The Kansas Jayhawks are set to face the Kansas State Wildcats this weekend. Check out our college basketball odds series, which includes our Kansas Kansas State prediction, odds, and pick.

The Big 12 Conference is extraordinarily difficult. TCU and Kansas State are viewed by most analysts as the two weakest teams in the conference, and yet they both are in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament berth. Kansas State almost won at Oklahoma, almost won at West Virginia, did beat Texas Tech, and did beat Texas. Oklahoma State won at Baylor. TCU beat Oklahoma and is 12-3 on the season. There is simply no easy out, no pansy or pushover, in the Big 12. This is the backdrop to the rivalry game between the Jayhawks and Wildcats.

College basketball odds experts know that when sizing up your pick here, the Jayhawks have the national reputation and will naturally be viewed by most onlookers as the natural favorite in this game. Yet, Kansas State — with recent back-to-back wins against Texas Tech and Texas — has made it harder to discount the Cats on their home floor in Bramlage Coliseum. When you think about your game prediction, there's a lot to consider here, especially in a conference where nearly every game is a back-alley fistfight with very little separation between the two sides.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Kansas-Kansas State odds:

College Basketball Odds: Kansas-Kansas State Odds

Kansas: -6 (-110)

Kansas State: +6 (-110)

Over: 138 (-106)

Under: 138 (-114)

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Why Kansas Could Cover the Spread

The Kansas season and its trajectory depend primarily on David McCormack. The Jayhawks go deep in March when their big man plays at an elite level. They get the defensive coverage and rebounding they need so that the wings aren't overburdened and can fit their roles the way Bill Self wants. When McCormack is on — as he was in a recent win over West Virginia — the Jayhawks become extremely tough to beat. That is part of the calculus in the college basketball odds. 

What Kansas has to love, though, is that other players have stepped up to help McCormack. Christian Braun made huge plays to beat Oklahoma on the road earlier this week. McCormack might be the primary player, the nerve center of the roster, but his excellence needs to liberate his teammates, such as Braun, to be their best selves and provide the complementary production which makes Kansas a complete team. Given how well the complementary role players are performing for this team, and given how much a road win at Oklahoma has to fill the Jayhawks with confidence, it's entirely realistic to think they will not only win, but cover.

Why Kansas State Could Cover the Spread

The Wildcats were down by five to Texas late in regulation, but they smothered the Longhorns' offense down the stretch, not allowing a single point in the last three minutes and winning late, 66-65. Kansas State lost to Texas earlier in the season, so this win provided revenge in addition to a boost for the Wildcats' resume. Kansas State's consecutive wins over Texas Tech and Texas reveal a team which is competing extremely well and finding ways to get big late-game defensive stops. The Cats can certainly thwart Kansas's halfcourt offense and keep this game very close.

Final Kansas-Kansas State Prediction & Pick

This is not an easy game to pick, but with both teams having won their last two games, which one would you pick to play well for a third consecutive game? Kansas is the better choice, given its experience and its level of talent.

Final Kansas-Kansas State Pick: Kansas -6