Sunday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Preview: Jump on Kansas State to Cruise Past Nebraska
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Ismael Massoud
- Kansas State travels to Pinnacle Bank Arena to take on Nebraska in a battle between the Big 12 and Big Ten.
- The Cornhuskers are looking to snap a four-game losing streak.
- Keg breaks down the matchup below and offers up his top pick.
Kansas State vs. Nebraska Odds
|Kansas State Odds|
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
For the first time since 2011, the Kansas State Wildcats will square off against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The Wildcats will look to get another win streak going after beating Green Bay 82-64 in their last game.
Nebraska, meanwhile, is trying to snap a four-game losing streak — one of those games included a four-overtime loss on the road to NC State.
Sunday’s contest will be the first in a three-game series inked between the schools. The teams were supposed to open the series at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City in December 2020, but the contest was postponed due to COVID-19.
The schools will play in Kansas City on Dec. 17, 2022, followed by a matchup in Manhattan on Dec. 17, 2023.
The 219 meetings between the two marks the fourth-longest series in Kansas State school history, following those with Kansas, Missouri and Iowa State. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 126-93.
Will they be able to pull off the upset on the road? Or will Nebraska be able to defend its home court in its first meeting in nearly a decade?
On the season, the Kansas State defense has been impressive. However, they have been below the Big 12 standard, ranking second-to-last in adjusted defensive efficiency in the conference.
Against Green Bay, the Wildcats connected on 54.9% of their shots while also making a season-high 11 treys. They also had one of their best free-throw shooting displays of the season, hitting at 88.2% from the line.
The defense is the best part of the unit, though. The Wildcats rank among the top-35 in four defensive categories: scoring defense (23rd), field goal percentage defense (21st), 3-point percentage defense (2nd) and defensive rebounds per game (22nd).
Three transfers — Markquis Nowell, Mark Smith and Ish Massoud — have been a huge factor for the Wildcats. Smith and Massoud have started all nine games for the Cats, while Nowell has been a crucial piece off the bench, specifically since Nijel Pack has been out due to injury.
On average, Kansas State is scoring 71 points per game. While the defense has been the key for this Wildcats team, the offense hasn’t been bad, posting a 51.3 effective field goal percentage.
Nebraska needs a win in a bad way after losing its last four games.
But that may be easier said than done against a strong Kansas State team.
The Huskers have six players who are averaging at least seven points per game. The offense hasn’t been the biggest issue, though.
The Cornhuskers are 308th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents to average 77.5 points per game. They’ve also struggled around the basket, ranking 306th in opponents offensive rebound percentage. Opponents have consistently grabbed 33% of possible offensive rebounds.
While they have been good at limiting turnovers and scoring around the basket, the Cornhuskers have been one of the worst in the country from beyond the arc. They make just 25.9% of their shots from 3-point range, a number that puts them 348th in college basketball.
They aren’t much better at defending the 3, as opponents have averaged 35.4% against the Huskers. This is another issue that will likely be very present against Kansas State, which shoots 34.5% from deep.
Kansas State vs. Nebraska Betting Pick
Kansas State outmatches Nebraska in nearly every possible area. The Wildcats are the better team offensively and defensively, and I don’t see anyway that they don’t win this game.
Kansas State has a massive advantage on defense, and even in its worst area — defending the 2-point shot — it has limited opponents to just 48.9%. The Wildcats aren’t a very experienced team, but again, they are ahead of Nebraska.
I’m sure it will be a challenging environment for the Wildcats, who have only played one away game so far this year. But in that game, they were able to quiet the Wichita State crowd and left with a six-point win.
I expect a similar result against Nebraska this week, which is why I’m backing the Wildcats at -1.5. I would take them as high as -4.