College Basketball Predictions: Temple Owls vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Temple Owls at No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks
Sunday, 1/6/12, 4:30 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Kansas -14.5
Current Betting Line:  Kansas -13
Opening Total:  142
Current Total:  142
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Kansas Jayhawks have dominated A-10 opponents

Temple has won back-to-back games since dropping a 72-62 decision to Canisius on Dec. 19, which includes a 75-57 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons as 13-point home favorites on New Year’s Eve.  The Owls have won their three road games by an average of 14.7 points, while also defeating a top-10 squad in each of the last five seasons while being unranked—a streak that continued with their earlier win over the Syracuse Orange during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season.  Temple is 0-2 ATS versus Big 12 Conference foes the last two-plus seasons, something to consider when making your college basketball picks against the spread Sunday.

The Owls are dangerous road underdogs when looking over the college basketball odds page, with senior guard Khalif Wyatt leading the way in averaging 15.4 points per game, while scoring a career-high 33 points versus the Orange on Dec. 22.  Temple is 3-7 all-time against Kansas, but suffered a lopsided 84-52 setback as seven-point home favorites in the last meeting on Jan. 2, 2010.  The key is reaching 60 points for this program, as it has compiled an 81-14 record when doing so since the 2009-10 campaign.

Kansas will close out non-conference play in taking on a foe from the Atlantic 10 Conference, as it will open up Big 12 competition against the Iowa State Cyclones Wednesday.  “From a selfish standpoint, it gives us a better strength of schedule, which does nothing but help us later on down the road,” stated Jayhawks head coach Bill Self.    The Jayhawks are averaging 78.4 points per game and giving up 59.0 for a Big 12-leading plus-19.4 scoring margin.  Kansas is 4-0 ATS after scoring 80 or more points in their previous game, with the OVER going 3-1 in that situation.

The Jayhawks start four seniors, including three fifth-year players, while redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game.  The program is 45-13 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10—having faced 12 of the league’s 16 teams.  Kansas is second nationally in averaging 8.1 blocked shots per game, which plays an important part in limiting foes to 56.7 points per game at Allen Fieldhouse.

Sports bettors will likely back the Jayhawks due to their 7-0 ATS mark versus Atlantic 10 teams, while the Owls are 1-4 ATS on Sundays.

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