Kentucky vs. Tennessee: NCAA betting odds, preview, and pick
SEC East rivals Kentucky and Tennessee face one another on Tuesday evening with both teams still desperately chasing the front-running Auburn Tigers for a chance at the conference title.
The Wildcats enter as the fourth-ranked team in the country at 21-4 overall and 10-2 in conference play. The Volunteers, meanwhile, are 16th in the country and third in the conference, sitting at 18-6 overall and 9-3 in conference play.
The Wildcats lead this series historically (158-75), and dominated the first matchup this season between these teams, coming away with a 107-79 victory.
Let’s break down this game, beginning with the latest betting odds available.
Wed, February 16 2022, 2:00 AM
The Wildcats are Streaking
Kentucky is going to be the public play in this contest for fairly obvious reasons. The Wildcats are riding a six-game winning streak including impressive double-digit wins against Kansas, Alabama, and Florida. Their last loss was against Auburn, and they had won four straight prior to that defeat.
The Wildcats have climbed all the way up to third in KenPom’s college basketball efficiency ratings, boasting the third-ranked offense in the country. 6'9" forward Oscar Tshiebwe is averaging 16.2 points and 15.3 rebounds per game as he dominates in the paint. His 60.2% shooting percentage makes him an excellent option, and he now has recorded a double-double in seven straight games.
The hustle by Oscar Tshiebwe is the same effort of someone fighting for minutes on a team. When in reality, he’s up for the National Player of the Year award. Reasons like this are why. pic.twitter.com/I8Lu3km8nP— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) February 13, 2022
Tshiebwe also leads the team in steals and blocks, while guard Sahvir Wheeler keeps plenty of others involved with 7.2 assists per game.
Slowing down Tshiebwe and limiting his dominance off misses will be critical if Tennessee is going to reverse the streak the Wildcats have been on this winter.
Kentucky vs. Tennessee Betting Trends
- The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six matchups between these teams
- The Under is 6-2 ATS in the last eight Kentucky road games
- The Under is 4-1 ATS in Tennessee’s last five games vs. a team with a winning record
- Tennessee is 10-0 straight-up in its last 10 home games
- Kentucky is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 Tuesday games
If it looks too easy…
In the world of college basketball, if something looks too easy it usually is. Kentucky absolutely drilled Tennessee in the first game between these two, but that was thanks to an extremely above-average shooting night.
Kentucky is an excellent shooting team overall, seventh in the country at 49% per game, but the Wildcats were 67.9% from the floor in the first game. They are 75th in the nation from deep at 35% per game, but managed 61% in the first game.
We all remember what happened the last time Kentucky basketball played Tennessee, right? 😻😼@tomleachKY joined us tonight with his keys to a repeat performance ⬇ pic.twitter.com/ou4ZInRoNn— BBN Tonight (@BBNTonight) February 15, 2022
These numbers will almost certainly not hold up in the second game, and that is why you see the Volunteers actually favored here on their home court where they are on a double-digit win streak. The Volunteers' defense is sixth in the nation, and after getting blown out in the first game they should show even more aggressiveness than normal. They are fifth in the nation in steals per game, and the public’s first reaction when seeing this line is to favor the higher-ranked Wildcats.
To steal from college football... not so fast, my friends.
Score prediction: Tennessee 70, Kentucky 68
NCAAB pick: Tennessee -1
Kentucky vs. Tennessee pick powered by The Quant Edge
Our predictive engine is calling for Tennessee to win outright and cover the spread.