NCAAB Saturday February 18th #10 Tennessee at Kentucky Betting Preview
Upset Time in Lexington?
The #10 Volunteers should be moving up the rankings this week thanks to their 68-59 win over #1 Alabama on Wednesday in a game where Tennessee (20-6) was actually a -3 point home favorite. Now the main goal for Rick Barnes’ team in the Tennessee at Kentucky betting matchup is to avoid a letdown after beating the top team in the country this week.
The Wildcats are ready to see how their offense again stacks up against one of the best defenses in the nation and find out if they can ride a home court advantage to a victory as +2.5 underdogs on Saturday. 56% of the betting public likes UK and the points.
Why Tennessee Can Cover -2.5 Points
On one hand there is a bit of a risk for letdown after beating Alabama this week, but at the same time taking down the top team in the country gives a club a little bit of swagger and confidence. The Vols are riding high right now after holding the Crimson Tide to a season low 59 points.
Tennessee’s defensive performance vs Alabama was no fluke, as they have the #1 rated defensive efficiency in the country. That also includes being top in opponent field goal percentage (35.5) and three point shooting (24.7). The Vols held Kentucky to 63 points in their first meeting this season (12 below their average) the only problem is that Tennessee scored only 56 in the 63-56 defeat at home as -11 point favorites on January 14th.
One of the big reasons Tennessee lost the first meeting with Kentucky is because they were ice cold shooting just 3-21 from three point range while also going 7-10 from the charity stripe compared to 22-25 from Kentucky – you have to think those are all kind of fluke performances and the Vols still ‘only’ lost by 7 points.
Why Kentucky Can Cover +2.5 Points
The Wildcats have already slayed this great dragon, going into Thompson-Boling Arena on January 14th and getting a 63-56 outright win as +11 point underdogs. By the way that UK victory snapped a 25-game win streak in Knoxville for the Volunteers and came when Tennessee was ranked #5 in the country.
The Vols are coming to Lexington off a big win over the #1 team in the country, but they had also lost their two previous games in ugly fashion, 66-65 at Vanderbilt as -10 point favorites and 86-85 to Missouri as -12 point favorites. Tennessee kicked off the month with a 67-54 loss at Florida as -4.5 favorites so even though the win over the Crimson Tide was impressive, this is still a team that is just 2-4 in February.
Reigning Player of the Year Oscar Tschiebwe had 15 points and 13 rebounds in the first game with Tennessee, his third straight double-double vs. the Volunteers although two of those were in losses.
Free Tennessee at Kentucky Betting Pick
The Volunteers are angry after Kentucky snapped their 25-game home losing streak earlier this season, but although Tennessee has a very good defense UK also hung a century mark on them in their visit to Rupp Arena last year in a 107-79 Kentucky win.
Free Pick: Kentucky +2.5