UK looks to push their winning streak to 8 games heading into the December 11th Kentucky at Notre Dame matchup. The Wildcats haven’t lost since their 79-71 defeat to Duke at Madison Square Garden, but they also haven’t faced that stiff of competition with all seven of their wins coming as at least -12 favorites.
Notre Dame is a +4.5 home underdog in Saturday afternoon’s contest, and they’re on a different streak having dropped their last three. On the bright side the Fighting Irish have won both of their games at the Joyce Center this season, and they’ll finally be back at home for the first time since November 16th.
UK Finally Challenged Again
The game against Duke was a tough way to tip-off the 2021/22 season, but at least Kentucky knows how they stack up to quality competition as the Blue Devils at one point had risen to #1 in the country. UK did get a couple of solid double-doubles in that game as Oscar Tshiebwe went for 17 points while grabbing 20 rebounds. Sahvir Wheeler also had 16 points while dishing out 10 assists.
Tshiebwe has been a monster on the boards, as the 6’9″, 254 pound West Virginia transfer leads the country with 15.4 rebounds/game. Last year with the Mountaineers 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, but he’s grabbed double digit rebounds in every game and is coming off consecutive 20+ point double-doubles. TyTy Washington has scored in double figures in seven straight as well.
While the Wildcats have compiled some nice statistics lately, they’ve also played seven straight mid-major opponents since the Duke loss and all at home. With the Blue Devils game being at neutral site Madison Square Garden, the December 11th Kentucky at Notre Dame game will be the first time UK plays a true road game this season.
Fighting Irish Back at Home
This matchup is a tale of two schedules thus far, with Kentucky playing their first true road game of the season while Notre Dame is back at home for the first time since a 70-61 win over High Point on November 16th – a span of 25 days.
The Irish have also tested themselves. Whereas Kentucky has been a -23 point or higher favorite in six of their seven wins, Notre Dame has suffered losses to Texas A&M and St. Mary’s in the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas, lost in Champaign to a really good Illinois team, and most recently fell at 6-3 Boston College in their ACC opener on December 3rd.
Not playing since last Friday’s loss at the Golden Eagles has given Notre Dame 8 days off, which will obviously have them fresh but could also lead to coming out flat as they shake off the cobwebs. 6’10” Nate Laszewski leads the Irish with 9.1 rebounds/game but he’s going to have a battle with Tschiebwa on the glass. Kentucky may not shoot well in their first road game of the season, but the last thing you want to do is give them extra chances.
December 11th Kentucky at Notre Dame Betting Preview
The public is hammering the Wildcats here as the 5th most popular play of the day on a stacked Saturday slate. The line has moved a bit from the UK +3 open, but there are still a lot of intangibles that favor Notre Dame. The Irish are rested, finally at home, and facing a Kentucky squad playing their first road game of the season.
Kentucky 71 – Notre Dame 75
Free Pick: Notre Dame +4.5