Basketball Pick: Kentucky vs. Arkansas
Date/Time: January 14th, 9:00 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Kentucky -1
At 1-9-2 ATS in their last 12 games played on the road, it’s no wonder why the Kentucky Wildcats are only laying a point to the Arkansas Razorbacks in spite of the fact that they are the ranked team and the clearly superior of the two squads in terms of pure talent.
That said, the Cats aren’t a shoe-in to run away with this game by any stretch of the imagination. The team has won four in a row, but the only one of those wins which was even remotely impressive was the 73-66 win at Rupp Arena against the hated Louisville Cardinals. Losing on the road has become the norm for this team; just look at the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill for proof of that. However, the Cats did put together one of their best road games in quite some time when they beat the Vanderbilt Commodores 71-62 over the weekend. It wasn’t the best showing in the world, and it did come against a suspect squad, but in the end, wins are wins for a team which figures to get more and more dangerous as the season goes on with all of the youth that it has which is just learning to play this great game.
The Hogs have been beaten in consecutive games to start the SEC season, and that has to be concerning for a team which had to figure it was on its way to the NCAA Tournament after the great start to the season. However, games like this absolutely have to be won from time to time, and an 0-3 start in conference play is clearly going to put the Razorbacks in a world of hurt. They’ve got a four-pack of men who are averaging double digits in scoring this year, as G Michael Qualls, F Bobby Portis, G Rashad Madden, and F Alandise Harris are all at that point. F Coty Clarke is also just under the 10 point per game margin, and he is one of the tougher defensive players in this conference as well. Arkansas is going to badly have to use its defense and its home court advantage to its aid in this one, knowing that there aren’t many who are going to be picking it for the upset. The talent gap is huge, and the experienced players are going to have to step up in red and white if there is a hope for the upset.
Everything points to Kentucky in this game, but so do over 70% of the bettors as well. Funny that the line isn’t moving! This is a game which means the season to the Razorbacks, and we think that the oddsmakers recognize that fact. There’s a reason why this game is a de facto pick ‘em, and we think that Arkansas, in spite of everything which is going against it at this point, is going to figure out how to pull out a victory over a very good, but still maturing, Kentucky side. Arkansas 80 – Kentucky 74