|1.5 KU (-110) @ sportsinteraction|
10* Big Ticket: Take Kansas (#822)
Sometimes the stats don’t quite measure up with the eye test. From a statistical standpoint, this pointspread is exactly where it’s supposed to be. But these are two teams I’ve watched a lot of the course of the last few months. USC’s ‘A’ game is tremendous, but that ‘A’ game comes and goes; not a consistent basketball team.
The Trojans have also had a fair bit of trouble closing out tight games; not a particularly smart or mature team during pressure possessions on either end of the court. I’ve got Andy Enfield’s squad as just 1-5 ATS in the last six tries for games where the pointspread was between +6 and -6; expected to be fairly tight – just like this one. USC also was not a team that brought their ‘A’ game away from home at any point down the stretch of the campaign. A comfortable first round win over a flawed Drake team doesn’t change that, but it does give them an emerging betting bandwagon.
Kansas played their best basketball of the season down the stretch after a rough January in the loaded Big 12; at one point going 2-5 SU in a seven game span. But Bill Self’s squad came on like a freight train in late February and into March; looking very much like an under-the-radar national title contender. They beat Baylor and Texas Tech and Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, but a COVID scare derailed their Big 12 Tourney Title plans, and threw a scare into the betting markets as well – the wiseguy money poured in against Kansas in their first round game.
Most COVID pause teams have struggled mightily upon their return. Look no further than Virginia, who lost outright to Ohio on Saturday. And the Jayhawks struggled mightily in their first round game against Eastern Washington, trailing by double digit margins in both halves. But Kansas showed their talent, depth and maturity down the stretch, rallying to win the game. And unlike USC, the Jayhawks make GOOD decisions on both ends of the floor in competitive contests; 4-0 ATS in the only four games they’ve played over the last six weeks with the pointspread between +6 and -6; the exact opposite of USC in that regard.
The Big 12 was much better than the PAC-12 this year; meaningful in a pick ‘em priced game. Kansas has no betting bandwagon right now – they didn’t look great and didn’t cover the pointspread in their opener; a undervalued commodity. In a tourney where most Blue Blood schools either didn’t make it or went down in flames early, this is one college basketball powerhouse primed for a run to the Sweet 16. Expect Rock Chalk Jayhawk to win this game. Big Ticket: Take Kansas
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