North Texas vs. Kansas Odds, Picks and Predictions: Why You Should Bet the Under in Thursday’s ESPN Events Invitational College Basketball Game
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: David McCormack
- North Texas (+14.5) and Kansas meet on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET in the opening round of the ESPN Events Invitational, part of college basketball's "Feast Week."
- The North Texas vs. Kansas over/under opened at 131 before swiftly being bet down as low as 129 across the betting market.
- Below, our college basketball betting analyst implores you to bet the under now before the game total falls too far.
North Texas vs. Kansas Odds
|North Texas Odds|
-114o / -106u
-114o / -106u
The North Texas Mean Green will take on the Kansas Jayhawks in the opening round of the ESPN Events Invitational on Thursday afternoon.
Kansas boasts a 3-0 record with an early victory against Michigan State, while North Texas dropped an early loss to the MAC favorite, Buffalo Bulls.
KU is a championship title contender. North Texas will finish in the top half of the Conference USA, but it lost three of its top four scorers from its 2020-2021 Round of 32 team.
Still, North Texas has a great defense and plays at an unbelievably slow pace, so the total should be in line for a possible under.
The Mean Green focus on lulling opponents to sleep. They play at the 353rd-slowest pace in the NCAA. They take over 20 seconds per possession on offense and have one of the worst effective field goal percentages in the country, per KenPom.
They held Buffalo, one of the fastest pace teams in college basketball to only 69 points. Expect more of the same with Kansas, except Kansas’ defense is much stronger, which would factor into an under here.
Next, North Texas likes to launch a great deal of 3-pointers. The only issue is the Mean Green lost Javion Hamlet and James Reese, two of their more prolific scorers.
Tylor Perry, a transfer from Junior College, will provide a spark behind the arc, but until proven otherwise, this team is not as strong as last season at outside shooting.
Lastly, this team’s strongest source of offense comes from the free throw line. They have the 22nd-highest free throw rate in the country.
They are only shooting 67.2% from the strike and Kansas does not foul much in the act of shooting, so unfortunately, the Mean Green will scramble to find a source of scoring.
Kansas, on the other hand, is a top-10 defensive and offensive team. This is Bill Self’s best squad in some time and they have a shot at the national title this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jayhawks do not necessarily spark turnovers from their opposition (18.4%), but they are stifling. David McCormack, Christian Braun and Mitch Lightfoot all average at least one block per game.
Given how North Texas is 339th in 2-point percentage against far lesser competition — combined with its slow pace — Kansas could hold it to less than 25 points in each half.
Regarding free throw attempts, Kansas is the exact opposite so far of North Texas. Sure, the Jayhawks’ offense is efficient in every category, but the majority of their points will come from field goals.
Kansas will be able to get the ball inside at will against the Mean Green. Abou Ousmane is the only match for McCormack. Ochai Agbaji can slash alongside Remy Martin and Braun. Based on the speed of the Jayhawks’ offense, they can manufacture points, but those points could mainly come from inside.
The cherry on top is Kansas forces offenses to utilize 17.6 seconds per possession on average. North Texas is already a slow team. Combine that with how poorly the Mean Green shoot the ball in general against weaker competition and this could be a low-scoring affair.
North Texas vs. Kansas Betting Pick
Both of these teams have strong defenses. North Texas plays at such a slow pace it could even score fewer than 20 points in the first half.
Kansas has the defensive tenacity to stop any scoring chance North Texas has.
Since Kansas will not make many trips to the free throw line and will score most of its points in the paint, this points to the under. Take it at 131 and play it to 129.
Pick: Under 131 (Play to 129)
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