The Kentucky Wildcats will be at home to face the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday in a battle of two storied SEC programs. Kentucky is 17-9, and they were able to get back in the win column on Wednesday with their victory over Mississippi State. Tennessee, ranked #10 in the nation, is 20-6, and they defeated Alabama 68-59 on Wednesday at home. A little over a month ago, the Wildcats upset the Volunteers 63-56 in Knoxville, so we’ll see if the Vols can get their revenge today.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats Betting Odds
|Tennessee Volunteers||-2 (-110)||Over 134.5 (-110)||-135|
|Kentucky Wildcats||+2 (-110)||Under 134.5 (-110)||+115|
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats Match Details
Fixture: Tennessee Volunteers @ Kentucky Wildcats
Date & Time: Saturday, February 18, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Venue: Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats Key Stats
Tennessee is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, but they have lost two of their last three, and their defense has been subpar in these two losses. Still, their defense is why they’re a top-10 team in the country right now, but with key players Julian Phillips and Josiah-Jordan James questionable, their depth could be an issue today.
Santiago Vescovi (12.3 PPG) and Zakai Zeigler (10.9 PPG, 5.5 APG) lead the way on offense, and the Vols do a great job at racking up assists and getting everyone involved, setting up easier looks. Even though they beat Alabama last time out, they shot just 36.5% from the field. This is likely just a one-off poor shooting performance, but when they faced Kentucky in mid-January, they didn’t shoot well and they lost the rebounding battle 43 to 23. Today, look for the Vols’ defense to be key as they try to snap their two-game road losing streak.
Kentucky is a solid offensive team, averaging 111.1 points per 100 possessions, and they’re led by one of the best players in the nation, Oscar Tshiebwe. Tshiebwe averages a team-high 15.8 points and 13.3 rebounds, and he’s coming off two monster performances. Three other Wildcats average over 10 PPG, including Cason Wallace (11.6 PPG, 4.0 APG), who dished out a career-high 11 assists last game, despite being ice-cold from the field. Wallace and senior Sahvir Wheeler have done a great job setting up their teammates, so look for these two, as well as Tshiebwe, to be huge today.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats Betting Prediction
Tennessee has shot under 40% in road games, and even though they’re a deeper team than Kentucky, they have had some rough shooting games this season that have to raise some concerns. Against Kentucky last time, the Vols shot 3-for-21 from three, and while it’s unlikely that they’ll be that poor from deep today, the Wildcats are probably pretty confident entering today’s matchup. Tshiebwe is one of the more dominant players in college basketball right now, and Kentucky should be able to ride him today. Expect UK to cover here as they match up well with Tennessee.
Prediction: Kentucky +2 (-110)
Lucas Abrenica’s NCAA Basketball ATS & ML picks this season are 69-54-3 (+91.2 units)