Creighton vs. Kansas College Basketball Odds & Picks: Bank on Jayhawks’ Defense at Home
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Garrett.
- Tuesday's loaded college basketball slate gets started with No. 8 Creighton vs. No. 5 Kansas.
- Professional bettors wasted no time getting down on this game, moving college basketball odds across the market.
- Continue to see which Creighton vs. Kansas pick the sharps are making.
Creighton vs. Kansas Odds
|Creighton Odds||+3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Kansas Odds||-3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+145 / -175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||147.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 5 p.m. ET|
After running through a gauntlet of a schedule to begin the season, the Kansas Jayhawks return home to take on another top-10 team in the Creighton Bluejays.
Before COVID-19 cut last season short, Kansas was the clear-cut favorite to cut down the nets. It will also be one of the biggest what-ifs for Bill Self and the Jayhawk faithful.
Kansas started out this season with a blowout loss to Gonzaga and a close win over Kentucky in Champions Classic. Things really haven’t gone as planned for Self, as the Jayhawks also needed to survive a late scare against North Dakota State over the weekend.
Greg McDermott has a loaded team in Omaha once again after sharing the Big East regular-season title last season. The biggest issue the Jays face heading into the season is replacing their best player, Ty-Shon Alexander, who opted to turn pro. The Bluejays rolled through their first three opponents on the schedule, but this will be a massive step up in competition.
Creighton is going to miss Alexander a lot this season. He was the heart and soul of the Jays and was their most-used player.
Creighton finished the season as the third-ranked team in offensive efficiency last season, per KenPom. Additionally, it finished sixth in effective field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. However, over half of its shots came from Alexander.
Creighton does return point guard Marcus Zegarowski, and he will be a candidate for Big East Player of the Year. He was by far the Bluejays’ best shooter from downtown, having the second-highest percentage in the Big East at 45.6%. He also ranked third in the conference in assist rate, so the Jays are in good hands with Zegarowski running the point.
However, he will be facing the best defender in the country in Marcus Garrett, so Creighton may have to look elsewhere on Tuesday.
The biggest hurdle Creighton is going to face this season will be on defense. Alexander was its best overall defender, so the Bluejays are going to struggle to guard their opponents’ backcourts.
McDermott did bring in some talent via the transfer portal, so it will be interesting to see if Creighton will be able to improve from ranking 78th in defensive efficiency last season.
Self has a lot of work to do with this Jayhawk team. He loses his main three contributors — Devon Dotson, Udoka Azubuike, and Isaiah Moss — from last season, but other than that, he has everyone coming back.
Garrett will be the heart and soul of this Kansas squad. He is one of the best defenders in the nation and has the most experience of any Jayhawk currently on the roster.
Five-star recruit Bryce Thompson will be the key for Kansas’ offense this season. He will be taking over for Dotson at the point and will need to replicate somewhere near the same numbers if Kansas is going to be considered among the nation’s elite.
However, the strength of the Jayhawks is going to be on the defensive end of the floor. Last season, Kansas finished as the second-best team in nation in terms of defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
Although Azubuike and Dotson were a big part of that, Garrett is the main reason for Kansas’ success. Outside of giving up 102 points to Gonzaga, Kansas has been locking opposing teams down, allowing under 65 points per game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
If Kansas is going to win this game, it’s going to be on the defensive end of the floor. If it can hold Creighton under 70 points, it will win this game.
On the flip side, Creighton needs to turn this game into a high-scoring affair. It boasts a more efficient offense than Kansas and plays at a faster tempo, so playing in a slow grind-it-out fashion will not play into its hands.
I have Kansas projected as -4.91 favorites, so I think there’s value on the Jayhawks at -3.5. However, I wouldn’t play it any higher than that number.
Pick: Kansas -3.5.