North Dakota State vs. Kansas Odds, Picks: NCAAB Betting Guide for Thursday
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Wilson (Kansas)
North Dakota State vs. Kansas Odds
The defending champion Kansas Jayhawks host the North Dakota State Bison on Thursday evening.
The Jayhawks trounced Omaha in their season opener by 25 while Arkansas clobbered NDSU.
The Bison almost have an entirely new look in 2022-23, as they are dominated by underclassmen and lost much of their scoring production from last season.
Tajavis Miller was a nice addition as a three-star guard. Otherwise, Grant Nelson, Boden Skunberg and Andrew Morgan will mainly lead the way as upperclassmen.
This team had a relatively balanced approach last season, ranking in the top 175 of KenPom’s Adjusted Efficiency on both offense and defense.
This season, however, the Bison likely will still need to manufacture points from the free-throw line and crash the glass defensively to stay in games.
Meanwhile the Jayhawks landed a top-five recruiting class led by Gradey Dick, who happened to be the team’s leading scorer in the opener.
They also added some talent via the transfer portal in Kevin McCullar Jr. from Texas Tech.
This team should be a fixture in the top-20 this season (as usual), even after losing Christian Braun, Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack after its banner season.
Either way, North Dakota State cannot score outside of the free-throw line.
The Bison also can negate the Jayhawks’ rebounding edge by pulling down boards consistently on the defensive end. In doing so, this should limit each team to only one shot attempt down the floor.
Having already hit an under against one of the quickest teams in college hoops (Arkansas), look for NDSU to control the tempo yet again.
The Bison will struggle on offense, as harped upon above.
Last season, they ranked 74th in 3-point percentage and 77th in free-throw point distribution, per KenPom. This year, much of that scoring will seem concentrated in Nelson, Skunberg and Morgan. No one else scored above seven points in their game against Arkansas.
That said, the Bison made it to the line 23 times. This was one area Kansas struggled a bit with last season, so this would maybe be a hindrance to the under.
Still, Kansas held opponents to less than 30% from deep last season.
Lastly, NDSU ranked 327th in tempo in 2020-2021, 221st in 2021-2022 and 253rd in 2022-2023 (so far). Head coach Dave Richman likes to move at a slow pace, especially against high-profile opponents. He will use the same formula he ran with against Arkansas.
NDSU will need to find a way to stop Kansas inside. The Jayhawks shot 53.6% on 2-pointers last year while the Bison held Arkansas to 51.1% the other night.
Since NDSU will try to clog up the lane with Nelson and Morgan who are 6-foot-11 and 6-foot-10, respectively, this could open up shots on the perimeter (like this below for both Dick and Jalen Wilson).
That is one concern for the under.
— Kansas Men’s Basketball (@KUHoops) November 8, 2022
Four-star recruit Ernest Udeh Jr. might get some more minutes in this one, as the Bison’s strengths lie with their forwards.
Wilson picked up 11 of 43 boards for the Jayhawks in their first outing, so if he ends up in foul trouble with a group who attacks the rim and gets to the foul line, it could be a concern for Kansas’ rebounding depth.
This furthers the point that NDSU’s consistent defensive rebounding could get a boost to limit Kansas.
North Dakota State vs. Kansas Betting Pick
If NDSU can figure out how to draw fouls, it should put some inexperienced rebounding and scoring options on the bench for Kansas early.
If that happens, look for the Bison to potentially win the rebounding battle, at least on the defensive glass. They need to limit Kansas’ outside shooting, but given how they cannot really score themselves — even though they like to slow the game down — this under should be in good shape.
Bear in mind, Bill Self not calling plays due to a suspension could impact the offense a little bit.
Take it from 142.5 (-110) to 140.5 (-110)