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The battle of Kansas will occur on Monday evening when the eighth-ranked Jayhawks travel to Manhattan to face the Wildcats. Kansas enters with an 18-4 record, while Kansas State is 14-8.
The Jayhawks were having a tremendous season before a four-game losing streak, which began on January 24. The team has struggled to score points, which has led to the losses.
Even though there have been hurdles for Kansas State, they’re in a great position to get back on track at home. The team shouldn’t need any motivation with their rival coming to town, and the Jayhawks will have their hands full for 40 minutes.
Here, we will break down the entire matchup and give our best bets for Kansas vs. Kansas State.
Kansas is favored by 4.5 points on the road. Bookmakers expect the Jayhawks to find a way to win this game. However, they must handle the challenging road atmosphere.
Manhattan is a difficult place to play, and their team is desperate to get back on track. The Wildcats have nothing to lose, which should be reflected in their play style and intensity throughout the game.
|Over 143.5 (-110)
|Kansas State Wildcats
|Under 143.5 (-110)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Head over to FanDuel to place your bets and qualify for $200 in bonus bets!
The Big 12 is one of the most formidable basketball conferences in the country. It’s respected amongst the media because Kansas has three conference losses, and they’re still the eighth-ranked team in the land.
Kansas has been so successful this season because their senior guard, Kevin McCullar Jr., does everything for his team and has been very efficient from the field.
The 6’7” guard is scoring 19.7 points per game, which is 38th in the country. He also is grabbing 6.4 rebounds and contributing 4.6 assists per game. These are dominant numbers, but his shooting percentage has been the real indicator of his success.
McCullar Jr. is still shooting 48% from the field despite being asked to do everything for Kansas. He has improved every season and doubled his scoring total from his junior year. Look for him to stay dominant with the pressure on throughout the Kansas State game.
The Wildcats will counter McCullar with Cam Carter. Carter has been relatively efficient this season, but he hasn’t knocked down shots consistently in high-leverage situations.
Carter sets the tone for the entire Wildcats offense, and if he is missing shots, there aren’t many players who can help carry the load. Kansas State is 75th in the KenPom rankings but 156th in offensive efficiency.
The defense has carried the team. A strong presence in the backcourt can win games, but if they hit a scoring team, it will be hard to win. This flaw has been on full display over the past four games.
Kansas is 13th in the KenPom rankings, and they’re as well-rounded of a team as you’ll find in college basketball. The Jayhawks are 17th in adjusted offensive and 19th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
On paper, this shouldn’t be much of a competition, but what will make it interesting is the tough Kansas State crowd. The Wildcats were one win away from the Final Four last season, and they have a talented team, but they can’t hit Kansas on a strong night from the field.
A strong defensive effort and a hostile home crowd should keep the Wildcats in this game. However, we don’t trust them to finish down the stretch.
A team must have a great offense in big games because it’s the primary counter to stopping an opponent from making a run. College basketball is a game of momentum swings, and we don’t trust Kansas State to halt the Jayhawks when they get hot.
Over the past four games, Kansas State’s inability to score has been on full display. The spread of 4.5 points is significant to cover on the road, but we believe the Jayhawks will be one of the final teams remaining in March. Lay the points with the Jayhawks.
Kansas vs. Kansas State Pick: Kansas -4.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
When: Monday, Feb. 5 @ 9:00 PM ET
Where: Bramlage Coliseum
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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