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NCAA Tournament Betting — Wildcats Run Wild as Kentucky Favored Over Kansas State

 

It will be “Wildcat” Friday in NCAA Tournament betting, as one ofthe more intriguing matchups involves a game between #8 seed Kentucky and #9 seed Kansas State in the Midwest Regional, in a game that is scheduled to begin at 9:40 PM ET at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Kansas State comes into the Big Dance with a record of 20-12 straight-up and 16-13 against the basketball pointspread. Kentucky is 24-10 straight-up and 15-17 versus the number. Kansas State was eliminated in its first Big 12 tournament game against Iowa State, while Kentucky scored double-digit wins over LSU and Georgia before losing by a point to the #1-ranked Florida Gators in the SEC conference title game.

In the NCAA Tournament betting odds that are currently posted at BetDSI, Kentucky is favored:

Kentucky Wildcats -6.5
Kansas State Wildcats +6.5

Over 132.5 points -110
Under 132.5 points -110

Kentucky is a team that was hailed as a possible national champion at the beginning of the season. This was not just another year when John Calipari made some nice catches along the recruiting trail. This time he was said to have brought in one of the two or three best classes in history, drawing comparisons to Michigan’s fabled “Fab Five” (coached by Steve Fisher, who is in the Round of 32 with San Diego State).

Not only did Calipari get Julius Randle, who was considered by some to be the top high school player available (Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins were the other contenders there), but he also got a backcourt in Aaron and Andrew Harrison, plus swingman James Young and center Dakari Johnson. There are some “one and done” players in that group, for sure. And BetDSI customers waited for these kids to sweep the board.

Alas, it really didn’t happen that way, although Kentucky got some scalps along the way, including Louisville, although they suffered defeats at the hands of Michigan State and North Carolina, as well as three losses to Florida, the latest of which came in the finals of the SEC Tournament, where the ‘cats covered against the college basketball odds but dropped a heart-breaking 61-60 decision.

What Kentucky will have to do against Kansas State is assert some superiority inside, with Randle, who averages 10.5 rebounds a game, and Willie Cauley-Stein, who shot 60% from his pivot position and blocked three shots per contest. Neither of these teams is very good at the free throw line, so they each hope they don’t have to rely on that in crunch time. Kansas State (+240 to win the game straight-up in the basketball moneyline at BetDSI) has not been the most consistent shooting team (43.6%), and they have been under that percentage in six of their last eight outings. However, they have their own prize freshman in Marcus Foster, who scored more points per game than any freshman in the Big 12 aside from Wiggins.

It should be noted, in the way of basketball betting trends, that these teams have both gravitated toward playing under the total – K-State was 16 of 28, with Kentucky at 18 of 29.
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