Thursday, February 29, 2024

March Madness: Kentucky vs. Kansas State odds, picks and predictions

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The 6th-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (22-11) face the 3-seed Kansas State Wildcats (24-9) in a second-round NCAA Tournament game in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday at 2:40 p.m. ET (CBS). Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Kentucky vs.  Kansas State odds, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and best bets.

Kansas State, ranked 13th nationally, defeated Montana State 77-65 on Friday and will now look to take down Kentucky and reigning Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe, who only had 8 points in Kentucky’s 61-53 win over Providence in the 1st round, but grabbed 25 rebounds.

The winner of this game gets a Sweet 16 matchup with the Michigan State/Marquette winner.

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Kentucky vs. Kansas State odds

Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated  at 7:56 a.m. ET.

  • Moneyline (ML): Kentucky -150 (bet $150 to win $100) | Kansas State +130 (bet $100 to win $130)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Kentucky -2.5 (-115) | Kansas State +2.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 144.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)

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Kentucky vs. Kansas State picks and predictions

Prediction

Kentucky 72, Kansas State 66

Moneyline

PASS.

Despite being the lower seed, Kentucky is favored in this game. And it should be. But there’s better value on the spread and Over/Under

Against the spread

KENTUCKY -2.5 (-115).

Kansas State had a good season in the Big-12, but we have seen in this tournament the Big-12, despite being the best conference, might be a bit overrated. First-round losses by 1-seed Kansas and 6-seed Iowa State have left the conference reeling.

Kentucky finished the regular season strong and had a much harder challenge in the 1st round with Providence and it will build on that to cover the 2.5-point spread here.

Kentucky is 5-0 in its last 5 games against a team with a win percentage above .600 and are 6-2 in its last 8 games overall. Kentucky is the right side to reach another Sweet 16 just a season after being bounced as the No. 2 seed by the St. Peter’s Peacocks.

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Over/Under

UNDER 144.5 (-112)

Kentucky held Providence 24 points below its season average behind the dominating defense of Tshiebwe. He will again be prowling the center for Kentucky and will limit Kansas State’s ability to score down low.

Kentucky ranks 13th in defensive rebounding with 36.1 while the Kansas State offense is 129th in getting the boards with 30.2. This will limit the amount of 2nd-chance points for K-State and will provide Kentucky with plenty of fast-break opportunities should it want to play this game fast.

John Calipari has not wanted to play fast all season and it will not start here. This will be a slow game and Kentucky will control the clock and the scoreboard. Simply, 144.5 is too high and if this number is above 141, the Under is the side.

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