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Providence vs Kansas Sweet 16 Picks: We Must Respect the Friars

The Providence Friars have strolled into the Sweet 16 despite constant doubt but now face the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, who enter the matchup as 7.5-point favorites. We break down the matchup in our March Madness betting picks.

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2022 4:06 PM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Providence Friars and Kansas Jayhawks have a date Friday night in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. March Madness odds opened with the No. 1 seed Jayhawks as 8-point favorites before shortening to -7.5 for this Midwest Region showdown between the Jayhawks and Friars.

Here are our best March Madness picks and predictions for Providence vs. Kansas tonight, March 25, with tipoff at 7:29 p.m. ET.

Providence 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 an 8-point favorite with the Over/Under at 141. Both numbers have seen slight movement with the Jayhawks at -7.5 with the total at 141.5 as of Wednesday morning. 

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.

Providence vs Kansas predictions

Predictions made on 3/23/2022 at 11 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Providence vs Kansas game info

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Date: Friday, March 25, 2022
Tip-off: 7:29 p.m. ET

Providence vs Kansas betting preview


Providence: No injuries to report.
Kansas: Bob Pettiford G (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Friars are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Providence vs. Kansas.

Providence 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.

Spread analysis

The Friars are fresh off a 79-51 rout of Richmond in the Round of 32. Providence dominated in every area of that contest, but the 3-point shooting was a big reason for that lopsided scoreline with the Friars shooting a sizzling 12-22 from beyond the arc and the Spiders going just 1-22 from long range. 

The Friars defeated South Dakota State in the opening round, limiting the top 3-point shooting team in the nation in the Jackrabbits to 30% accuracy from deep. Tough defense on the perimeter has been a trademark of Providence all season, with the Friars ranking 33rd in the nation by holding foes to a 30.3 3PT%. 

This is a strong Providence team and it's safe to say that the Friars entered the tournament with not enough respect given that they've lost just four times since the start of December. While two of those losses were embarrassing performances against Marquette and Creighton (in the Big East Tournament semis), the other two were close defeats to a Villanova team that is looking like one of the best in the country. 

The Jayhawks defeated another Big East team in the previous round but Creighton didn't make it easy for them despite the Bluejays missing two of their top players. The Jayhawks held on for a 79-72 victory but didn't cover the 13.5-point spread placed in front of them.

The Jayhawks defended well inside in that contest and boasted a plus-18 rebounding margin but Creighton kept things close by going 12-28 from 3-point range. That snapped a streak of five-straight covers for Kansas which has still won seven in a row — none more impressive than a 74-65 win against Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament finals two weeks ago. 

The Jayhawks have a fantastic squad with plenty of depth and experience. That said, Providence matches up well in many areas (especially on the boards) and the Jayhawks' best player is in a slump. Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji finished the regular season with 19.8 points per game on 48/41/77 shooting splits but is averaging just 13 ppg with a 35.7 FG% and a 25 3PT% in his two March Madness games.

With Providence locking down on the perimeter and getting some great outside shooting of its own, we're taking the Friars with the points.

Prediction: Providence +7.5 (-110 at PointsBet)

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Over/Under analysis

The Friars' offense plays at a very slow pace and shoots just 43.8% from the field but they do a good job of taking care of the ball and getting second chances on the glass. Center Nate Watson (13.5 ppg on 55.5%) is an efficient scorer inside while Jared Bynum, Noah Horcher, and A.J. Reeves stretch the floor with some excellent outside shooting. 

The Jayhawks have an even more explosive offense that ranks 14th in the country with 78.7 ppg and they like to play at a fast tempo. Providence is tough on defense but the Jayhawks have been facing off against Top-20 defenses all season in conference foes like Texas Tech, Texas, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State, and they've still filled up the hoop. 

Even with Ogbaji not playing his best, Kansas still has enough scoring talent throughout its lineup to put points on the board. 

Prediction: Over 141.5 (-110 at PointsBet)

Best bet

Another reason we expect the Over to hit in this one is that we don't expect to see sloppy ball-handling from either side.

Providence had just six turnovers against Richmond while Kansas had seven versus Creighton. And neither team forces mistakes either with the Jayhawks ranking 173rd in the country in opponent turnovers per possession and Providence ranking outside the Top 300. 

Shots might not always drop for these schools but they will at least be able to get into a rhythm on offense. With the Over 11-4-1 in the Jayhawks' last 16 neutral site games we're putting our money there on Friday night.

Pick: Over 141.5 (-110 at PointsBet)

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