Free College Basketball Picks: Towson at Kansas Odds
by George Monroy - 11/21/2013
The Kansas Jayhawks may have the most high-profile player in all of college basketball. Freshman phenomenon Andrew Wiggins is expected to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA Draft, but the team goes much deeper than just one player. The Jayhawks are averaging 87 points a game and have three players scoring in double-figures. Kansas is also 2-1 against the spread and, more impressively, is still undefeated with a huge win over Jabari Parker and the Duke Blue Devils last week. The team has taken a slow approach to the season and has played only one game in nearly 10 days—the Jayhawks won’t have their next real test of the year until they face the No. 16 Florida Gators in December.
The Colonial Athletic Association’s Towson Tigers started off the season with three solid victories—two of them by more than 20 points. But then they stumbled on the first of a two-game road trip when they lost to the Villanova Wildcats by an embarrassing 34 points. The team will now play their biggest game of the year when they face Kansas in a nationally-televised ESPN game. Let’s take a closer look at Friday’s Tigers versus Jayhawks matchup, which is scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET start, and figure out which side of the spread has the most value to wager on.
Towson at Kansas Betting Story Lines
Kansas covered two of their first three spreads this season and only faltered on opening night when they were an enormous 26-point favorite. The team has since beaten Duke by 11 points and the Iona Gaels by 20 points. Wiggins has averaged a very good 17 points per game, but he is not leading the Jayhawks in scoring—that distinction belongs to Perry Ellis, who is averaging 19 points a game. Freshman guard Wayne Selden Jr. has also been productive for Kansas and is averaging 10 points, three rebounds and 4.3 assists a game.
Jayhawks’ coach Bill Self recently said that the key to his squad’s success will be on the defensive end. Self knows that his talented group can score points with any team in the nation, but he believes they need to work on team defense and stopping the ball. Kansas held both of their unranked opponents to 63 and 67 points, yet he expects to improve on that number and allow even fewer points. The team is shooting .557 percent from the field but has struggled a bit from long range and is converting only 35 percent of their three-point attempts.
The Towson Tigers have not made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 1991. The team is coming off of a solid 18-13 record last season but was still not invited to participate in the postseason festivities. The Tigers are expected to play only one Top-25 opponent each year, but they played relatively well when they faced the No. 15-ranked Georgetown Hoyas last season, losing by six points. Towson is coming off a blowout loss to Villanova on Sunday and was held to 40.4 percent shooting from the field. The team committed 24 turnovers and made only two of their 17 three-point attempts. Towson’s leading scorer, Jarrelle Benimon, managed only 11 points on 3-8 shooting.
Towson at Kansas NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Jayhawks opened as 18-point favorites over the underdog Tigers. Both sides of the wager opened with a -110 vig at BetOnline, and the total was off the board. Kansas is 11-3 ATS during their previous 11 home games and has the exact same ATS record following a SU win. The team has struggled during their previous Friday games and carries a 1-6 record over their last seven games in those situations. Kansas does, however, have a 7-3 record over their last 10 games versus teams with a winning SU record.
The Tigers are 4-0 ATS following a SU loss of 20 points or more, and they are 12-2 ATS during their last 14 Friday games. The team has performed well when on the road and currently has a 10-3 ATS record over their last 14 road games. Towson has struggled against teams with a winning SU record and has a 1-4 ATS record over their last five matchups against those teams.
Free College Basketball Picks: Towson at Kansas Picks
Kansas is an 18-point favorite here, which is not too big of a number when compared to the 26 points were laying on opening night. This matchup is a nationally-televised game, and after all of Bill Self’s talk about tightening up on defense, this matchup feels like a blowout waiting to happen. Kansas is a high-profile team, and wagering on them at anything under 20 points against a small, unknown school feels like a steal. Take the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks to cover the spread.
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