Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats
The Tennessee Volunteers and the Kentucky Wildcats face off on Saturday in Knoxville in a SEC battle. The Wildcats are -1.5 point favorites over the Volunteers with an over/under point total set at 132.
The Tennessee Volunteers have won their last two games but the wins have come against the lesser teams in the SEC. Tennessee is 5-6 in the SEC, 9-3 at home this season, and they have played the 49th ranked schedule in the nation. As a team Tennessee is averaging 63.7 points, 10.3 assists, and they are shooting 42.9 percent while defensively they are allowing 61.6 points, 11 assists, and their opponents are shooting 41.4 percent. Jordan McCrae is averaging 13.7 points, Jarnell Stokes is averaging 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds, and Trae Golden is averaging 10.4 points. Tennessee usually makes a late season push and they have the opportunity to do it again this year.
The Kentucky Wildcats looked like they were on their way to making a late season run but a tough loss at Florida and the loss of their best payer, Nerlens Noel, what the Cats have to bring to the table remains to be seen. Kentucky is 8-3 in the SEC, 4-4 on the road this season, and they are just 1-4 against teams with a RPI better than 50. As a team Kentucky is averaging 75 points, 14.5 assists, and they are shooting 48.6 percent while defensively they are allowing 62.8 points, 10.8 assists, and their opponents are shooting 38.2 percent. Archie Goodwin is averaging 13.9 points, Alex Poythress is averaging 12 points and 6.3 rebounds, and Kyle WIltjer is averaging 11.5 points. Kentucky still as a boatload of talent but it’s tough to replace a defensive talent like Noel.
Tennessee is 4-1 against the spread following a game which they covered the spread, 1-6 against the spread in their last seven home games, and 10-4 against the spread in their last 14 Saturday games. Kentucky is 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 games overall, 2-6-1 against the spread following a loss, and 3-11 against the spread against the SEC. the home team has covered the spread in seven of the last nine meetings of these two.
This is a tough one as the books appear to be baiting the public to take Kentucky but I am going to go the other way and take the Vols at home here.
Tennessee Volunteers +1.5 Kentucky Wildcats