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Kansas Jayhawks vs Kentucky Wildcats Free Picks, Odds, Preview, Prediction, 1/28/23

NCAA Basketball

(1/28/23) 8:00 PM Eastern.

Spread: Kansas +2 / Kentucky -2.

ML: Kansas +120 / Kentucky -145.

Total: Over / Under 140

The Pick: Kentucky -2.

Both teams trending in the opposite direction. Kentucky is riding a 4-game win streak while Kansas has lost 3 straight to ranked teams. The Jayhawks bench is costing them. They rank 345th in bench minutes this season. That may work against lesser teams, but it doesn’t against good teams. Fatigue, Foul Trouble, Injury, you also lose any strategic match-up advantages. In their 75-69 loss to Baylor last game their bench scored just 2 points. Kansas led 46-45 with 15:24 to go in the 2nd but Baylor ending up taking a 13-point lead with 4:45 to play. Kansas was also outscored 35-22 in the 2nd half vs TCU.

Kansas plays small, not a single starter stands over 6’8 and their heaviest player is Jalen Wilson at 225. The reigning National Player of the Year, Oscar Tshiebwe is 6’9 and 260 pounds. He’s the best rebounder in College Basketball snagging 14.3 boards a game and he averages 16.7 PPG on 58.4% shooting. Most teams won’t have someone that can guard him, but Kansas can’t even throw size at him. Then there’s their other 6’9 forward Jacob Toppin averaging 11.4 points per game. Kansas allows 9.1 opponent offensive rebounds per game (261st) while Kentucky is tied for 1st with 12.5 offensive rebounds per game.

It's a brutal match-up for a smaller and undermanned team. Kentucky’s physicality will take its toll on Kansas. And unlike the Jayhawks, the Wildcats bring their 2nd leading scorer Antonio Reeves off the bench.

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