College basketball Thursday three-team mega parlay (+971): Kansas to feast on North Texas

Kansas Jayhawks guard Christian Braun celebrates after making a three-pointer in win over West Virginia
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Ricky Dimon

NCAAB· 3 days ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

What a time to be a college sports fan. It’s rivalry week in college football, conference championships and bowl games are almost here, and the college basketball season is heating up with various Thanksgiving tournaments. Among the teams in action on the hardwood on Thanksgiving Day are Baylor, Michigan State, UConn, Kansas, Maryland, Louisville, and Auburn. Kansas is the last piece of today’s mega parlay.

Michigan State ML (+130)

Miami -9.5 (+144)

Kansas -14.5 (-110)

Parlay odds: +971

For this parlay we are going with two favorites against the spread (one on an alternate number) and one underdog on the money line. Let’s break down each of the three legs one by one.

Michigan State ML over UConn (+130)

UConn outlasted Auburn in double-overtime while Michigan State squeaked by Loyola Chicago in their respective opening-round games in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Auburn has a good defense, but the Spartans are much better than the Tigers defensively. Sparty’s defense ranks 3rd in efficiency per KemPom, 16th in effective FG% (41.3), 6th in 2-point defense (38.1%), and 7th in block %. A lot of this is due to the 7-footer Marcus Bingham, who ranks 5th in block % and 89th in steal % (as a 7’0” center, no less!). Bingham is one of the country’s premier all-around big men, and he can certainly make an impression against UConn — particularly in his matchup with Adama Sanogo, who averages 4.8 fouls committed per 40 minutes. When Sanogo is on the bench, UConn’s offensive points per possession drops from 1.24 to 1.11, so the Huskies hope to keep him out of foul trouble against the Spartans.

Check out our UConn vs Michigan State preview

Miami (FL) -9.5 alternate spread over Dayton  (+144)

Albeit against lowly Florida A&M, Miami may have figured some things out in its last game. Dayton, on the other hand, clearly has not. The Flyers have lost 3 games outright as no less than 9-point favorites, and they are now 0-4 against the spread. Until they show some signs of life, they cannot be trusted. Miami is the play in this game. The Hurricanes don’t appear to be a great team once again this year, but there is still quite a bit of talent on the roster. Their offense has been much better than last season, ranking 64th in KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency, after finishing 172nd last year. Dayton has been bad on both ends, but the defense has been non-existent in the last two specifically. The Flyers gave up 1.20 points per possession to Lipscomb and followed it up by allowing 1.19 points per possession to Austin Peay. Miami is the best offense they have faced yet, so the ‘Canes should have some success scoring.

Check out all our college basketball previews and picks for Thursday

Kansas -14.5 over North Texas (-110)

No. 4 Kansas (3-0) and North Texas (2-1) will face off tonight in Kissimmee, Florida, in the first round of the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational. In their most recent game the Jayhawks defeated Stony Brook 88-59, as senior guard Ochai Agbaji led all scorers with 25 points on 52.6% shooting from the field along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Agbaji is leading the entire nation in scoring with 26.3 ppg on 57.7% shooting from the field and 41.7% from three. Through 3 games, Kansas is averaging 87.7 ppg on 52.1% shooting from the field and 38.5% from deep. The Mean Green are coming off a 64-36 home win over UT Arlington exactly a week ago. They struggled offensively but were dominant on the defensive end by holding UT Arlington to 28.6% shooting from the field and just 10% from three, while forcing 21 UT Arlington turnovers in the process. North Texas boasts a 2-1 record, but one win was against a Division-II opponent and the other was against a Division I opponent with a 1-4 record whose only win has come against Division III competition. This should be a beatdown.

Check out our North Texas vs Kansas preview

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