The prohibitive favorite to win the SEC and one of the teams expected to challenge meet in Lexington Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, as No. 6 Kentucky (11-2, 1-0 SEC) hosts Texas A&M (8-4, 0-1) on ESPN. According to OddsShark the Wildcats are a 14-point favorite on most sports books, with a couple having a point spread of 14.5 points in Kentucky’s favor. As for the point total, that figure is up to 151 in most sports books after opening at 148.5.
The OddsShark computer projects Kentucky to win by the final score of 85-75.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari starts four freshmen, guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk and forwards Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo, and while there have been some growing pains for the most part the Wildcats have been the talented basketball team many expected when the season began. The Wildcats are 9-4 against the spread this season, with a 6-3 record ATS at Rupp Arena. And the “over” has hit in nine of Kentucky’s 13 games, including three of their last four. Most recently Kentucky beat Ole Miss 99-76 in the SEC opener for both.
Texas A&M, while having one of the top front courts in the SEC led by sophomores Tyler Davis and D.J. Hogg, has struggled at times due to inexperience on the perimeter. Highly regarded freshman point guard J.J. Caldwell wasn’t cleared to compete this season, making the task of replacing Alex Caruso and Daniel House even more difficult than it was expected to be. Billy Kennedy’s Aggies are 4-5 ATS this season, which includes their current streak of three straight defeats ATS (1-2 straight up in those games). Most recently the Aggies lost at home to Tennessee, 73-63, a game they entered as 9.5-point favorites. Five of the nine Texas A&M games listed in sports books this season have hit the “under,” with the “over” winning in three games and the 67-63 loss to Arizona being a “push.”
Prediction: Kentucky -14 and the under, with the final score being 81-65 in their favor.