Kentucky Looks to Pull Out of Funk at SEC Leader Auburn

auburn basketball

Willie Bee

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 12:46 PM UTC

Mired in a 3-game losing streak, John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats are sizable underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds Wednesday night at No. 10 and SEC-leading Auburn.

Kentucky Wildcats at No. 10 Auburn TigersFree NCAAB Pick: Kentucky +8½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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John Calipari knows better than to think Kentucky’s domination of another school in the past amounts to a hill of beans as far as helping his Wildcats out of their current tailspin. It’s the worst stretch since Coach Cal took over, UK barely treading water in the SEC standings after three consecutive losses, and Wednesday’s opponent is a far different Auburn Tigers team than the ones previous Wildcats have routinely slapped around.

Ending the skid on the floor of the conference leader would be a nice beginning to getting things turned around for Kentucky, ESPN2 televising the 9 PM (ET) matchup at Auburn Arena. BetOnline has the Tigers -8, while other shops are at -8½, with 157½-158 for the total.

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The first three-game losing streak of the @UKCoachCalipari era. A really, really good opponent Wednesday. A hostile environment. Some would call that adversity. We call it an opportunity. #EmbraceTheChallenge#UKvsAU preview ➡️ https://t.co/76aGLKppV7 pic.twitter.com/O9ApJwUAyp

— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 14, 2018
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Schools Colliding For 111th Time

Though the Tigers might be favored, an Auburn victory tonight will still have the feel of an upset thanks to Kentucky winning 19 of the last 20 to build a commanding 92-18 lead in the rivalry. Auburn’s lone win in that 20-game span came two years ago on this floor, a 75-70 decision as an 11½-point underdog on the NCAA basketball odds over then-No. 14 Kentucky. The Tigers have done a good job covering in the past, sending their backers to the pay window seven of the last 10 meetings – though that has been as the underdog as far back as I could trace – and the ‘under’ has cashed the last six in Alabama.

Kentucky appeared to have gotten on track earlier this month with 3 straight dubyas following a 4-3 start on the conference slate. That was before a couple of road losses at Missouri and Texas A&M sandwiched a setback to Tennessee at friendly Rupp Arena, the second defeat at the hands of the Volunteers this season. We used to be able to count on Kentucky being favored all the time, but this is the fourth time in the last six contests the Wildcats play as underdogs.

Tigers Bounce Back After Tough Loss To Texas A&M

Auburn also fell to a resurgent Aggies team recently, a late rally by the Tigers last week just coming up short in an 81-80 final. Bruce Pearl’s group didn’t dwell on the disappointing loss, coming right back with a 78-61 win and cover at Georgia over the weekend without leading scorer Bryce Brown. The 6-3 junior practiced with the team Tuesday and is expected to play this evening despite being less than 100%.

Kentucky has the height advantage for this game, and that same issue did bother Auburn some against Texas A&M. Though it goes against their performances up to now, I will take the points with my free college basketball pick.

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