Struggling Offenses Lead To Under In Tennessee-Kentucky Clash

Kentucky Wildcats

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 3:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 3:10 PM UTC

Revenge, and not love, is driving Kentucky on this Valentine's Day as the Wildcats are double-digit favorites on the NCAA basketball odds against the Tennessee Volunteers.

It may be Valentine's Day, but don't expect to see a lot of love on the court at Rupp Arena when the Tennessee Volunteers pay the Kentucky Wildcats a visit. In fact, it should be the exact opposite since John Calipari's team is out to exact a little revenge.

Look for the tip a little past 7 PM (ET) on ESPN, with Kentucky favored by 14 after BetOnline sent the line out -13. Scoreboard bettors are looking at 160 for the total.

It has been three weeks since the Volunteers pulled off the upset in Knoxville, posting an 82-80 win as 10½ point underdogs, Tennessee's second straight at home over the Wildcats. Kentucky owns a huge 152-69 advantage in the rivalry and has dominated in Lexington to the tune of 89 wins in 105 matchups. Last year at Rupp ended in an 80-70 Wildcats win, though the Vols covered as 17 point underdogs.

 Vols Blow 2nd-Half Lead In Latest Loss

The upset of Kentucky was part of a 4-game win streak for Tennessee (14-11 straight up, 13-10 against the spread), it's longest of the season. The Volunteers have since dropped two of three, the latest defeat coming Saturday at home where they were 4½ point favorites on the NCAA basketball odds against Georgia. Tennessee held a 14-point second half lead over the Bulldogs only to see that vanish in a 76-75 final.

Rick Barnes has been searching for answers on the offensive end the past month since guard Detrick Mostella was suspended for a drug arrest. The 6-1 junior was averaging 10.5 PPG at the time of his dismissal, with freshman Jordan Bowden seeing his playing time increased as a result but still inconsistent finding the net.


Shots Not Falling For 'Cats

Kentucky (20-5 SU, 12-12 ATS) really hasn't been the same since losing at Tennessee. Including that game, the Wildcats are 3-3 over the course of their last six trips to the floor with just one spread beater in that span. That came this past Saturday on the road at Alabama where Calipari's crew was laying 8 and just got the cover with a 67-58 decision.

The offense, which started the season and SEC slate like gangbusters, has been out of synch since being beaten by the Volunteers. The Wildcats shot at least 50% in their first seven conference games, and have not reached that plateau since. Just 3-of-15 long-range attempts found the net in Alabama and had the Crimson Tide shot better at the free throw line (9-26), the UK would be coming off an upset loss.

My free college basketball picks have taken a southerly turn lately, some of which I blame on the negative energy that has been surrounding me in general. I tell you that in case you want to use my play on the 'under' as a fade.


Free NCAAB Pick: Under 160 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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