Kansas vs. Saint Joseph’s Odds & Picks for College Basketball Friday: Hot Offenses Collide in Fort Myers
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self.
- Kansas and Saint Joseph's each outperformed offensive expectations in their season openers against Gonzaga and Auburn, respectively.
- Yet, despite both programs' talent, neither walked away with the win on Day 1 in Fort Myers, Florida.
- Below, find Mike Calabrese's full betting guide, complete with in-depth matchup analysis, updated odds, plus his picks for this afternoon's college basketball game.
Kansas vs. Saint Joseph’s Odds
|Kansas Odds||-18.5 [BET NOW]|
|Saint Joseph’s Odds||+18.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+1200/-2500 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||156.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
What’s wonderful about college basketball is that programs, both large and small, have the ability to influence a school’s overall identity by virtue of their prowess on the hardwood.
Kansas, a bonafide blue blood, has treated its fans and alumni to 10 trips to the Elite Eight since 2000, including five Final Four appearances and a national title in 2008. That consistent success has elevated the KU brand, making Lawrence, KS a destination for top recruits and everyday undergrads alike.
On a smaller scale, St. Joe’s has proven to be a basketball-crazed school whose fanbase lives and dies with their team. Under Phil Martelli, the program rose to unprecedented heights in the early aughts before sliding slowly back to the middle of the mid-major pack.
Despite the program’s recent struggles, the university has grown by leaps bounds in enrollment since that dream season in 2004. St. Joe’s Flutie-esque bump (250% increase in enrollment) on Hawk Hill is further proof that college hoops remain a big deal in the City of Brotherly love.
On the floor, both programs have questions to answer in 2020, but that’s where the similarities end. Kansas is trying to reload, while St. Joe’s is in the midst of a full rebuild. One game into their 2020 campaigns, and it’s already clear that both teams have more work to do to reach their full potential.
Can Kansas rebound from its 12-point loss to No. 1 Gonzaga and run the Hawks right off the floor? Or, can St. Joe’s ride Taylor Funk’s hot hand long enough to throw a scare into the Jayhawks?
Saint Joseph’s Hawks
The Hawks dealt with injuries and a handful of single-digit losses along the way last season, but a 6-26 overall record in 2019-20 was just about rock bottom no matter how you slice it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless for the Hawks.
St. Joe’s does return Ryan Daly (20.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game) and Taylor Funk, a classic stretch-four with shooting touch. Funk dropped 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the floor yesterday afternoon against Auburn. His shooting stroke opened up the floor for the Hawks’ wings to attack the basket repeatedly against the Tigers.
Dahmir Bishop, a Xavier transfer, was one of the beneficiaries of that extra space: Bishop finished with 14 points and seven assists. If his performance is a preview of what is to come for the Hawks, then a three-headed attack of Daly, Funk and Bishop could prove to be more than enough to jump-start a complete turnaround in West Philly.
I don’t want to completely write off what happened in Fort Myers yesterday, but Kansas ran into an offensive juggernaut — plain and simple. Gonzaga has skilled bigs, a clown car of high-upside guards and an offensive system that would earn the seal of approval from Paul Westhead.
On the positive side, Kansas found a way to stick with Gonzaga for most of the game on the offensive end. Marcus Garrett and Ochai Agbaji teamed up to pour in 39 points while repeatedly getting to the charity stripe. That is a very good sign for Bill Self’s team.
In fairness, I may be viewing the Jayhawks too favorably given the fact that they just lost by double digits. But, their track record under Self following a loss speaks for itself. Since Self took over in Lawrence, the Jayhawks are 53-31-5 (63.1%) against the spread following a defeat.
I also like the fact that St. Joe’s just took Auburn to overtime, because it allows the Jayhawks to take their opponent seriously in this spot.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Both teams significantly exceeded my expectations in terms of their offensive performances on Thursday. I think both teams will continue to push tempo and find success on the offensive end. Nonetheless, I expect Kansas to pull away in the second half.
I would play KU up to -20.5 and the over all the way up to 161.5.
Pick: Over 156.5 (up to 161.5) | Kansas-19 (play up to -20.5)