(18-5, 9-10-1 ATS)
(23-1, 11-11 ATS)
SEC East rivals collide in Lexington on Saturday night to finish off “Rivalry Week” on ESPN. The Tennessee Volunteers continue arguably the hardest stretch of their entire season when they pay a visit to the #2 team in the land, the Kentucky Wildcats. Tennessee is in the midst of playing four out of five games on the road, and it takes a poor 1-3 ATS mark away from Rocky Top in SEC play into this weekend.
Tennessee had better hope that its brutal 90-71 loss at Vanderbilt was merely a hiccup and not a sign of things to come down the stretch or it could find itself on the bubble in a hurry. The offense for this team away from home has been brutal, particularly in conference play. That 71 points was by far and away the best offensive output that the team has had on the road this year, which has to make Volunteers betting fans cringe just a bit at the prospects of back them in this game. HC Bruce Pearl is going to have to find a way to get more production out of his stars, F Wayne Chism and G Scotty Hopson to do better than his squad’s 64.0 PPG in SEC roadies this year.
The Wildcats have been winning games, but HC John Calipari is consistently asking for better from his squad. Even though G John Wall put up 22 points and ten boards against the Crimson Tide on Tuesday night at home, Calipari complained of his six turnovers versus just two assists. However, there’s no denying just how strong Kentucky is in the post behind the strength of both Fs DeMarcus Cousins (16.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG) and Patrick Patterson (14.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG). G Eric Bledsoe feels like he is due for a breakout game, as he hasn’t scored more than 13 points in a contest since dropping 25 on the Gators in mid-January.
The hosts have been as bipolar as a team could get in terms of cover and not cover spreads. They’ve alternated wins and losses in each of their L/10 games, and just based on that logic, following the ATS defeat in their win against Alabama during the week, the Wildcats should be the way to go. Truth be told, if Kentucky is on its game, it’s simply not going to be beaten. The only question is whether it can win by the required double digits or not. The Vols don’t have enough offense to stick around in this one though, so we’ll bank on the Rupp Arena faithful to carry the Cats to a cover.
Selection: Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky has owned this series with its SEC East rivals of late, covering four straight and going 3-1 SU in that run. Bookmaker Sportsbook currently has a college basketball betting line of the Wildcats -9.5 for you to dig into right now!