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Kansas Jayhawks Are Not a Strong Bet in Opening Round

Scott Morris | March 20, 2015

One team on a big downward trend against the spread is the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks are the Midwest Region’s No. 2 seed and on Friday, face the No. 15 seeded New Mexico State Aggies.

The current line on his matchup has Kansas favored by 10.5 points and the point total at 131.5.

Kansas on the season is 26-8 straight up and 17-16 against the spread. The over/under on the season for the Jayhawks was 16-16. There are a number of negatives surrounding Kansas entering the Tournament. Despite a safe bet during most of the regular going 15-8-1 ATS to start the season, Kansas has failed to cover the number in 7 of its past 9 games overall.

As a favorite by double digits, the Jayhawks are just fine cashing in 5 of 7 opportunities in that role. Recent history in the NCAA Tournament suggests backing the Jayhawks in the first round is a bad proposition. Kansas is 5-0 SU but just 1-4 ATS during the past five seasons in the first round, with the last four cashing on the UNDER point total.

New Mexico State on the season is 23-10 SU and 8-6 ATS. The Aggies over/under was just 3-3 on the season. In December, in a similar situation as a dog of 13.5 points, the Aggies covered on the road at Baylor but lost outright 66-55.

At Wyoming, the Aggies lost outright 78-75 back in November, but covered as a 7.5-point road dog and lost to Colorado State in overtime 58-57 as a home dog of 1.5 points.

The Aggies have not been that successful in the NCAA Tournament in the past. New Mexico State has lost each of its six opening round games, while covering the number in only two of the six.

However, the Aggies are healthy now after not having two top seniors Tshilidzi Nephawe and Daniel Mullings for long stretches of the season.

The Aggies played a number of tough teams during the early part of its season. They were able take Colorado State to overtime before losing and played well in a loss to Baylor. Last season the Aggies came close to upsetting San Diego State, but there is very little if any value in this dog. Even with Kansas having its problems covering of late, the numbers show the line to be just right.

Stay clear of this matchup.

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