The No. 16 seed Howard Bison aim to dethrone the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks in a West Region battle of the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Howard finished the season red-hot with 12 wins in its last 14 games to win the MEAC title. The Bison, led by Kenny Blakeney, are 22-12 overall, while Kansas is 27-7 this season. Kansas won the regular season Big 12 title, and the Jayhawks are hunting to become repeat national champions after cutting down the nets in 2022. Kansas coach Bill Self will miss this game as he recovers from a recent hospital stay.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Jayhawks as 22-point favorites for this 2 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 147 in the latest Howard vs. Kansas odds. Before locking in any Kansas vs. Howard picks, you need to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Howard vs. Kansas and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Now, here are several college basketball betting lines and trends for Kansas vs. Howard:
- Kansas vs. Howard spread: Kansas -22
- Kansas vs. Howard over/under: 147 points
- Kansas vs. Howard money line: Kansas -10000, Howard +2000
- HOW: The Bison are 4-0 against the spread in the last four games
- KAN: The Jayhawks are 7-4 against the spread in the last 11 games
- Kansas vs. Howard picks: See picks here
Why Howard can cover
Howard's offense has strong metrics, led by fantastic offensive rebounding and 3-point shooting. The Bison secure 33.8% of missed shots on the offensive glass, and are converting 37.2% of 3-point attempts this season. Howard led the MEAC in overall shooting efficiency, and the Bison are above the national average in free throw rate and assists (14.9 per game).
All-MEAC guard Elijah Hawkins keys the attack for Howard, leading the team with 13.0 points, 5.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game this season. Hawkins is shooting 47.3% from 3-point range, and he is a central part of a defense that creates a turnover on 20.7% of defensive possessions and a steal on 9.8% of defensive trips. Howard holds opponents to 33.6% from 3-point range, and the Bison give up only 11.9 assists per game this season.
Why Kansas can cover
Kansas is led by the Big 12 Player of the Year in Jalen Wilson. The talented forward is averaging 20.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and Wilson brings experience at the highest level after operating as a key piece of last season's national title run. Kansas also has a dynamic offensive weapon in freshman wing Gradey Dick, who is a projected first round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Dick is shooting 39.9% from 3-point range and averaging 14.1 points per game this season.
The Jayhawks are fantastic in sharing the ball, averaging 16.4 assists per game, and Kansas is shooting 52.9% from inside the arc. Offensive rebounding should also be a strength in this matchup, with Howard struggling to a 68.4% defensive rebound rate this season. The Bison are also outside the top 250 nationally in free throw rate allowed, and Kansas can fall back on a defense that ranks firmly in the top ten of the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.
How to make Howard vs. Kansas picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, with 11 players projected to score at least six points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50% of simulations. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Kansas vs. Howard? And which side of the spread hits in over 50% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Howard vs. Kansas spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.