexpected quarterfinal exit in the Big 12 championship, is the fourth favorite at +845 odds to secure the national title on top-rated online sportsbook 5Dimes. Head coach Bill Self dealt with a slew of off-court issues this season, but the team has held steady on the hardwood. The Jayhawks field the ninth most efficient offense in the land, averaging 82.7 points per game. Self’s squad has outstanding guard play, led by Frank Mason III (20.8 ppg, 5.1 apg). It lacks depth on the interior, but can hold its own against any program when forced to go small for long stretches.

In the last decade, Kansas is 74-0 SU (40-34) when going off 18-point chalk or more. On a neutral floor, it is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in this span, besting the number by 6.1 points per game. Despite the Aggies owning an effective defense, it has not squared off against talent like this all season. Look for the Jayhawks to put up 90 points, and allow the Aggies to go a tad over their team total with the bench getting minutes late. Kansas wins by 20-plus, but the spread is a little too close for comfort. The total will likely open in the mid-to-high 140s, which is not enough considering both teams sport above-average tempo ratings. OVER is your best bet in this one.  

Free NCAAB Pick: Over 145Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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