UConn vs. Kansas Odds, Expert Pick – Friday, Dec. 1
UCONN VS. KANSAS ODDS, EXPERT PICK – Two of the best teams in the country converge in Lawrence, Kansas for one of the most highly anticipated matchups yet to tipoff during the college basketball season.
The UConn Huskies (7-0) look to defend their national title crown against the Kansas Jayhawks (6-1) Friday night. As of Thursday night, the Jayhawks are a 2 point favorite at home with a point total close to 150.
Will the Huskies stay unbeaten in their biggest test of the year or will the Jayhawks solidify themselves as new title favorites in this must watch game? Read on to find out.
Don’t forget to click here to check out the Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks for all of your expert picks from the NFL to NCAA men’s basketball. I handed out a few winners on Wednesday and I’m looking to build on that momentum throughout the week.
Read below for UConn vs. Kansas Odds, Expert Pick
(7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS)
(6-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)
How to Watch
When: Friday, December 1st at 9:00 PM EST
Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KA
The Connecticut Huskies picked up where they left off in the NCAA tournament, dominating lesser competition so far this season. They have beat six out of their seven opponents by 20 points or more. Their closest call came against Texas with a 14-point win. In that game, the Longhorns frustrated star, 7-foot-2 center, Donovan Clingan, and UConn had to look to others to pick up the slack.
Clingan has been incredible to watch this season. He’s averaging 15 points per game, six total rebounds, and he’s shooting 66.7% from the field. He moves well for a big man and has a nice touch off the glass, which amounts to a feast of 2-point plays off the first shot.
The Huskies have a ton of weapons outside of Clingan on the offensive side of the ball. Guards Cam Spencer and Tristen Newton are both averaging over 15 points per game and forward Alex Karaban is averaging 14.7 points per game.
The problem for defenses is that Clingan poses such a threat down low that opposing teams either have to double team the big man or crash on him as soon as he gets the ball. That opens up a lot of lanes for Spencer and Newton and has resulted in the Huskies ranking seventh in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency so far this year.
Clingan also factors in the defensive side of the ball. The Huskies do a terrific job of challenging opposing offenses on the three point line, which forces teams to attack the rim where Clingan stands aloft. The Huskies rank 10th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
The biggest problem with the Huskies is that they remain untested. UConn has only played one team in the top-25 thus far this year and, while they handled Texas, it wasn’t nearly as clean as their other blowout wins. While the Huskies rank in the top ten on KenPom for both Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, they rank 349th — that’s right, 349 — in strength of schedule.
To say that this is the Huskies biggest test since the tournament last year is a gross and irresponsible understatement.
While Uconn’s biggest weakness is their strength of schedule, the Kansas Jayhawks have been running through the gauntlet of college basketball this year. The Jayhawks have faced three top-25 teams this season and KenPom ranks them 83rd in strength of schedule (other rankings have the Jayhawks much higher).
The key to success for Kansas goes through the powerful tandem of guard, Dajuan Harris III, and big man, Hunter Dickinson. The seven-foot-two Dickinson has been unstoppable this year, averaging 21.7 points per game and 12.7 rebounds. Harris III has proven to be a terrific captain of the offense, with 7.4 assists per game.
The Jayhawks don’t have nearly as much depth as the Huskies and it showed in their loss to Marquette. Marquette doubled Dickinson, frustrating the offense and daring some of the role players to take control of the game.
If Dickinson gets into foul trouble, or the Huskies can effectively double the big man, the Jayhawks’ offense will stymie.
The Jayhawks are not nearly as efficient as the Huskies on offense, but they are ranked fourth in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Dickinson’s presence around the rim means that opposing offenses are often frustrated when shooting two’s. The Jayhawks are 10th in two-point defense, according to KenPom.
The commonsense take here is that the Jayhawks are more battle tested and the matchup between two seven footers equalizes the best weapon for each team. If that logic follows, why not lay the points with the Jayhawks at home in a raucous Allen Fieldhouse?
I’m going to go with the Huskies here. The two-point game for each team is going to be limited, which means that three’s will be at a premium. The Jayhawks rank near the bottom in guarding against the three point shot and the Huskies at a top-100 team in the three-ball.
If neither Clingan nor Dickinson get into foul trouble, I think the Huskies will win a tough road game in a shootout.
Oh, and I don’t worry about the strength of schedule. The Huskies are afresh off a national championship. They can play under pressure.