Colorado at Kansas: What bettors need to know

Colorado at Kansas (-11.5)

One of the main benefits of moving to the Pac-12 for the Colorado basketball team is avoiding Kansas twice a year. Apparently the Buffaloes still feel like once is appropriate. Colorado will be renewing an old Big 12 rivalry when it visits the Jayhawks on Friday. No. 9 Kansas is in its usual position in the top 10 and is coming off a tight win over another Pac-12 school, Oregon State.

The Buffaloes took advantage of a down year in the Pac-12 last season to advance to the NCAA tournament and have looked strong to begin the 2012-13 campaign. They bounced back from their first loss with a win over Colorado State on Wednesday and have a point guard in Spencer Dimwiddie that can get in the lane and score from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks have plenty of players like that, led by freshman sensation Ben McLemore, as well as a center that controls the rim in Jeff Withey.

TV: 2 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT COLORADO (7-1): The Buffaloes lost to Kansas three times in their final Big 12 season in 2010-11, including a 90-83 setback in the semifinals of the conference tournament that likely prevented Colorado from going to the NCAA tournament that season. Colorado has fared better in the Pac-12 and has four players averaging 12 or more points, led by Dinwiddie’s 17.8. Dinwiddie has gone for 24 or more in three straight games, capped off by 29 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the 70-61 win over the Rams on Wednesday. The Buffaloes were hurt by an inability to advance the ball against a pressure defense in their lone loss to Wyoming, 76-69 on Saturday. Colorado’s lone weakness is in passing, as its 9.5 assists rank near the bottom of Division I.

ABOUT KANSAS (6-1): The Jayhawks suffered their lone setback, 67-64, against Michigan State in Atlanta on Nov. 13 and have been on a roll ever since with five straight wins. Kansas has a backcourt big enough to overwhelm any opponent, with Elijah Johnson, McLemore and Travis Releford all 6-4 or bigger. Should opponents get past that line of the defense, Withey is waiting at the rim. The senior center is averaging 5.7 blocks and had 12 in a 70-57 win over San Jose State on Nov. 26. Withey scored 17 points and added three blocks against the Beavers on Nov. 30, leading a 60-percent shooting effort in the 84-78 win. Kansas has three straight home games before its next road battle - at No. 7 Ohio State on Dec. 22 - and does not kick off its Big 12 slate until Jan. 9.

TRENDS:

* Buffaloes are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Buffaloes are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Buffaloes are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Kansas.
* Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. Pac-12 foes.

TIP-INS:

1. Kansas holds a 122-39 all-time lead in the head-to-head series, including a 52-5 record at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have taken 20 straight overall.

2. Buffaloes F Andre Roberson has recorded four straight double-doubles and is averaging 12.0 points and 11.5 boards.

3. Kansas has won 10 straight against Pac-12 schools.

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