Kansas Jayhawks basketball is an American institution. The Jayhawks are always at the top of the Big 12 with 11 straight conference crowns and consistently find themselves among the Top-25 elite, which can sometimes make them a tough team to bet on with the high sports betting odds as favorites.
Because of its stature in the college ranks, Kansas doesn’t get much pity from oddsmakers who pile the points high on one of the country’s most hallowed programs. And when you’re the top dog in your conference, you get the best from rivals night in and night out.
The Jayhawks finished last season with a 27-9 record but went just 18-16-1 against the spread. In fact, since 2007-08 and 2008-09 when Kansas went a combined 43-23-1 ATS (and won a national title in 2008), the Jayhawks are just 85-87-5 ATS – covering the spread less than 50 percent of the time.
It could be another season in which Jayhawks fans have to pick their spots when it comes to betting on Kansas, but at least they should have a good team to watch while they wager. The Jayhawks are currently priced at +1,400 to win the NCAA tournament come March – the sixth overall favorite.
The Jayhawks are projected to top the Big 12 again, and a large part of that success depends on freshman star Cheick Diallo. The crowning jewel of Bill Self’s five-star recruiting class has yet to be cleared by the NCAA due to academic issues. However, if and when he does play, the 6-foot-9 power forward should follow in the footsteps of past talented big men in Lawrence.
Kansas returned a solid core of players, headlined by Perry Ellis who was the leading scorer and rebounder for KU last season. His health has always been an issue, but if Diallo is there to share the frontcourt load and draw defenders away from Ellis, this could be a big year for the versatile senior.
Also returning for Kansas is guard Wayne Selden, who suffered through a sophomore slump last year after a promising freshman campaign. Selden’s shooting underwent the biggest regression, but if he’s on, this is one of the most dangerous marksmen in college hoops.
The unsung hero for this program could be point guard Frank Mason III. The junior, who averaged almost 13 points as a sophomore, sets the pace for the offense and will be even more important to KU as Self looks to press the tempo in 2015-16, starring two point guards in Mason and Devonte Graham.
This new run-and-gun philosophy could make KU an interesting totals bet this coming college hoops season.