The No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks cruised to an easy victory in the first round of March Madness and now take on the ninth-seeded Creighton Bluejays who grinded out a win in overtime.
March Madness odds opened with the Jayhawks as 9.5-point favorites but quickly moved to -11.5 with news that Bluejays center Ryan Kalkbrenner would miss the rest of the tourney.
Here are our best free March Madness picks and predictions for Creighton vs. Kansas on March 19, with tipoff at 2:40 p.m. ET.
Creighton vs Kansas odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
This line hit the board with Kansas installed as a 9.5-point favorite with the Over/Under at 137.5. Early money has come in on the Jayhawks and the Over, shifting the line to Kansas -11.5 and moving the total to 139.5.
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.
Creighton vs Kansas predictions
Predictions made on 3/18/2022 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Creighton vs Kansas game info
• Location: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, TX
• Date: Saturday, March 19, 2022
• Tip-off: 2:40 p.m. ET
• TV: CBS
Creighton vs Kansas betting preview
Creighton: Ryan Kalkbrenner C (Out), Ryan Nembhard G (Out), Shereef Mitchell (Out).
Kansas: Bob Pettiford G (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Bluejays are 1-7 ATS in their last eight NCAA Tournament games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Creighton vs. Kansas.
Creighton vs Kansas picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Jayhawks poured it on in the first half of Thursday's game against Texas Southern, jumping out to a 47-19 lead by the break and holding on for a 27-point victory. If you're not impressed by Kansas beating up on tiny Texas Southern, you should be impressed with the fact that it finished atop the Big 12 regular season standings and won the conference tournament title with a 74-65 victory against Texas Tech last weekend.
The Jayhawks are fifth in the country in adjusted efficiency according to KenPom and have been very strong on both ends of the floor.
The Bluejays fought back from a 9-point deficit with just two minutes left against San Diego State on Thursday night and pulled off a 72-69 win in overtime. It was a costly victory, however, with Creighton losing center (and second-leading scorer) Ryan Kalkbrenner to a season-ending injury after he dropped 16 points and grabbed 10 boards in 40 minutes. That's the second starter that the Bluejays have lost recently after Big East Freshman of the Year Ryan Nembhard broke his wrist at the end of February.
Creighton's offense is struggling this season, ranking 135th in the country with a 50.8 eFG% and sitting outside the Top 300 in turnovers per possession, and will be even worse without Kalkbrenner and Nembhard. Now it goes up against a Jayhawks team that holds foes to a 46.6 eFG% — good for 37th in the country.
The Bluejays didn't have much depth to begin, with only six players averaging more than 15 minutes per game. With the Ryans (combined 64.2 minutes per game) sidelined, marginal players are being pushed into the rotation at the worst time.
On the other hand, the Jayhawks are absolutely stacked with depth. They have a former first-team All-Pac-12 guard in Remy Martin coming off the bench, and two other transfers that were highly productive last season and barely see the floor in Jalen Coleman-Lands and Joseph Yesufu. Expect the Jayhawks to run the floor and wear down this tired and banged-up Bluejays squad.
Prediction: Kansas -11.5 (-110)
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The Jayhawks are 15th in the country with 78.7 ppg, despite playing a tough conference schedule against some of the top defensive teams in the country in Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma State.
Creighton is a tough defensive team but it doesn't have the ideal players to match up in iso situations against athletic wings, and Kansas has one of the best in the country in Ochai Agbaji.
Agbaji is averaging 19.4 ppg on 47/40/77 shooting splits and the Jayhawks have three other starters who average double-digits. That's not even mentioning Martin, who averaged 19.1 ppg in back-to-back years at Arizona State and chipped in with 15 points in 21 minutes versus Texas Southern.
Kansas simply is too loaded offensively for Creighton to stop, and Bill Self knows that it's in the Jayhawks' best interest to push the tempo in this contest.
Prediction: Over 138.5 (-110)
Creighton is an extremely scrappy team, but losing two of its four best players is tough to overcome. Keep in mind that the Bluejays are no strangers to getting blown out this season, suffering double-digit losses to Colorado State, Villanova, Butler, Seton Hall, Providence, and Xavier.
Add in a prime let-down spot following an emotional victory versus San Diego State, and we see another big win for Kansas.
Pick: Kansas -11.5 (-110)
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