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Miami vs. Kansas Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Preview for Sunday, Mar. 27

Miami vs. Kansas Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Preview for Sunday, Mar. 27 article feature image
Credit:

Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kameron McGusty (23) of the Miami Hurricanes.

  • The No. 10 seed Miami Hurricanes and No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks meet on Sunday, March 27 at 2:20 p.m. ET for a matchup that determines which of the two teams will earn a trip to the 2022 Final Four.
  • The Kansas Jayhawks are the sole remaining No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament and opened as 6.5-point favorites against Miami. That point spread has since been bet down to a consensus line of Kansas -5.5 across the betting market.
  • The over/under for Miami vs. Kansas moved dramatically from an opener of 151 down to 145.5 as of Sunday morning. Below, find updated odds for today's matchup, plus our picks and predictions for Miami vs. Kansas.

Miami vs. Kansas Odds

Sunday, Mar. 27
2:20 p.m. ET
CBS
Miami Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-105
145.5
-105o / -115u
+220
Kansas Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-115
145.5
-105o / -115u
-275
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Kansas Jayhawks represent the final No. 1 seed remaining in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Head coach Bill Self’s squad has automatically become the favorite to win the national title at many sportsbooks.

But, we can’t just assume that Kansas will roll to the title. First, it has to get past head coach Jim Larrañaga and the red-hot Miami Hurricanes.

Admittedly, Miami hasn’t had the most difficult road to the Elite 8. After a close game against USC, Miami rolled past Auburn and then crushed a pitiful Iowa State team.

So, does that mean that Kansas is more battle-tested? Or, is Miami more talented than its 10-seed suggests?

At the time of writing, Miami is catching six or more points across the betting market with the total sticking at 147.5.


Miami Hurricanes

Kam McGusty sure is something.

He’s a true three-level scorer who shoots 70% at the rim, 43% from the mid-range, and 35% from 3. McGusty is also rock-solid with the basketball, draws plenty of fouls and converts 81% of his free throw attempts.

Kameron McGusty is TAKING OVER. #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/qr4mGhwUGs

— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 26, 2022

But it’s not just McGusty; the entire Miami Hurricanes team takes care of the ball. The ‘Canes rank sixth in offensive turnover rate and seventh in non-steal turnover rate — always getting a shot up.

That shot usually goes in, too. The Canes are top-30 nationally in effective field goal percentage (53.8%) and rank top-25 in 2-point shooting (55%). The latter is especially important, because almost all of Miami’s shots come from inside the arc.

However, the Hurricanes defense is an issue:

  1. Miami does not excel at contesting shots, enabling opponents to average 52.5% in effective field goal percentage (283rd in Division-I).
  2. The Hurricanes also allow the majority of opponent shot attempts either at the rim or from the 3-point line, producing a defensive rim-and-3 rate of 83% (ranks 290th in Division-I).
  3. Miami also rebounds poorly on both ends of the court, ranking 319th in offensive rebounding rate and 271st in defensive rebounding rate.

So, the Canes score a lot of points … and allow a lot of points.

Image credit: CBB Analytics

Nevertheless, Miami’s defense isn’t without its strengths, too. For instance, it creates a lot of turnovers — ranking 10th nationally in defensive steal rate.

The Hurricanes’ ability to avoid turnovers offensively and create turnovers defensively enabled it to lead the ACC in turnover margin (+4.66). For perspective, NC State ranked second in the conference at a measly +2.66.

Miami defends aggressively and leverages steals in order to get out in transition — something the Canes do at a top-80 frequency nationally.

Transition is of the utmost importance because Miami is the most efficient transition team in the nation, scoring 1.22 PPP out in the open court. Kansas doesn’t allow many shots in transition, but it is also only middling in efficiency when defending against it.

Miami’s other offensive option is to shoot from the mid-range, which Kansas is very good at defending. So, Larrañaga and co. better find ways to run the floor.


Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas truly is an elite basketball team — but not for the reasons you may expect.

People look at Kansas and see an offensive juggernaut: A team that ranks sixth in offensive efficiency with Ochai Agbaji on the perimeter and David McCormack on the interior.

Interestingly, however, Kansas doesn’t run many offensive sets well. The Jayhawks are sub-200 in pick-and-roll efficiency, off-screen efficiency, cutting efficiency, and isolation efficiency.

But Kansas has shot-makers, and those shot makers take smart shots. Per ShotQuality, the Jayhawks are 26th nationally in shot selection and fifth in offensive SQ PPP (1.27).

Kansas is efficient posting up, efficient shooting from 3, and Agbaji, Christian Braun, Jalen Wilson, and Remy Martin are killers offensively. The ‘Hawks attack the rim, and there’s hardly an area of the floor these guys can’t find points:


Image credit: CBB Analytics


Kansas also crashes the offensive glass behind McCormack, who is one of few players who can keep up with Oscar Tshiebwe on the offensive glass. Plus, the Jayhawks finished third in the Big 12 in transition efficiency.

The defense is also excellent … but not really against ball-screen sets. Instead, the squad plays analytically smart, running everyone off the 3-point line. The ‘Hawks allow the 56th-lowest 3-point rate to opponents while pacing the Big 12 in defending catch-and-shoot and off-the-dribble 3s.

The Jayhawks are talented, but they play smart, which I find more important.

I’m excited to see if Remy Martin can keep up this torrid pace. Injuries held him back this season, but he has now scored in double-digits in five straight games. During the Jayhawks’ NCAA Tournament run, Martin has scored a combined 58 points and earned KenPom MVP honors in all three games.

Of all the shot-makers on this roster, he might be the deadliest.

13 PTS off the bench. Leads all scorers 🔥

Remy Martin is a bucket #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/rJULQtSr9e

— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 26, 2022


Miami vs. Kansas Betting Pick

Kansas can run Miami off the 3-point line, but Miami doesn’t shoot from 3.

Instead, Kansas will force Miami into the mid-range, where it will have defensive success. But the Jayhawks might be vulnerable on the interior otherwise.

Miami ranked first in the ACC in frequency of shots at the rim and second in efficiency on those shots. In the Big 12, Kansas allowed over 40% of opposing shots via finishes at the rim and finished eighth in defending those shots.

Moreover, Kansas isn’t immune to offensive turnovers. The Jayhawks were sub-110 nationally in offensive turnover rate this season, so Miami can find transition opportunities there.

I think this line is slightly undervaluing Miami. The Hurricanes have the personnel and style of play to keep up with Kansas in a tournament setting.

Miami went 8-2 ATS as an underdog this season. I’ll take it to cover one more time. There’s a stray +6.5 out on the market, but I’ll buy Miami at +6 or better.

Pick: Miami +6.5 (Play to +6)

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