Kansas vs Colorado Odds and Picks (Dec. 21)

Kansas bench celebration

Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot, left, and teammate Joseph Yesufu cheer their team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iona, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

  • Kansas is a 9.5-point road favorite over Colorado on Tuesday, Dec. 21
  • This will be the Jayhawks’ first true road game of the season
  • See the odds, picks, and predictions for Kansas vs Colorado, below

The #7 Kansas Jayhawks (9-1) make a road trip to face inter-conference rival the Colorado Buffaloes (9-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 21. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and is set to tip at 8:00 PM.

The history between the two schools is a long one. They have played each other dating back to the 1930s with few breaks between. The Jayhawks own a commanding 124-40 series lead. This is the first time that Kansas will be in Boulder since 2013. That game resulted in a rare 75-72 Buffs win.

Kansas vs Colorado Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Colorado +9.5 (-110) +365 U 144.5 (-110)
Kansas -9.5(-110) -490 O 144.5 (-110)

Odds via DraftKings on December 20th.


Kansas comes into this one appearing to be much like the preseason team advertised. They have loads of talent and they’ve been hot. They’ve won five straight since the early season slip-up against Dayton.

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for Colorado. Minus Southern Illinois, they’ve won the games you expected and lost the ones you expected. They’ll be looking for a statement win before conference play in this one. Can they get it?

Jayhawks Own a Big Advantage in Transition

Kansas has assembled one of the most athletic teams in the Country. They brought in a big name in the transfer portal in Remy Martin and had key players spurn the NBA like Jalen Wilson. Because of this, Kansas wanted to play up-tempo and dominate defenses in transition. That’s exactly what they’ve done.

Kansas has been the 8th-best team in transition in college basketball and for my money, may be the best. They’ve averaged 1.2 points per possession and it has been a significant part of their offense. Over 20% of their offense has come via transition. Forward Ochai Agbaji has been one of the best scorers in the country here. He’s been followed by guard Christian Braun. When either of these guys get going for Kansas they become a real handful to deal with it. Agbaji is the best player for the Jayhawks but Braun may be the true X-Factor of their team.

Transition scoring is something Kansas will look to emphasize against Colorado. The Buffs have yet to see athletes like them and have been average defending in transition. But is that strategy suitable for the high elevation of Boulder, Colorado?

Colorado Comfortable to Slow Things Down

Conveniently for Colorado, they’ll want and be comfortable to slow this game now. Because of the remove above, if the emphasis for them was to play fast, it may be a nightmare scenario. That won’t be the case, though.

The Buffs rank 286th in tempo according to KenPom. When they can get teams slowed down into a half-court game, they can be quite good on defense. They’ve been excellent defending the pick and roll which is a main part of the Kansas offense. While they aren’t stellar on offense, they can do enough in the half-court to hang when the game is at a slow pace.

Clash of styles like the one we’ll have here are always interesting. The team who is able to dictate the terms of the game will likely be the one who wins. If Colorado can slow things down against Kansas, they may have a shot to pull off the upset.


This game isn’t an easy one to handicap. Kansas is one of the most talented teams in the country but the matchup for Colorado suits them. Unless Kansas gets hot from three, I expect Colorado to remain competitive throughout.

The Buffs’ methodical pace may frustrate the Jayhawks. There’s also a chance that Kansas could be bothered by elevation. That’s always a risk when playing at Colorado but it’s heightened given their style of play.

I’ll back Colorado at the 9.5 number and will sprinkle a bit on them to pull the outright upset.

Bet: Colorado +9.5 (-110)

Chris Hatfield

Sports Writer


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