Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks continue their 2020-21 season with a highly-anticipated matchup on Tuesday evening against John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. This matchup of elite programs is part of the 2020 Champions Classic, with tip-off coming at 9:30 p.m. ET on a neutral floor in Indianapolis. Both teams enter with a 1-1 record, with Kansas losing to No. 1 Gonzaga and Kentucky dropping its last game to a top-flight mid-major team in Richmond.
William Hill Sportsbook lists the Jayhawks as 4.5-point favorites in the latest Kentucky vs. Kansas odds, up half a point from the opening line. The over-under for total points is set at 143.5, down from opening at 145. Before making any Kansas vs. Kentucky picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It's also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Kentucky vs. Kansas in the Champions Classic 2020. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Kansas vs. Kentucky:
- Kentucky vs. Kansas spread: Kansas -4.5
- Kentucky vs. Kansas over-under: 143.5 points
- Kentucky vs. Kansas money line: Kansas -200, Kentucky +170
- KEN: The Wildcats are 18-15 against the spread since the start of the 2019-20 season
- KAN: The Jayhawks are 8-7 against the spread in their last 15 non-conference games
Why Kentucky can cover
As usual, the Wildcats had a loaded recruiting class, meaning John Calipari has a talented cast of freshmen. First-year guard Brandon Boston Jr. is a projected NBA lottery pick, and he is averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game so far in 2020-21. Boston is flanked by Terrence Clarke, who is averaging 13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game, and Kentucky has a strong veteran in Olivier Sarr, who transferred from Wake Forest for his senior season.
Kentucky is long and athletic, leading to an astronomical 12.7 percent block rate and allowing the Wildcats to dominate the offensive glass in grabbing 45.1 percent of available rebounds. Kentucky is the tallest team in the country, with an average height north of 6'7", and that size should help against a formidable Kansas team.
Why Kansas can cover
The Jayhawks don't have the same prospect pedigree of Kentucky, but Bill Self's roster is jam-packed with quality contributors. Senior guard Marcus Garrett is the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and he is shooting 57 percent from the field this season. Garrett is averaging 13.5 points per game so far this season, and junior guard Ochai Agbaji is putting up 17.5 points per game on his own.
Sophomore wing Christian Braun is 7 of 11 from 3-point range this season. He connected on 44.4 percent of his long-range attempts as a freshman, and he scored 30 points against St. Joseph's in the team's last contest. Kansas has the experience edge and, in the early going of a challenging season, that could be the difference, even on a neutral court.
How to make Kentucky vs. Kansas picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, as the simulations show six total players scoring in double figures. The model also says one side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Kansas vs. Kentucky? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Kentucky vs. Kansas spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up almost $2,600 on its top-rated college basketball spread picks over the past four-plus years, and find out.