NCAA Basketball Picks: Arkansas vs. Kentucky SEC Championship

Darin Zank

Sunday, March 15, 2015 12:00 PM GMT

To add thrill to this NCAA Basketball Pick, understand that Kentucky sits one victory away from entering the NCAA tournament undefeated. Can they cover against second-seeded Arkansas in Nashville?

Hogs-Wildcats Betting Odds
Most of the NCAA Basketball odds market opened Kentucky at -13 for Sunday's game, then bumped the Wildcats to -13.5 in the early betting.

Those who believe destiny might be denied could get Arkansas at +864 on the moneyline at Pinnacle.

Also, the total on this game opened at right around 137, then rose to 138 in the early action.

 

Hogs-Wildcats: SEC Showdown
Kentucky is 33-0 on the season, after taking care of business Saturday against Auburn 91-67, reaching the finals of the SEC tournament. The Wildcats led the shorthanded Tigers by 18 at the half, pushed that advantage to 28 in the second half, but in the end settled for a push on the spread as 24-point favorites, as Auburn hit a meaningless 3-pointer with 10 seconds left.

Kentucky shot a hot 56 percent from the floor Saturday, hit seven-of-14 from 3-point land and 30-of-35 from the FT line.

The Wildcats opened this SEC tournament with a 64-49 victory over Florida Friday, covering at -13.

Arkansas, meanwhile, is now 26-7 on the season, after stifling Georgia Saturday 60-49. The Razorbacks led by eight early in the second half, then used a 13-2 run to take an insurmountable lead, and cruised from there, easily covering as three-point favorites.

Neither team shot the ball worth a shit from the floor Saturday, helping that game play way UNDER its total of 145.

The Hogs opened this SEC tournament with an 80-72 victory over Tennessee Friday, covering at -6.

Arkansas had beaten Kentucky three times in a row, but the Wildcats took the only meeting with the Hogs this season three weeks ago in Lexington 84-67. And that game wasn't as closeas that final score might indicate. Kentucky led by 16 at the half and by 31 in the second half, before taking its foot off the gas. In the end the 'Cats had hung on for the cover as 15-point favorites to the surprise of many people placing NCAA basketball picks.

On the day Kentucky shot 48 percent from the floor, while holding Arkansas to 38 percent shooting.

That game sneaked OVER its total of 148 as the teams combined to score 83 points in a second half that included a lot of garbage time.

 

Hogs-Wildcats, By the Numbers
Arkansas is shooting 45 percent from the field this season, 35 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the FT line. Also, Razorbacks opponents are shooting just under 43 percent from the floor.

Kentucky is shooting 47 percent from the floor, 34 percent from long range and 72 percent from the line, all while holding foes to just 35 percent FG shooting, which ranks as the best FG defense in the nation.

 

Hogs-Wildcats Betting Trends
Kentucky has played nine OVERS in its last 12 games, in large part because oddsmakers have been posting some low totals on 'Cats games, like 127, 125, 121 and 124.

If Kentucky had been favored by 14 points in every game this season it would be 22-11 ATS.

Arkansas has played five OVERS in its last six games, simply because it's been playing some high-scoring games.

The Hogs are 4-2 ATS this season as underdogs.

 

Hogs-Wildcats Free Pick
Kentucky rolled Arkansas a couple weeks ago, and normally we might be inclined to believe something similar would happen the next time these teams met, especially coming so soon. But today's line is probably inflated slightly toward the big favorites, while the Hogs will be itching to prove they're a little better than what they showed in that first meeting. So while we're not calling for the upset here, we will take the points for our NCAA basketball picks.

SEC Championship Game NCAA Basketball Pick: Arkansas +13.5 at BetOnline