Samford vs. Kansas Prediction, Odds and Key Players for NCAA Tournament First Round

Breaking down the odds, trends, key players, and best bet to place for the March Madness NCAA Tournament Round of 64 game between Samford and Kansas.
Mar 13, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward K.J. Adams Jr. (24) dunks during the
Mar 13, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward K.J. Adams Jr. (24) dunks during the / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas didn't quite live up to expectations this season, but all can be forgiven with a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Despite the Jayhawks' stumbles, they've been awarded a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will take on No. 13 Samford, a frisky mid-major contender, in the opening round.

Can the Jayhawks avoid the upset and advance to the Round of 32? Let's find out what the oddsmakers think.

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Samford vs. Kansas odds, spread, and total

Samford vs. Kansas betting trends

  • The OVER is 4-2 in Samford's last six games
  • Samford is 0-7 straight up in its last games vs. Big 12 opponents
  • Kansas are 1-4 ATS in its last five games
  • The UNDER is 6-3 in Kansas' last nine games

Samford vs. Kansas how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Game Time: 9:55 PM EST
  • Venue: Delta Center
  • How to Watch (TV): TBS
  • Samford Record: 29-5
  • Kansas Record: 22-10

Samford vs. Kansas key players to watch


Achor Achor: For a mid major team to pull off a big first round upset, they usually need a player to take over a game and they have a potential candidate to do that in Achor Achor. He's playing his best ball of the season, reaching at least 21 points in three of Samford's last four games including 25 points in the SOCON Championship Game. Keep in eye on him in this battle vs. Kansas.


K.J. Adams Jr: Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson are questionable for this Round of 64 game which means K.J. Abams Jr. needs to step up in a big way against Samford. He scored 22 points against Cincinnati in its Big 12 Tournament loss to Cincinnati, but he'll need to do even more if Dickinson and McCullar can't go.

Samford vs. Kansas prediction and pick

This is a great spot for Samford to pull off the upset, playing against an injured Kansas team, but let's not underestimate this Jayhawks' squad. The Bulldogs are one of the best shooting teams in the country, but their defense leaves a lot to be desired.

They're just 153rd in effective field goal percentage so I'm confident that Kansas will find ways to score early and often even if McCullar and Dickinson can't go.

Samford also has a turnover issue, coughing it up on 17.7% of its possessions, which is bad news for a team that wants to pull of an upset against a much more skilled group of players.

The Bulldogs will be a popular upset pick, but I won't fall for it. I'll lay the points with the Jayhawks on Thursday night.

Pick: Kansas -7.5

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!