Kansas State Wildcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks Preview and Pick

Kansas State Wildcats (18-9), +13, o/u 148.5 @ Kansas Jayhawks (25-3), -13, o/u, 148.5, Allen Field House, Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday, 9 p.m. Easternby Oracle of Predictem.com

The Kansas Jayhawks have a couple of important issues they seek to deal with when they host unranked Kansas State at home in Lawrence on Saturday.

First, Kansas looks to avenge an 84-75 loss at the hands of the Wildcats back in January. Second, they will need a win to keep pace with Texas in the Big 12 standings, currently sitting a full game back at 10-3. And last, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament is still well within their grasp.

The last meeting between these two in-state foes was a classic, as Kansas State held off visiting Kansas in a major upset. That was the first loss of the year for the Jayhawks, who have lost two out of their last four games overall.

In that contest, Michael Beasley didn’t record one of his freshman record 26 double-double’s on the year, but still scored 25 points while hitting all four of his three-point attempts. Most college hoops fans already know about Beasley’s ridiculous statistics. They should also know that Billy Walker creates a dominant one-two punch. However, it was Jacob Pullen, who has been lurking behind Beasley’s ginormous shadow all year long, who was the key to the Wildcats victory in Manhattan.

Pullen scored a season-high 20 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe, and dished out four assists to help boost K-State to the upset. Pullen was one of three players to score 20 or more points on the evening. If Kansas State wants the same results on Saturday, the Wildcats will have to emulate what they did against Kansas in January.

Kansas State shot 42.6% from beyond the arc, out rebounded Kansas, tallied more assists and steals, shot more free throws, and also committed fewer turnovers.

Kansas State hasn’t been playing well as of late, though, losing four of its past five games overall. Their recent struggles have made them a pretty big dog during Saturday’s fight in Lawrence. Kansas is favored -13 while the over/under stands at 148.5.

Obviously being dogs the first time these two teams met, Kansas State more than covered the spread. This kept a trend going with the home team at 10-3 ATS between these two squads. Add on the fact that Kansas is 7-3 ATS in its past 10 home games, it would seem as though the Jayhawks are a lock to cover.

However, with their sparatic play as of late, along with the fact Kansas State owns the 19th best scoring offense in the nation (79.8), as well as averaging the most offensive rebounds in the country (14.9), it’s hard to see them not cover the spread.

Many college basketball gambling sites might be setting a trap for bettors, thinking that there is no way Kansas State won’t cover. It will be interesting to see if or how much the line moves. The stats show that when K-State is a 13-point dog, they are 6-1 ATS.

The 159 points scored in January’s match up came in over the original 147. In fact, with two high-powered offenses, the total of 148.5 shouldn’t be a shock to bettors.

The over is 5-1 in Kansas State’s last six games and is an impressive 15-6 on the year.

Kansas is 11th in points scored (81.3) and fourth in field goal percentage (50.4%). They have only score under 60 one time this season, while scoring over 80 points 16 times.

The Jayhawks didn’t necessarily play bad in their 9-point loss to Kansas State last month. They shot over 48% from the field and had four players finish in double figures. However, they were dominated on the offensive glass and the Wildcats finished with 18 more shots from the floor than Kansas.

Oracle’s Pick: Lay the wood in Kansas as they should secure a late cover.