Kansas vs Iona Picks and Predictions: Gaels Good Enough to Keep Things Tight

After each taking their first loss of the young season, Kansas and Iona go head-to-head in an ESPN Events Invitational consolation matchup. Find out if Iona can stay within the big number in our Kansas vs. Iona picks and predictions.

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2021 8:36 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Nelly Junior Joseph Iona Gaels college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The ESPN Events Invitational didn’t exactly get the finals they were looking for.

With Kansas and Iona in the mix, the finals ended up being Dayton against Belmont, which will be played later today. The appeal for that game is still not nearly as high as this game between Kansas and Iona. Despite Kansas and Iona playing a consolation game, there is a good chance more people tune in to this one at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The Kansas Jayhawks ended up losing to Dayton on a buzzer-beater on Friday while the Iona Gaels took their first loss of the season against Belmont. Both teams have a real chance at winning their respective divisions. Let’s see if Iona can keep it close against Kansas. 

Here are our picks and predictions for the Iona vs Kansas consolidation game at the HP Field House.

Kansas vs Iona odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Despite starting the season 6-1, Iona is getting no love against Kansas. The Jayhawks opened as 13.5-point favorites and can be found at 14.5 at a couple of books. 

Meanwhile, the total opened at 142 and can be found as low as 141.5 and as high as 142.5. Shop around if you’re looking to bet the total! Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Kansas vs Iona predictions

Predictions made on 11/28/2021 at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Kansas vs Iona game info

Location: HP Field House, Kissimmee, FL
Date: Sunday, November 28, 2021
Tip-off: 1:00 p.m. ET

Kansas at Iona betting preview


Kansas: Kyle Cuffe Jr G (Redshirt).
Iona: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Jayhawks are 1-5 ATS in their last six neutral site games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Kansas vs. Iona.

Kansas vs Iona picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Kansas Jayhawks are the better team on paper. The Jayhawks are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 57.3 and have turned the ball over just 14.6 percent of the time to start the season. 

Inside, the Jayhawks have also been unstoppable, scoring 59 percent of buckets in the paint. They’ve also nailed 35.7 percent threes to start the season. 

Kansas won’t shoot many threes but when it can, they’ll take them and make them at a solid rate. The Jayhawks are led by Ochai Agbaji, who is scoring 23.6 points per game. He’s been able to limit turnovers and has been a high-usage player, used nearly a quarter of possessions. 

David McCormack has also been used a whole lot but is only averaging 7.2 points with 5.2 rebounds per game this season. Remy Martin and Christian Braun have been the two other key contributors when it comes to offense and minutes played. 

Defensively, Kansas has limited three-point shooting to just 28.3 percent from opponents this season and has also kept teams off the foul line this season. 

The Iona Gaels, on the other hand, are shooting an effective field goal percentage of just 47 percent thanks to a 30.5 percent shooting percentage from long range. Inside, the Gaels haven’t been all that much better, shooting 47.6 percent from inside the arc. Still, Iona can limit turnovers and has been tremendous on the glass. 

Nelly Junior Joseph has averaged 15.7 points to lead the team, but Iona has five reliable scorers. Five players average at least nine points or more per game with Junior Joseph leading the way with 8.9 rebounds as well. 

On the defensive end, Iona has limited teams to just 25.3 percent from the three-point line and has also allowed opponents to grab just 23.6 percent of offensive rebounds. 

If Iona can keep this game a bit scrappy and send Kansas to the line, there’s a good chance Iona can stay within the number. Kansas is shooting 66.7 percent from the line but doesn’t get there as often as Iona does. 

Prediction: Iona +14.5 (-110)

There’s a good chance Iona struggles to get fastbreak opportunities against Kansas, and the game is likely going to get slowed down overall. A lot of the time, fastbreak opportunities come from long misses, but Kansas is able to get back on defense as they don’t take that many long-range jumpers to begin with. 

Iona and Kansas have both been above average with holding opponents off the glass and I’d expect that to continue into this one. A slower-paced game with solid defensive rebound should help keep the Under intact. 

Prediction: Under 142.5 (-110)

I’ll stick with Iona +14.5. All those points are just a little much for a team that is 6-1 and cruising this year. Kansas is clearly the better talent, but this is a game being coached by two of the all-time greats. It should be a closer game, despite Iona not performing all that well on offense to start the year. 

I’d expect this game to be a bit scrappy and like Iona to win the rebounding battle and defend well enough to at least cover this game.

Pick: Iona +14.5 (-110)

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