The two top dogs in the SEC do battle for the second time on the year with the Kentucky Wildcats picking up a resounding win at home over the Tennessee Volunteers. This game has major SEC regular season title implications as the teams currently both sit in a three-way tie with LSU atop the conference standings.
Kentucky is led by star and NBA draft prospect PJ Washington, a high-IQ stretch forward who hits the boards at an above average clip. Washington averages 15 points per game to go with 7.8 rebounds, both leading the way for the Wildcats. Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, and Reid Travis (if available) all are capable of providing a much-needed secondary scoring option for the Wildcats. Ashton Haggans takes a bit of a backseat to Kentucky’s scorers but in instrumental in facilitating the offense and leas the Wildcats in assists.
Tennessee, on the other hand, is led by the dynamic duo of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. Williams has steadily improved his play throughout the season and tends to be the go-to scoring option for the Volunteers averaging 19.1 points per game to go with excellent defense. Schofield offers the Volunteers a reliable outside shot, making nearly 2 per game en route to the second highest scoring average on the team.
Kentucky vs. Tennessee Betting Line & Over/Under
(Betting Line and Total courtesy of Oddsshark.com)
- Washington Wizards (25-36) vs Boston Celtics (37-25)
- Friday, March 1st at 8:00 pm ET
- Point Spread: Boston Celtics (-9)
- Point Total: 234
Kentucky vs. Tennessee Prediction
Kentucky came out in the last game and dominated the Volunteers from wire to wire. After opening up a decent lead heading into the half, the Wildcats cranked things up another notch in the second and the Volunteers simply had no answer. Despite being on the road, the loss somewhat exposed Tennessee’s flaws as a basketball team. Kentucky is a long and athletic team coached by John Calipari, a defensive mastermind. While Williams posted an efficient day, the rest of the Volunteers went ice cold from the field and struggled to get consistent open looks.
Kentucky is 9-1 over their last 10 games, with the only loss coming to LSU, and is playing some of the best basketball in the country. Clicking on both offense and defense, the Wildcats are an experienced bunch that simply finds a way to win basketball games. Usually a relatively effective offense, the Tennessee game showcased that Kentucky has the ability to clamp down on defense and win games when their shot goes quiet. Defense travels in college basketball and at 8-2 on the road this year, Kentucky shouldn’t be phased by the electric Volunteer crowd.
Tennessee is 8-2 over their last ten games but has looked vulnerable in their last four outings. With losses to LSU and Kentucky to go with a shaky win over Ole Miss, the Volunteers hardly look like the juggernaut they were to start the year. Despite their solid defense, the Volunteers are mostly reliant on their outstanding offense and will need that to show up against a staunch Kentucky defense that matches up well with the Volunteers.
Kentucky has already shown that they were the far better team in the first matchup and despite facing a raucous crowd at Tennessee, should continue their winning ways as they fight to claim sole ownership of the SEC regular season title. Kentucky should win, so the money line is in play, but to be safe we’ll hammer Kentucky with the points.
Pick: Kentucky +2.5 (YTD Record: 4-3)
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