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Samford vs. Kansas Expert Pick and Prediction – March 21, 2024

Samford vs. Kansas Expert Pick and Prediction – March 21, 2024 

SAMFORD VS. KANSAS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 21, 2024 — It hasn’t been a fun year at all for Bill Self and Kansas. The Jayhawks have battled injuries, never seemed to figure out which pieces went where and just struggled with the new look Big 12. Kansas closed the year losing four of its final five, and three of those losses came to new Big 12 members.

Even worse, the Jayhawks proved that without Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson on the floor, they’re not a No. 4 seed and might not even have been tournament-quality. Kansas lost its final two games by a combined 50 points, falling by 30 at Houston and losing by 20 in Kansas City to a Cincinnati team that didn’t even sniff the field.

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And now the Jayhawks get the Cinderella darling of many March brackets in Samford. The Bulldogs have done a lot of winning under coach Bucky McMillan, going 29-5 while playing one of the fastest-paced styles in the nation. Bucky Ball has dominated the Southern Conference this season, to the point where Samford once carried a streak of 22 wins in 23 games.

Here’s the flip side: none of those wins came against a team who made the tournament. Samford only played one NCAA qualifier all year — Purdue, and the Boilermakers won that game by 53. And that’s why it might be wise to pump the brakes a bit on this upset pick. The Bulldogs might play the right style to give Kansas fits, but Dickinson and McCullar are set to return, and Samford hasn’t yet proven it can do this against a quality opponent.

The Odds 







(29-5 SU, 18-14 ATS) 






(22-10 SU, 13-18 ATS) 






When: Thursday, March 21 at 10 p.m. EST 

Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 18th, 2024

Samford vs. Kansas In-Season Trends 

The running joke with Kansas was to check where the game was before laying your money. If it was played anywhere but Lawrence or Oklahoma, take the other team. And that’s actually been sage advice this season. The Jayhawks played 10 true road games this season and went 3-7 SU and 3-7 ATS. They covered and won at both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, but otherwise, they won without covering at Indiana, covered without winning at Iowa State and failed to do either at any of the other locations on their schedule.

Even at neutral sites outside the Sunflower State, Kansas wasn’t a great choice. The Jayhawks did swamp Tennessee in Honolulu, but they failed to cover against Chaminade and Kentucky and were never in the game against Marquette or Cincinnati.

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Samford started out as a great bet before everyone got wise to what was going on in Alabama. At one point, the Bulldogs covered in 10 consecutive games before the oddsmakers adjusted. Samford went just 7-9 ATS down the stretch, including a pair of surprising losses to Wofford and Mercer. Surprisingly, for a fast-paced team, the Bulldogs went just 15-17 to the over on the year.

The Difference-Makers 

Samford isn’t going to get more than one look at the hoop as long as Hunter Dickinson is on the floor. If he plays, the Jayhawks have an enormous advantage in the paint. Kansas is second in the nation at preventing second-chance points, and the Bulldogs don’t really cash in on them anyway. Samford ranks 314th in the nation in second-chance conversions, preferring to get up and down the floor. If he’s healthy, Dickinson could dominate the game.

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Choosing a difference-maker for Samford is difficult because the Bulldogs’ style allows for anyone to be the source of offense. The most likely is Achor Achor, who is the team’s most efficient shooter at 59.9% from the floor. However, nobody on Samford averages more than 26 minutes a game, as coach Bucky McMillan believes in using his entire bench to wear down an opponent. As such, backing a player prop with Samford is probably a very bad idea.

The Pick 

Samford is the type of team that has given Kansas trouble all year. The Jayhawks’ biggest weakness is their 3-point defense, and that is by far Samford’s biggest strength.

This game will come down to whether or not Samford can knock down shots and asphyxiate the Jayhawks’ lack of depth. The altitude of Salt Lake City could also play into Samford’s hands, as the Bulldogs can run all day and the Jayhawks probably can’t. If Samford makes its shots, we’re looking at an upset. If not, Kansas will end up winning by double digits.

I’ll go somewhere in between: Samford makes enough shots to cover, but the Jayhawks just barely survive.

Dan’s Picks 

 Samford +7.5  

 Over 153 


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  1. Pingback:Oregon vs. South Carolina Expert Pick and Prediction – March 21, 2024

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