NCAA Basketball Picks: Kentucky vs. Arkansas

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 3:54 PM GMT

The Arkansas Razorbacks and Kentucky Wildcats will provide viewers one of the more exciting games of the year, as they prepare to face off Tuesday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball lines for this Southeastern Conference matchup at Bud Walton Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Putting it all together

Kentucky is starting to look like a team that’s capable of winning the national championship, as it comes off a 71-62 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores as nine-point road favorites last Saturday.

The Wildcats are tied for second in the nation with a plus-12.7 rebounding margin, which has led to an average of 16.5 second-chance points—the most of any John Calipari-coached team through 15 games.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 0-2 SUATS as road favorites of three or fewer points, with both games going OVER the betting total.

Trying to bounce back

Arkansas had its 23-game home winning streak snapped last Saturday, as it dropped an 84-82 overtime decision to the Florida Gators, while going OVER the betting total of 142.

The Razorbacks will try to get back on the right track by forcing the youthful Wildcats into making mistakes, as they lead the SEC in creating 18.4 turnovers per game.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 3-0 SUATS as home underdogs of three or fewer points dating back to the 2011-12 campaign.

A great calendar month

The Wildcats have compiled a dominating 28-5 SU record in January during the Calipari era, as its known as a period that directly follows “Camp Cal” on campus in Lexington.

Kentucky has been known to have one of the more inexperienced teams in the country over the last few years, but the extra practice time during the mid-semester break has been a growing period for the program.

Balanced scoring

There’s no question that the Razorbacks are capable of pulling off a victory in this spot, considering nine different players have scored 10-plus points in a game this season.

Arkansas is also getting 46 percent of its scoring production from its bench, which allows head coach Mike Anderson to crank up the pressure on the defensive end when players become fatigued.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wildcats for their college basketball picks, as they turned the ball over just 11 times in a 73-66 home win over the Louisville Cardinals earlier this season.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Kentucky Wildcats +1