Kansas Jayhawks (16-3) vs Kentucky Wildcats (15-3)Date : 01/26/2019
Time : 6:00 PM
Location : Rupp Arena
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Kansas Jayhawks vs Kentucky Wildcats
The Kentucky Wildcats are set to return to Rupp Arena for their 2nd consecutive home game where they will play host to the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12-SEC challenge, the opening tipoff is slated for 6:00 PM and the game could be found on ESPN. Kentucky has played as well as any team in the country over the past few games as they have won 5 straight games and rank 8th in the AP Poll while Kansas is the 9th ranked team in the AP Poll but have not looked as good as we thought they would this season.
Kansas Jayhawks's Latest Performance :
The Kansas Jayhawks have won the Big 12 regular season championship every year since 2005 and while although they are one of the best teams in the conference yet again it is unlikely for a Bill Self team to have 2 losses in Big 12 play through only 7 games. Kansas was able to survive a scare at home in their most recent game against the Iowa State Cyclones as they won 80-76, the Cyclones are 1 of 2 Big 12 teams to beat the Jayhawks this year. Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson has developed into one of the top players in the nation and we once again saw him take over the game as the junior contributed a double-double against Iowa State with 29 points and 15 rebounds, Lawson is leading the team in PPG with 19.5 as well as in RPG with 10.9. Sophomore guard Myles Garrett has been scoring more frequently for the Jayhawks and we saw that on display in their latest game as he contributed 16 points which is well above his season average of 7.7 PPG. Freshmen PG Devin Dotson has been hit or miss for Bill Self and company this season, and while he struggled shooting the ball against the Cyclones (3/12 for 11 points) he was able to make his impact felt elsewhere as he contributed 8 assists. Kansas stripped the redshirt off Ochai Agbaji 5 games ago and we have seen why he still needs time to develop as he fouled out of the game in only 16 minutes, Agbaji was effective when on the floor though as he had 8 points and 5 rebounds.
Kentucky Wildcats's Latest Performance :
The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in the country once again which has meant growing pains for John Calipari and company but this team has finally started to play like one of the top teams in the nation as they are 5-1 in SEC play. Kentucky comes into this game riding a 5 game win streak with back-to-back wins over top 25 opponents and their most recent one was impressive as they beat a good Mississippi State team 76-55. Kentucky has received scoring throughout their lineup this year as they enter this game with 4 players averaging 12+ PPG, but they had 2 guys take over the game against Mississippi State as P.J. Washington and Tyler Herro had big outings. Sophomore forward P.J. Washington was able to record 21 points and 6 rebounds in their latest game which is well above his season average of 12.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG, but the most impressive part was the fact that he went 3 for 5 from 3. Freshmen guard Tyler Herro has developed into the top shooter for the Wildcats as he can heat up from downtown and we saw that on display against the Bulldogs as he went 3 for 3 from behind the arc which contributed to an 18-point outing, Herro enters this game averaging 13.7 PPG which is good for 2nd best on the team. Every year we see Calipari develop a PG into a top player and he once again has satisfied that role as Ashton Hagans has become a playmaker, Hagans only contributed 5 points against Mississippi State but his impact was felt elsewhere as he compiled 9 assists and 2 steals.
How Kansas Jayhawks & Kentucky Wildcats Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Kansas is 8-11 ATS, 1-3 ATS on the road.
Kentucky is 9-9 ATS, 5-6 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Kentucky ranks 46th in the country in team scoring as they score an average of 80 PPG while Kansas ranks 72nd as they score an average of 78.1 PPG.
Kentucky ranks 83rd in the country in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 67.5 PPG while Kansas ranks 145th as they hold opponents to an average of 70.2 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Kentucky Wildcats
My reason for the pick :
This should be one of the best games of the college basketball season as we have two storied programs going up against each other but I will side with the Wildcats in this one as they have been impressive over the recent 2 weeks. Kentucky’s top freshmen have finally started to buy into the program which is why they are playing much better as the once top recruit is now accepting their role in the deep Wildcats lineup. Look for Kentucky to use their size to try and get Lawson in foul trouble as they are thin in their frontcourt after Azubuike went out with a season-ending injury. The home crowd will be pumped up for this one and the young Wildcats will feed off their energy, and to make things worse for the Jayhawks they have really struggled on the road as they have only covered the spread 1 time in their 4 road games.
Betting trends for Kansas Jayhawks:
- Kansas is 2-4 ATS with 4+ days off this season.
Betting trends for Kentucky Wildcats:
- Kentucky is 8-6 ATS after a win this season.