Kentucky vs. Kansas Odds: Point Spread, Total & Prediction

Frank Mason III

Kansas senior point guard Frank Mason III (Getty)

Once again the best game of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, No. 2 Kansas and No. 4 Kentucky face off Saturday night with the Wildcats serving as hosts this time around. Kansas won last year’s game at Allen Fieldhouse, and the sharps are expecting the home team to win the rematch.

Kentucky, which began betting as 5-point favorites to win, are a 7-point favorite on most sports books with a couple listing a line of 7.5 points according to OddsShark. The point total, which began at 171 points, has dropped to either 167 or 167.5 points depending upon the sports book. OddsShark projects a final score of 80-78 in favor of Kentucky. The big personnel move leading up to this game was Kansas head coach suspending forward Carlton Bragg Jr. indefinitely, which leaves the Jayhawks short a front court contributor.

The Jayhawks, a 16-point loser at West Virginia on Tuesday, are 18-2 on the season straight up but just 6-12 against the spread. In road games this season, Kansas is 2-4 ATS with their lone Big 12 road win ATS coming at Iowa State. 8-10 with the OVER on the season, the Jayhawks have dropped their last five games ATS.

Kentucky, which lost at Tennessee Tuesday night, is 17-3 straight up and 12-8 ATS. 4-4 in their last eight games ATS, Kentucky has lost four of its last five ATS. At home the Wildcats are 8-3 ATS. With regards to the point total, Kentucky is 13-7 with the OVER this season, which included a run of five wins and three losses (point total, not straight up) in their last eight games.

From a personnel standpoint the Kansas perimeter rotation is one of the nation’s best, with senior Frank Mason III and junior Devonté Graham providing toughness, experience and talent, and underclassmen such as freshman Josh Jackson and sophomore LeGerald Vick being key contributors as well.

As usual under head coach John Calipari, Kentucky’s lineup is dominated by highly regarded freshmen with four newcomers in the starting five. Guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk join with sophomore Isaiah Briscoe to form a very talented perimeter trio, with power forward Bam Adebayo being a physically imposing big man.

PREDICTION: Kansas +7 with the UNDER. Look for this to be a highly competitive game. And while Kansas struggled down the stretch at West Virginia on Tuesday, Kentucky does not rely on pressure defense like the Mountaineers do. That should keep things close, with Kentucky winning 83-78.