South Carolina +2.5 Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Kentucky

Charles Stark

Saturday, February 13, 2016 12:47 PM GMT

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 12:47 PM GMT

Kentucky has had its share of growing pains this season and today they travel to South Carolina. NCAA Basketball Odds makers have come out making the Wildcats a small road favorite.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: South Carolina +2.5
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

 

Kentucky vs. South Carolina
NCAA basketball odds makers have Kentucky at a -2.5 favorite and the total at 146.5 . This is a very interesting line to me considering the fact that South Carolina is undefeated at home. However, with Kentucky being Kentucky it is rare for them ever to be an underdog so it makes a little bit of sense. For one of my selection though I will back the Gamecocks getting the points and to possibly pull off the minor upset.

 

Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky is averaging 78.4 points per game while shooting 47.5% from the field, and allowing 67.1 points per game on 39.7% shooting from the field. On the season they are 11-13 overall against the spread, but just 3-7 on the road. After two tough road losses Kentucky bounced back with two solid home wins against Florida and Georgia. The issue for them has been when they travel the way from home as they have already lost three road games in conference play. Offensively they of course have talent, but it seems overall they are a step lower than they have been the past few years. They have great interior play averaging 53.5% on their two point shooting, and they hit the glass hard averaging 38.9 rebounds per game. Tonight on this side of the ball though they face a South Carolina team that matches up with them strength for strength. Defensively the Wildcats are starting to come around and rank in the top 30 in opponent overall and two point shooting percentage, opponent shooting efficiency, and opponent effective field-goal percentage. They also have been very good limiting opponents to just 5.4 three pointers made per game which ranks 11th in the country. However, as mentioned, the issue has been on the road where they don't play nearly as solid defensively going from allowing just 61.6 points per game in Kentucky, to 74.8 points when they travel.

 

South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina is averaging 78 points per game while shooting 43.9% from the field, and allowing 69.4 points per game on 39.7% shooting from the field. On the season they are 16-5 overall against the spread, and a very good 8-2 at home. They have been undervalued this season but head coach Frank Martin knew coming into this year he had a very good basketball team. They are undefeated at home and play extremely good basketball in their house on both sides of the ball. Most people probably didn't think that the road to the SEC championship would go through South Carolina, but that is the situation today with both teams at 8-3 in conference play along with LSU. Offensively there is not a lot to shout about with the Gamecocks but they do shoot a decent 35.5% from distance, and rebound the ball very well averaging 41.5 per game which ranks 11th in the country. On the defensive side is where they get it done, and where they will rely to get a victory tonight. Kentucky is a very good on their two point shots, but South Carolina allows opponents just 42.1% on their two point shooting which ranks 14th in the country. As well, the Gamecocks rank 25th in the country in opponent overall shooting percentage.

I really like Frank Martin, and this is the best team he has had while he has been at South Carolina. He will have them well-prepared for Kentucky so I recommend for one of yourNCAA basketball picks to back the Gamecocks getting the small number. At the worst this game will go down to the wire, but don't be surprised if South Carolina wins this game straight up. This is their biggest game of the year.

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