Kentucky Wildcats host the Alabama Crimson Tide on Tuesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky with the opening tip coming at 9:00 PM ET. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN. Have the sportsbook left any value on the table for those of us looking to place our college basketball picks on this matchup?
According to NCAA basketball betting odds Kentucky is an early 13.0 point home favorite. Alabama has covered 5 of the last 6 meetings between these teams. Kentucky is currently ranked 24th nationally with a 21-8 overall record. The Wildcats are 2nd in the SEC with a conference mark of 11-5. Alabama enters tonight with a 12-17 overall record, and is 6-10 in conference play while sitting 11th in the 14-team SEC.
Horrible Shooting Equal Horrible Losses
Kentucky enters tonight off of 2 upset losses, with both coming as an identical10.0 point favorite. The most recent loss occurred on Saturday at South Carolina 72-67. The Wildcats endured their worst shooting performance on the season converting on a horrific 26.9% from the field. They were able to stay in the game with a 41-23 rebounding advantage, and by converting on 33 of their 42 free throw attempts. The loss was especially disturbing considering they were facing a South Carolina team that entered the game with a record of 10-18 overall, and 3-12 in the SEC. That dismal performance came on the heels of a miserable 34.2% shooting from the field during a 71-67 overtime home loss at the hands of the Arkansas Razorbacks. It was the first time this season that Kentucky suffered a 2-game losing streak.
Down Year for the Tide
It would be a vast understatement to say that the Alabama Crimson Tide have had a down year. They’ve gone a horrible 0-10 in true road games this season. Their road woes have been plagued by anemic offensive production. In those 10 true road tilts Alabama is averaging just 59.9 points per game while shooting a terrible 39.2% from the field. On a positive note they’re coming off a win in their previous game on Saturday when they defeated Auburn 73-57. Alabama has done a nice job of defending the three-point line this season. Currently the Crimson Tide is 26th nationally in that category holding opponents to just 30.4% from beyond the arc. Alabama has seen 8 of their 10 road games go under the number this season when there was a total posted in the contest.
Kentucky has been anything but dominant in their last 3 home games, losing 2, and winning the other in overtime. What’s even more concerning is the fact that they’ve shot a brutal 40 for 128 (31.3%) from the field over their last 2-games. Alabama enters tonight with not a lot to play for, and barring an improbable run to win the SEC Tournament, they won’t be involved in postseason play. However, they’ve won 2 of their last 3-games, shot the ball well, and shows no immediate signs of throwing in the towel. I’m going to have the smallest of leans on the road underdog for my college basketball picks in this spot.
College Basketball Pick: Alabama +13.0 over Kentucky