Kentucky Wildcats (26-10 SU, 15-17 ATS) vs. Kansas State Wildcats ( 24-11, 15-17 ATS) Betting Pick
Time: March 22nd, 2018 9:35 PM ET
Where: Atlanta, GA
by Keith, Professional College Hoops Handicapper, Predictem
Point Spread: Kentucky -5.5
Kentucky opened as a 4.5-point favorite with a tag of -106. Since then, we have seen the line move by a point upward to indicate early action on UK. In Over/Under markets, the figure has dropped by two points to indicate action on the Under. On the Money Line, UK enters as a -230 favorite while the Wildcats of K-State are priced at +210.
The Kentucky Wildcats and the Kansas State Wildcats will meet in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. The contest will determine who goes to the Regional Final and play for the opportunity to go to the Final Four. The fixture will be a battle of Power Conference Wildcats. K-State is known as the Wabash Cannonballs while Kentucky is known no other than Big Blue. In the last ten years, Kentucky has met K-State twice and won both of the two meetings between the two teams. The fixture will take place on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 with a scheduled tip-off time of 9:35 PM ET. Kentucky enters off wins over Davidson and Buffalo in the first two rounds of action. Kansas State comes in off a win against Creighton in the first round followed by a triumph over the first-ever surviving #16 seed in tournament history when they capsized the America East Conference Champions UMBC Retrievers by a margin of 60-53.
Many trends are presiding in this contest. First, the Over is 9-1 ATS in Kentucky’s last ten matches. Secondly, Kansas State is 3-2 ATS in their last five overall. Kentucky has looked in dominant form as we would expect them, Big Blue is 9-1 SU in their previous ten matches overall. Lastly, Kentucky has covered in their last five consecutive outings.
Kentucky is a name brand team and well coached. John Calipari knows how to navigate this tournament, and he has done so previously. Kentucky is a perennial Final Four stalwart, and the stewardship of their coach in itself is enough to warrant betting on. Big Blue is certainly more physical on the boards, and this approach toward the game has given Kentucky the opportunity to wear down opponents and limit second chances. This is a unit that rules the SEC with an iron fist and is certainly battle-ready and big game tested.
There are many reasons to consider taking the Wildcats from the Sunflower State. Kansas State owns the stronger defense and commits fewer turnovers compared to their opponents in this huge match-up. Kansas State is also nearly identical to Kentucky from a field goal percentage perspective as the two sides are separated in efficiency by just .4%. In a game of this magnitude, that is splitting hairs.
From a public money perspective, we have seen a lean by the consensus on the Wildcats from the Commonwealth State. This is reflected in 62 % of the cash action with 83% of the ticket action residing with Big Blue. 58% of the consensus like Kansas State in public forum capacities.
When you step in on Kentucky you can expect to pay a premium to back them. This is especially true when Big Blue gets hot and cover while they do so. Kentucky is always a popular choice for many bracket pools as well as bettors in future markets to win March Madness. They are a consensus favorite on an annual basis. As a result of this, the number is likely inflated. What this tells us is that this game will be closer than the line projects and there is a strong case that an upset may be in the works. The metrics in itself make K-State a value play when you toss in likely inflated points.
KEITHs PICK: Kansas State +5.5. Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at a sportsbook where it WILL work for deposits and take advantage of their 100% signup bonus on your first deposit up to $100! (Example: Deposit $100 and they’ll give you an extra $100 FREE!) Find this great offer at Intertops Sportsbook.