Midwest Region Sweet 16 Betting Picks: #1 Kansas Jayhawks vs #4 Purdue Boilermakers

2017 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Regional Semifinals
#1 Kansas Jayhawks vs #7 Purdue Boilermakers
Thursday, March 23, 2017, 9:35 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Opening Line: Kansas -4
Current Line: Kansas -5 (-115)
Opening Total: 156
Current Total: 156 1/2 (over -115)
Opening Money Line: Kansas -185 / Purdue +160
Current Money Line: Kansas -215 / Purdue +178

Kansas is favored over Purdue in the Sweet 16 Thursday in Kansas City.

The 30-4 Kansas Jayhawks take on the 27-7 Purdue Boilermakers in the Midwest Regional Semifinals Thursday in Kansas City. For the #1 seed Jayhawks this is pretty much a home game being only 45 miles away from their campus. Purdue is the #4 seed. The winner will face either the #3 seed Oregon Ducks or #7 Michigan Wolverines in the regional Final Saturday. Kansas leads the series 12-8 including 2-1 in NCAA Tournament games. Kansas won the last meeting 63-60 in the 2012 second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Purdue is coached by Matt Painter. Purdue won the Big Ten regular season title with a 14-4 record. The Boilermakers were upset by #8 seed Michigan 74-70 in overtime in the Big Ten quarterfinals in Washington. Purdue beat #13 seed Vermont 80-70 in the first round and #5 Iowa State 80-76 in the second round, both in Milwaukee. Purdue is making their 29th trip to the NCAA Tournament including three straight. Purdue is in the Sweet 16 for the 11th time and first since 2010.

Purdue has home losses to Villanova, and  Minnesota, plus road losses at Louisville, Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan. The Boilermakers have home wins over McNeese State, Georgia State, Morehead State, Cleveland State, Norfolk State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State, Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan State, and Indiana. Purdue has road wins at Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, Penn State and Northwestern. The Boilermakers have neutral site wins over Utah State and Auburn in Cancun, Arizona State in New York City, and Notre Dame in Indianapolis. Purdue is 19-10-2 ATS this season and the total was 18-12-1 this season. The Boilermakers were 1 point favorites against Iowa State and the total was 154.5.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season title with a 16-2 record. It was the 13th straight season that Kansas won at least a share of the regular season title. However, the Jayhawks were upset by TCU 85-82 in the Big 12 quarters in Kansas City. Kansas is the #1 seed in the Midwest and beat #16 UC-Davis 100-62 in the first round and #9 Michigan State 90-70 in the second round Sunday, both in Tulsa. The Jayhawks are making their 46th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They have made the NCAA Tournament every year except 1989 since 1984. The Jayhawks are back int eh Sweet 16 for the 29th time.

The Jayhawks have neutral site losses to Indiana in Honolulu and TCU in Kansas City,  a road loss at West Virginia and a home loss to Iowa State. Kansas has neutral site wins over Duke in New York City, UAB, Georgia and Davidson in Kansas City, plus home wins over Long Beach State, Stanford, Nebraska, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, West Virginia, TCU, and Oklahoma. Kansas has road wins at UNLV, TCU, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kentucky, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks are 13-18-1 ATS and the total is 16-16 this season. Kansas was a 7.5 point favorite against Michigan State and the total was 148.5.

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Purdue is outscoring teams 80-67 this season. The Boilermakers are #35 nationally in scoring. Purdue is shooting 48% from the field and 40.6% from 3 point range. Purdue is #28 in field goal percentage and #5 in three point shooting nationally. The Boilermakers make 76.4% of their free throws and are #20 nationally. Opponents are shooting 41.3% from the field and 32.3% from three point range. The Boilermakers are #50 or better in both categories nationally. Purdue averages 38 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.6. The Boilermakers are #24 in rebounds allowed. Purdue averages 18.2 assists, 13.1 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 2.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.4 assists, 12 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.

Caleb Swanigan averages 18.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Isaas Haas averages 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Vince Edwards 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Carsen Edwards averages 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Dakota Mathias averages 9.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Four other players will get time in the rotation. Forward Jacquil Taylor is out for the season with an ankle injury.

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Kansas is outscoring teams 83-72 this season. The Jayhawks are #15 in scoring nationally. Kansas is shooting 48.9% from the field and 40.6% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #11 in field goal percentage and #5 in three point shooting nationally. Kansas makes 67.1% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.7% from the field and 35.3% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks  average 39.1 rebounds a game and opponents average 31.6 per game. Kansas is #18 in rebounding nationally. The Jayhawks average 16.4 assists, 13.1 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 4.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.7 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.

Guard Frank Mason III averages 20.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Josh Jackson averages 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Guard Devonte’ Graham averages 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averages 9.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1 steal a game. LaGerald Vick averages 7.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Landen Lucas averages 8.1 points and 8.5 rebounds a game. Center Udoka Azubuike (wrist) is out indefinitely.

Purdue is 4-0 ATS as and NCAA Tournament underdog of less than 6.5 points, 6-1 in neutral site games and against Big 12 teams, 5-1 in NCAA Tournament games, 4-1 as an NCAA Tournament underdog, 9-3-2 against a team with winning records, 3-1-1 overall, 22-8 in non-conference games, 21-8-1 after a straight up win, 14-6-2 after a cover, 2-5 as an underdog and as an underdog of less than 6.5 points.

Kansas is 6-1 ATS as an NCAA Tournament favorite, 5-1 in NCAA Tournament games and against teams with winning records, 4-1 in non-conference games, 6-2 overall, 14-5 in neutral site games, 13-5 as a neutral site favorite, 5-2 as a favorite and after a straight up win, 10-21 in Thursday games, 7-16 against Big Ten teams, 2-6-1 as a favorite of less than 6.5 points, and 3-10 after a cover.

Purdue and Kansas both won the regular season titles of their respective conferences but were upset in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Both have Naismith award finalists in Swanigan and Mason. That is where the similarities end though. Kansas plays a four guard line-up most of the time and Purdue likes to use their bruising size to punish teams down low. If Kansas can’t find a way to stop or at least slow down Swanigan, they could be ripe for the upset. I think this will be a high scoring game, but I like Kansas to escape with a win.

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