College Basketball Odds -- Kansas doesn't seem safe away from home

  • In Charles Jay
  • Thu, Mar 21st, 2024 2:04:29 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

Salt Lake City is the venue as the Samford Bulldogs lay down a challenge to the Kansas Jayhawks in March Madness action.

We're not all that sure how good the Samford Bulldogs are, BetOnline patrons won't find out until they take the floor on Thursday night against the Kansas Jayhawks.

We can tell you that Kansas is the #4 seed in the Midwest Regional, has played in perhaps the toughest conference in the nation, and has underachieved when they have been away from the Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.

They certainly won't be in Kansas anymore on Thursday night, as the game (9:55 PM ET scheduled start time, subject to change) will be played at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.

The big news on the injury front for Kansas involves their two most impactful players. One of them is center Hunter Dickinson, the Michigan transfer who can be a dominant young man in the paint at times. He has been nursing a shoulder injury, which was suffered in a loss to Houston. Coach Bill Self has been very open about the fact that Dickinson has been just fine, and will play. He averages 18 points and 10.8 rebounds.

The other All-Big 12 performer in the KU lineup presents a different story, however. Kevin McCullar Jr., a 6-7 Texas Tech transfer, is out with a bone bruise to his knee, and according to Self, he isn't going to play at all in the tournament. Not only can McCullar score (39 points in his last two full games before the injury), but he is absolutely invaluable on the defensive end.

In the college basketball odds on this NCAA Tournament game, as they have been posted at BetOnline, the Jayhawks are favored:

Kansas Jayhawks -7.5
Samford Bulldogs +7.5

Over 152.5 points -110
Under 152.5 points -110

Remember that once the game begins, you've still got a lot to do, as you can partake in Live Betting, which you can find on the left-hand side of the sportsbook interface!

One of the things that has presented real difficulty for Kansas is traveling. On the road, they have lost games to UCF, West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Baylor and Houston. Maybe there's some saving grace in the fact that they have won neutral site games against the likes of Tennessee and Kentucky.

They are rank tenth in the country in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, as per the analytics folk at KenPom. They generally drive opponents out beyond the arc, with the looking presence of Dickinson. But they had better be able to get out to the perimeter, because in this instance, Samford isn't uncomfortable at all being there.

The Bulldogs, champions of the Southern Conference (where they got 37 free throw attempts against East Tennessee State in the title game), love to turn up the volume on tempo and force turnovers. They also take 41% of their shots from three-point territory, and they are hitting 39.3%. The best player is Achor Achor, a 6-9 forward who has shot 59% from the field. In the SoCal tournament, he had 86 points, 31 rebounds and nine blocked shots.

Aside from him, this is an extremely short team (5-8, 6-0 and two guys who are 6-5). That is a potential problem if they easily yield the inside; they lost their season opener by a 98-45 score to Purdue, which also has a dominating center (Zach Edey). They were at minus-21 on the boards.

But the loss of McCullar brings Kansas down a notch or two. Samford may hit enough long-range shots to keep this one entertaining.

Join BetOnline by using your credit card or any of sixteen different cryptocurrency options..... And get in on all the extras they have for you..... Explore the angles with Prop Builder; wager with live betting once the game tips off. And get the best payouts on pre-selected parlays with Odds Boosters!

Sign-up for the OSGA Newsletter!

Every week get news and updates, exclusive offers and betting tips delivered right to you email inbox.