Kansas vs. Kansas State Odds, Picks & Prediction: Big 12 Betting Guide
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Pictured: KJ Adams Jr. (Kansas)
Kansas vs Kansas State Odds
Kansas State may have finally fallen back down to earth after taking its first Big 12 loss to TCU in a game that was never in doubt.
Meanwhile, Kansas, once again, was able to win a one-possession contest on Saturday against an impressive Iowa State team.
The Wildcats will now look to spoil the Jayhawks’ winning streak and start one of their own on Tuesday night in Manhattan.
Kansas’ title defense is off to a wonderful start thus far. The offensive production Jalen Wilson was able to create early this season was a primary reason the Jayhawks have not seen much of a downgrade.
However, his offensive success has not come as easily since conference play began.
The same can be said for Gradey Dick, who has cooled off mightily against Big 12 defenses that have chosen to focus on him.
At times, particularly against Oklahoma, defenses have even tasked one player to face guard Dick.
So, how has Kansas continued to tally wins?
The spacing that is a result of the attention paid to Wilson and Dick has allowed for the emergence of sophomore KJ Adams Jr.
Adams was named Big 12 Player of the Week for the first time in his career Monday afternoon. KJ earned that distinction after scoring 22 points vs. Oklahoma followed by a 15-point performance against Iowa State that included making the game-winning shot.
Bill Self has repeatedly mentioned that he had hoped one of his larger post players would seize the opportunity to earn the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
Instead, a smaller 6-foot-7 Adams has emerged as too valuable to leave on the bench.
Kansas State has played a much different style of basketball in Jerome Tang’s first year.
The Wildcats like to play with tempo and look for easier buckets in transition, often relying upon their athletes to make plays in the open court. If you watch them and think the style looks familiar, it’s likely because their brand is very similar to Scott Drew’s style at Baylor — at least in my opinion.
Tang, of course, spent his recent years on Drew’s staff.
To think Keyontae Johnson would simply be back on a basketball court in 2023 would have seemed highly doubtful just 12 months ago.
After collapsing in a game in December 2020, many people feared for his health beyond the game of basketball.
Fast forward to January of 2022, and Johnson has simply been the best player for a brand new team.
Now averaging 18.5 points per game in a starting role for Tang’s Wildcats, Johnson is much more than a feel-good story; he might just be an All-American this season.
For Kansas State to get back to its winning ways against Dajuan Harris Jr. and Kansas, the Wildcats will need to rely on Markquis Nowell’s ball-handling. His ability to handle Harris’ pressure and maintain a level temperament will be key in settling the Wildcats into their offense throughout the game.
Nowell has been great this year, even when facing some tough defenders in Big 12 play.
Now forced to face Harris and Kansas, Nowell will need to avoid turnovers that feed into Kansas’ desire to score in transition.
Kansas vs. Kansas State Betting Pick
I believe the way Kansas State has played with tempo in conference play is indicative of its desired playing style.
All of the Wildcats’ Big 12 games — aside from their contest with an offensively-challenged Oklahoma State team that was without Moussa Cisse — have gone over the total.
Kansas is not a team that will be afraid to run with the Wildcats. After a number of intense close battles, I could see the Jayhawks having one of their laziest defensive efforts of the year in a hostile road environment.
I think the over is the right side of the total in what should be a close, up-and-down style game, with each team matching runs from the other.
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