Two of the most battle-tested teams in college basketball continue their tough early-season schedules on Friday, when the No. 4 UConn Huskies and No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks meet at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
The Jayhawks have already faced three ranked opponents in Kentucky, Marquette, and Tennessee. Reigning national champ UConn’s schedule to date included back-to-back games against Indiana and Texas on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, and three of the Huskies’ next four opponents are ranked: No. 5 Kansas, No. 17 North Carolina (Dec. 5), and No. 11 Gonzaga (Dec. 15).
The winner of Friday’s marquee showdown will bolster its credentials as a Final Four contender, and regardless of how this game goes, both Kansas and UConn will remain two of the national title favorites.
Below is everything you need to know about Friday’s game, including our UConn vs Kansas betting pick.
Here are our UConn vs Kansas odds, picks, and predictions.
UConn vs Kansas Odds: Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under
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UConn Huskies (7-0, 4-3 ATS)
UConn entered this season needing to replace three key pieces from last year’s national championship-winning squad, including 2023 NBA first-round draft pick Jordan Hawkins and second-rounder Andre Jackson. This year’s team still returned plenty of talent, though, including talented sophomore big men Alex Karaban and Donovan Clingan. Those two, along with fifth-year senior guard Tristen Newton and high-impact newcomers in freshman Stephon Castle and transfer Cam Spencer, give the Huskies a great chance to make another run in March.
So far this season, coach Dan Hurley‘s team once again looks like one of the best in the nation. The Huskies’ undefeated start has not included a single win by less than 10 points. The fact that four different players (Karaban, Clingan, Spencer, and Newton) have already led the team in scoring at least once speaks to the balance and depth of this roster. Upcoming games against Kansas, UNC, and Gonzaga will tell us a ton about the Huskies, but they’re off to an excellent start.
Kansas Jayhawks (6-1, 3-4 ATS)
Kansas lost to Marquette 73-59 in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational last week, but that did little to change the outlook for the Jayhawks. This veteran team is once again loaded and expected to win the Big 12, which has been one of the best conferences in the country — if not the best — for several years.
KU responded to the loss to Marquette in Maui on Nov. 21 by beating Tennesee by nine points the next day. While the Jayhawks failed to win the Maui Invitational, their showing in that tournament showed that they are worth the hype, again.
Hunter Dickinson‘s transfer from Michigan to Kansas this summer could not have generated higher expectations — for both the player and his new team. So far, he’s lived up to, if not exceeded, those expectations. Dickinson dominated his team’s 89-84 win over Kentucky on Nov. 14 with a 27-point, 21-rebound night. It’s no coincidence that Marquette, the only KU opponent that has been able to contain Dickinson, is the only team that has beaten Kansas.
It’s easy to see UConn-Kansas coming down to the battle between Dickinson and Clingan on Friday night.
UConn vs Kansas Odds and Prediction: Huskies Capable of Road Upset
Kansas has more experience, and the homecourt advantage the Jayhawks have in Allen Fieldhouse is as good as any in the country. In a showcase game in primetime on a Friday night, KU will get a huge boost from its home fans. Between the edge in experience (Kansas starts two seniors, two juniors, and a freshman), the dominant force that is Hunter Dickinson, and the home crowd, it’s not hard to see why Kansas is favored in this game.
For me, however, the question is whether to take UConn on the moneyline or on the spread. That’s a credit to UConn, not a dig at the Jayhawks. Few teams have enough size to make life difficult for Dickinson. UConn is one of them thanks to the 7-foot-2 Clingan, who is one of the best shot-blockers in the nation with an average of 1.9 per game despite playing just under 20 minutes per game this year. Having two quality bigs will slow down Kansas just enough for UConn’s balanced roster to pull off the upset in one of the toughest environments in the country.
Pick: UConn moneyline (+135 at time of publishing)
How To Watch UConn vs Kansas
- Date: Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
- Tipoff: 9:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kan.
- Where to Watch: ESPN2