Kansas vs Kentucky Odds, Picks and Predictions: Reeves Stays Hot for Wildcats

The Wildcats have been a dominant 11-1 at home this season and have been reaping the offensive benefits from a streaking Antonio Reeves. Find out why the budding shooting guard should play a big factor tonight in our Kansas vs. Kentucky betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2023 1:48 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Antonio Reeves Kentucky Wildcats NCAAB
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Two weeks ago, Kentucky was a team in turmoil, while Kansas was riding a 10-game winning streak. My, how the tables have turned.

The Jayhawks have lost three straight — albeit all to ranked opponents — while the Wildcats have picked up four victories in a row, including a victory over a top-five team at Tennessee.

Now one of the marquee matchups of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge sees Kansas travel to Rupp Arena, where it hopes to get revenge after Kentucky’s 18-point win last season at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. 

Can Kansas get back in the win column, or will Kentucky pick up a massive win that helps rebuild what looked to be a dead tournament resume? Find out in our free college basketball picks and predictions for Kansas vs. Kentucky on January 28.

Kansas vs Kentucky best odds

Kansas vs Kentucky picks and predictions

The season began with high hopes for Kentucky. National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe was returning, and he was being joined by a solid group of transfers, incoming freshmen studs, and a few veterans from last year.

It quickly went off the rails. Losses to Michigan State, Gonzaga, and UCLA saw the Wildcats lose all their big early-season matchups. But it was blowout defeats at Missouri and Alabama followed by a stunning loss at home to South Carolina that put John Calipari square in the crosshairs of Big Blue Nation’s wrath.

An injury to point guard Sahvir Wheeler ahead of their trip to Tennessee forced a change — and the Wildcats have been a different team ever since. With freshman Cason Wallace running the point, Kentucky has now employed a different style with shooters CJ Fredrick and Antonio Reeves on the wings. This has taken some of the pressure off of Tshiebwe inside, and Wallace’s outside shot has kept opposing point guards honest on defense.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of this change has been Reeves. Over his last four games, he has topped 16 points three times. Had Tshiebwe not put up second-half numbers that would equal a career game for many players, he likely would’ve done so against Georgia as well. 

Reeves is averaging 16.8 points per game over his last six outings, which is when he began seeing more than 20 minutes per contest. He’s in a rhythm at the moment, and the combination of his outside shooting and lethal mid-range floater has made him a go-to player in this offense when they need points.

Kansas does not have a true big man to deal with Tshiebwe inside, and they don’t have a true point guard to handle Wallace. The Jayhawks don’t rebound very well, either. They rank 261st in the nation in offensive rebounds allowed and 189th in offensive rebounding percentage. This should lead to plenty of multi-shot possessions and some open looks on kick-outs.

Kansas is allowing the 201st most 3-point attempts per game, and Baylor guard LJ Cryer had a field day this week against the Jayhawk defense as he went for 22 points on 8/16 shooting, including five shots from deep. I expect Reeves to have a similar type of game, even if his numbers aren’t as high.

The point total for Reeves is 11.5, but I’m feeling a bit greedy. Tack on another basket and take him to score at least 14 points today and enjoy a nice profit in what should be an entertaining game. 

My best bet: Antonio Reeves Over 13.5 points alternate line (+134 at FanDuel)

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Kansas vs Kentucky spread analysis

Kansas comes in as losers of three straight, two of which have come on the road. In its four road games so far in conference, it has just two wins —one of which was a three-point victory over a Texas Tech team yet to win in conference. Guard Grady Dick will be a handful for the Wildcats on the outside, while dynamic forward Jalen Wilson will create matchup problems for them.

Kentucky has won 11 of their last 12 games at Rupp Arena, averaging more than 81 points per contest in front of their home fans. The Wildcats are lethal on the glass, which will cause some real problems for the Jayhawks. Tshiebwe will likely command double teams to try to stop him at both ends, which should free up some others. If Kansas attempts to play him straight up, it would likely lead to some big numbers for the big man.

The line for this game has gone back and forth, opening with Kansas favored at a few books. Now Kentucky is favored by 2.5, and the Covers Consensus has the majority of picks coming in on Kansas plus the points. 

While I’m a Kentucky fan, I can’t say I’d wager differently. While the Wildcats are improving, they’re facing one of the best teams in the Big 12 — a conference that right now is one of the strongest in recent history and has every single team ranked in the Top-80 of the NET rankings. 

Kansas vs Kentucky Over/Under analysis

Our Covers Consensus page has nearly 70% of the picks and over 60% of the plays on the Over for this contest. After opening at 142.5, it was quickly bet down to 140 across the board. Kansas has seen the Under come through in each of its last four Saturday games, as well as in its last four games against a team with a winning record.

Kentucky tends to get into high-scoring affairs at home, which is why the last six at Rupp Arena have all gone Over the number. However, the Under is 4-0 in its last four games against a team with a winning record, as the Wildcats tend to become a bit more methodical.

The last three games for Kansas have seen at least 140 points in all three, whereas just two of Kentucky’s last four have gone Over that number. Against ranked teams this season, the score has gone Under 140 three out of four times. 

Kansas vs Kentucky betting trend to know

In the last 11 meetings between these two teams, the home side has covered the spread eight times. Find more college basketball betting trends for Kansas vs. Kentucky.

Kansas vs Kentucky game info

Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2023
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET

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