NCAAB Picks: Value Found in Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky Spread

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 1:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 1:59 PM UTC

Kentucky and Vanderbilt have two of the youngest rosters in the country, which provides value to the road underdog in this SEC matchup at Rupp Arena Tuesday.

Speed Bump
Vanderbilt got off to a fast start in capturing 11 of its first 14 games, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA Basketball picks, but it has gone 0-3 SUATS in its last three conference affairs.

The Commodores are starting three true freshmen for the first time since the 2009 SEC Tournament, as they look to improve upon their 8-17 all-time record against top-ranked teams, including an 0-7 mark versus tonight’s foe when playing in Lexington.

It’s not surprising that the team has hit a speed bump in SEC play, as it ranks 348th nationally in terms of experience, but just two spots below Kentucky.

Sports bettors will find that the squad's NCAA basketball odds are at 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following a point spread loss, as they look to bounce back from a 57-54 defeat to Mississippi State as four-point road favorites last Saturday.


Back On Track
After being pushed in a pair of overtime victories against Texas A&M and Mississippi, Kentucky looked like the clear favorite to win the 2015 NCAA Tournament in last week’s action, as it won and covered the number against Missouri and Alabama.

The Wildcats have only trailed for 98:22 of the possible 695 minutes this season, which has played a major part in putting together the fourth-best start in program history in producing a 17-0 SU and 10-7 ATS record.

Under head coach John Calipari’s two-platoon system, the top 10 available players on the roster are averaging between 10.6 and 25.3 minutes per game.


Matching Height
The Commodores starting front line is the second tallest in the SEC in terms of average height—falling just one inch short of the Wildcats in that department.

Sophomore Damian Jones is the main player to watch in the paint, as he’s averaging 16.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game—loving up to his Preseason All-SEC First Team honors.


From Way Downtown
The Wildcats will continue to be double-digit favorites the rest of the way if they continue their hot shooting from beyond the arc, as they’ve knocked down 44.2 percent of their attempts from that area in the last seven contests.

Kentucky’s ball movement has opened the floor for its perimeter players, as its average of 16.2 assists per game would be the program’s highest since 1998-99 if the season ended today.


I’m going to recommend that readers back the Commodores as one of their NCAAB picks, as the underdog is 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings in this rivalry.

Free College Basketball Pick:  Vanderbilt Commodores +22 at Pinnacle Sports

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