Three No. 1 seeds remain in the March Madness tournament, with the Kansas Jayhawks being one of them. Kansas was able to escape with a win over the Creighton Bluejays in the Round of 32, defeating them by the score of 79-72.
Jayhawks head coach Bill Self is no stranger to advancing to the Sweet 16, as he’s now been there 14 times in his career. While Self has plans of winning his second national championship this season, Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars will look to play spoiler on Friday.
Will Kansas stroll to another Elite 8 appearance? Or will Providence make it to the Elite 8 for the first time since 1997? Here is our Kansas vs Providence picks and predictions for Friday’s highly-anticipated midwest regional matchup.
Kansas vs Providence Odds
Kansas vs Providence March Madness odds are current as of Monday, March 21, at 10 a.m. ET via Caesars Sportsbook.
- Moneyline: Kansas (-350) vs Houston (+290)
- Spread: Kansas -7.5 (-110) vs Providence +7.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 141.5 (-110) / Under 141.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Kansas 74.5, Providence 67
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Kansas vs Providence Prediction
Kansas looked very pedestrian in their win over Creighton in the second round of the tournament, squeaking out a seven-point victory. The seven-point deficit is extremely misleading, as Kansas only held a 73-72 lead with less than two minutes remaining.
While the Jayhawks were able to earn the win, they’ll need to be much better against a Providence team that’s cruised through the first two rounds of the tournament, defeating South Dakota State and Richmond. That being said, you can argue that Providence has yet to face a team as talented as Kansas yet in the tournament.
The Jayhawks are led by Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Jalen Wilson, Christian Braun, and DaJuan Harris Jr. in their starting lineup. Remy Martin is also a key contributor off of the bench for Kansas, as he’s essentially their sixth man.
Meanwhile, much has been made about the Friars being the luckiest team in college basketball this season. Their luck has carried over into the tournament as they’ve knocked down 20 of their 44 three-point attempts through the first two rounds.
Providence has also made 21 of their 26 free-throw attempts, making them a team you don’t want to send to the charity stripe. Despite the fantastic job that Cooley has done this season, I believe Providence’s luck runs out against Kansas on Friday.
Kansas vs Providence Score Pick
Kansas 78, Providence 67
Providence has done a remarkable job limiting their opponents from deep, with their first two opponents combining to make only eight of their 45 attempts from beyond the arc. The Friars will have their hands full trying to slow down a Kansas offense that shoots 36% from deep (tied for 54th in the country) and that possesses an effective field-goal percentage of 54% (25th in the country).
Kansas vs Providence Best Bets
OVER 141.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
We all know that Kansas boasts one of the best offenses in college basketball, averaging 78.7 points per game (14th in the country). They also own the sixth-best adjusted offense in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings.
Meanwhile, Providence averages 71.8 points per game (123rd in the country), but they have the 32nd best-adjusted offense in Pomeroy’s rankings. Given Kansas’ ability to score, we just need Providence to keep somewhat close to them when the final buzzer sounds for us to hit the Over in this contest.
While Providence has failed to hit the Over in four of their last six, Kansas has hit the Over in six of their 10 games at a neutral site this season. I’m not expecting 160+ points or anything in this matchup, but 142 total points are absolutely obtainable on Friday for our CBB bet of the day.
Kansas -7.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Kansas was unable to cover the 11.5-point spread against Creighton as they were unable to create much separation until the end of the game. Despite the Jayhawks’ inability to cover that spread, I believe they’ll be more focused in their upcoming tilt with Providence.
While Providence didn’t get to choose their opponents in the first two rounds, they lucked out by being able to face two double-digit seeds in South Dakota State and Richmond.
- Want to place a parlay bet for Kansas-Providence? Click to read our Kansas vs Providence Same-Game Parlay.
They’ll now have to face a legitimate title contender in Kansas that is extremely efficient and has the firepower to make things difficult for the Friars.
Kansas has covered the spread in five of their last six games and they have covered the spread in six of their last 10 games at a neutral site. As for Providence, they’ve recorded a 5-2 record against the spread in their last seven games and are 3-3 against the spread playing at a neutral site.