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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:45 PM

Eastern Washington vs. Kansas Predictions, Odds, Preview


Mar. 20, 2021
Jonathan Willis
NCAA BK Expert
VegasInsider.com

Eastern Washington vs. Kansas Predictions

The Kansas Jayhawks may no longer have a hammerlock on the Big 12, but they continue to be a perennial contender. Kansas has been a No. 4 seed or better in each of the last 20 NCAA Tournaments, highlighting this program’s unparalleled consistency.

They haven’t lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament since 2006, so the Eastern Washington Eagles will have their work cut out for them on Saturday.

Kansas has a huge talent advantage over Eastern Washington, so the Jayhawks are likely to pick up the cover even though they aren’t as talented as Kansas teams in the past.

The over is the play when it comes to a total. Eastern Washington has one of the better offenses for mid-major teams in the NCAA Tournament.

  • Score Prediction: Eastern Washington 71 Kansas 68
  • Best Bets - Side: Kansas -10.5
  • Best Bets - Total: OVER 146.5

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Eastern Washington vs. Kansas Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Kansas -10.5
  • Total: 146.5
  • Money-Line: Kansas -800 Eastern Washington +550

Odds to Win NCAA Tournament

Odds to Win West Regional

Odds Subject to Change

First Round Predictions

Saturday's Early Action - Mar. 20
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Handicapping Eastern Washington vs. Kansas

Eastern Washington kept it close with Pac 12 opponents Washington State and Arizona in its first two games, losing both games by three points, and the Eagles stayed within five points of St. Mary’s. They got off to a sluggish start in Big Sky play, but they turned it on over the last two months of the college basketball season.

The Eagles won 10 of their last 11 games to close out the regular season. They took that momentum into the Big Sky Conference Tournament, where they won three games in three days to clinch the automatic bid.

Kansas surrendered over 100 points to Gonzaga in its season opener, but the Jayhawks shook off that loss to win their next eight contests. They knocked off Creighton, Texas Tech, and West Virginia in the span of two weeks during that run before a dismal January.

Bill Self’s Jayhawks went 3-5 during January, but all those losses came against tournament teams. They ended the regular season with wins in seven of their last eight games, including a 71-58 thumping of Baylor that turned some heads. Kansas beat Oklahoma 69-62 in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals before pulling out of the competition after a player tested positive for COVID.

  • Region: West
  • Matchup: 3 vs. 14
  • Venue: Indiana Farmers Coliseum
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Date: Mar. 20, 2021
  • TV-Time: TBS - 1:15 p.m. (ET)

Handicapping Resources: March Madness Central | NCAA Consensus Picks

Betting Stats & Analysis - Eastern Washington Eagles

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

The Eagles have covered seven of their last nine games coming into the NCAA Tournament.

Eastern Washington has been streaky when it comes to totals. This team’s first three games went under the total. That was followed by a run where 12 of the Eagles’ next 14 games went over, before the season ended with five straight under games.

Seed: 14
Conference: Big Sky
Bid: Auto

  • SU: 16-7
  • ATS: 15-7
  • O/U: 12-10
  • Current Form (Last 5): 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS, 0-5 O/U
  • Notable Wins: None
  • PS/G: 78 (41st)
  • PA/G: 69.4 (154th)
  • Off Rtg: 108.9 (50th)
  • Def Rtg: 96.9 (91st)

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Betting Stats & Analysis - Kansas Jayhawks

Six of Kansas’ last seven games went under the total. The Jayhawks are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games.

Seed: 3
Conference: Big 12
Bid: At-large

  • SU: 20-8
  • ATS: 14-12-1
  • O/U: 12-14-1
  • Current Form (Last 5): 4-1 SU, 3-1-1 ATS, 1-4 O/U
  • Notable Wins: Creighton, Texas Tech (x2), West Virginia, Oklahoma (x2), Oklahoma State, Baylor
  • PS/G: 73.1 (125th)
  • PA/G: 65.8 (58th)
  • Off Rtg: 104.8 (120th)
  • Def Rtg: 94.2 (42nd)

First Round Predictions

Saturday's Late Action - Mar. 20
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Key Players to Watch

For Eastern Washington to pull off the upset, Tanner Groves must stay on the floor. Not only does Groves lead the team with 16.4 PPG and rank second with 8.1 RPG, but he is making 55.7% of his field goals. There isn’t another Eastern Washington player in the rotation taller than 6’7, so he can’t pick up fouls as has plagued him this year.

Kim Aiken Jr. is second on the Eagles with 11.7 PPG and leads the team with 8.5 RPG as a 6’7 guard that stays close to the basket.

Kansas is led by Ochai Agbaji. He is averaging 14.2 PPG and making 38.7% of his three-pointers to be the best perimeter shooter on the Jayhawks. David McCormack is one of the best interior players in the nation.

McCormack is averaging 13.4 PPG and 6.1 RPG. He is hitting 51.1% of his field goals and 80.2% of his free throws, and he is one of the best players at pulling down offensive rebounds.

  • EWU - Tanner Groves (16.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG)
  • EWU - Kim Aiken (11.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG)
  • KU - Ochai Agbaji (14.2 PPG)
  • KU - Jalen Wilson (12.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG)

Head-to-Head - Eastern Washington vs. Kansas

The only prior meeting between these programs came in 2007 when Kansas throttled Eastern Washington 85-47. The Jayhawks went on to win the NCAA Tournament later that season, so Kansas fans are hoping history repeats itself.

March Madness Records & Trends

Eastern Washington Eagles

  • All-Time Record: 0-2
  • Last Appearance: 2015
  • Deepest Run: Second Round (2015)

-- Eastern Washington has lost two straight NCAA Tournament games by a double-digit point total.
-- Eastern Washington has covered the spread in eight of its last 10 games.
-- Eastern Washington has gone UNDER the point total in five straight games.

Kansas Jayhawks

  • All-Time Record: 108-47
  • Last Appearance: 2019
  • Deepest Run: Champion (2008)

-- Kansas has won 11 of its last 15 NCAA Tournament games.
-- Kansas has reached the Elite Eight in three of its last four NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- Kansas has seen at least one team score 80 points or more in six straight NCAA Tournament games.
-- Kansas has been eliminated by a school seeded No. 5 or lower in four straight NCAA Tournament games.
-- Kansas has covered the spread in seven of its last nine games.
-- Kansas has gone UNDER the point total in six of its last seven games.

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