Our College basketball picks finished the season strong at EveryEdge and today we preview the big game between No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and the top seeded favorites, Kentucky
The Wildcats were circled in as this year’s March Madness bracket champs more than any other team and through the first five rounds Kentucky was 3-2 ATS with a 10.6-point average margin of victory. Only one of their wins was by fewer than 6.5 points, which is where most online sportsbooks are offering the line as of Monday morning.
Kentucky was in full control during their Final Four game against Louisville, carrying a 35-28 win onto the second-half where they eventually won by eight points; good enough for the majority of Cardinals backers who were getting +8.5 or more points.
Kansas allows an average of just 61.6 points per game (PPG) and that has whittled the NCAA odds for the total down to 138 from an opening price of 140.5.
The Wildcats are only 16-22 ATS in their past 38 lined games and we’ve had to use creative basketball betting to capitalize on this team during the tournament. Saturday we tabbed the “Under” vs. Louisville and against Indiana; our posted play was on the Wildcats and Hoosiers “Over” 67.5 in the first-half.
Kentucky led that game 50-47 at the break and it was the most first-half points they’ve scored during the tournament but there has been two constants: Having the lead and scoring more than 35 points
Wildcat Scoring – First-half
Led 35-28 vs. Louisville
Led 42-22 vs. Baylor
Led 50-47 vs. Indiana
Led 38-27 vs. Iowa State
Led 45-26 vs. Western Kentucky
That’s an average lead of 12 points per game, outscoring opponents 42-30. Including the regular season, Kentucky has first-half averages of 37.7 to 28.5 and the early line for this game is Wildcats -3.5 (even) with a total of 63.5.
Each of these teams has top caliber defense and with Kansas’ scoring averages (35.6-29.0), we think the oddsmaker has done a good job on that first-half total. Team totals for the first-half are Wildcats (33) and Kansas (30.5) and with all its offensive talent, our top play is on the Wildcats staying true to form.
Pick: Take Kentucky Team Total “Over” 33 first-half points
March Madness Record: 6-2 ATS………………………….. Follow Everyedge on Twitter!