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Kansas Jayhawks Betting – Low Expectations In Lawrence For The Jayhawks

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 9:50:19 PM

Online betting players expect Kansas to be near the top of the list in their sportsbook, but this season’s edition of the Jayhawks is lacking a star presence, and there are a lot of players who have to get used to different roles and playing more minutes, which will hurt their chances both in the Big 12 and on the national stage.

Head Coach: Bill Self
Conference: Big 12
Location: Lawrence, KS
Arena: Allen Fieldhouse
National Titles: 3

The Jayhawks rolled to a No.1 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament before falling in the Elite Eight to the surprises of the Tournament, VCU, and you’d have to say that was a disappointing end to Bill Self’s eighth season in Lawrence. Kansas was an NCAA basketball betting favorite to win the Tournament for the entire season and to not even reach the Final Four is a failure to some. The Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, were drafted in the first round of the NBA draft (Markieff went 13th to Phoenix, Marcus went 14th to Houston), and Jose Selby was picked in the second round, while Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Mario Little graduated.

Self had the luxury of going to the Morris twins, who were incredibly efficient from the field and that allowed the Jayhawks to get and take good shots. But Thomas Robinson (7.6 points, 6.4 rebounds) will have to step into that role and after playing behind the twins, he’ll have to learn to be aggressive while staying out of foul trouble; in his super-sub role, Robinson really didn’t have to worry about fouls but Self will be very dependent on the junior forward. Point guard Tyshawn Taylor (9.3 points, 4.6 assists) has complained about his playing time at various during his tenure at Kansas, and now the senior will have all the time he can handle as Self’s coach on the floor.

However, Self was counting on some freshmen to come in and play a key role this season, but forward Jamari Taylor and guard Ben McLemore were ruled ineligible just ahead of the campaign. Forward Kevin Young (a transfer from Loyola Marymount) will get a longer look now, and a pair of juniors, guard Elijah Johnson (3.4 points, 1.8 assists) and forward Travis Releford (3.7 points, 1.4 rebounds) will probably get more playing time than they expected. Even little-used senior guard Connor Teahan will get a look as Self attempts to find a few rotations to keep his NCAA basketball betting odds afloat.

The keys to this season will be Self, the all-time Big 12 leader in winning percentage, and he has to remain patient with this squad as there are no stars here; Robinson is being tabbed for a breakout season, but who knows how he’ll handle the extra minutes. The player that Self may depend on most is Taylor, which is worrying for some Kansas fans as the two have bumped heads in the past. But Taylor won’t be looking over his shoulder as Self will give him all the work he can handle, and at his best Taylor is an excellent distributor of the ball who gets everyone involved, which is going to be huge this year. He also has to step up on the defensive end of the court, where Reed and Morningstar were studs last year. Defense has to start on the perimeter this season for the Jayhawks as seven-foot junior center Jeff Withey (2.3 points, 1.8 rebounds) is being pressed into action in the middle, and he has to learn quickly. Young was a rebounding terror at Loyola Marymount, but the Big 12 is a different level of competition.

Kansas opens up the season at 13th in the rankings and they have NCAA basketball betting odds of +2200 to win the national championship, along with +160 to win the Big 12, just behind Baylor. The Jayhawks will get a tough early task in their second game of the season, visiting No.2 Kentucky on November 15th, while Georgetown (November 21st) and No.3 Ohio State (December 10th) come to Lawrence, and Kansas also heads to USC on December 22nd. Then the Big 12 portion of the slate begins with a rivalry game against Kansas State, and the Jayhawks will have to get through the likes of the Wildcats, as well as Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Missouri in what is going to be a tough year in the Big 12.

Don’t expect much out of the Jayhawks this season; Self has never been known as one of the greatest motivators and this group will need a lot of that this season as Kansas isn’t as talented as some of their most recent teams. It’s going to take some time for this group to gel as they build around Robinson and Taylor, who will have to learn how to play as the centers of attention. The Jayhawks should be able to make the Tournament, but winning the national title is out of the question and they’re going to be pressed to win the Big 12. Be wary of Kansas’ sports betting odds this season.

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