Tuesday night in the NCAA will feature two elite SEC rivals who are off to great starts to the season. It's time to continue our college basketball odds series with a Kentucky-LSU prediction and pick.

Kentucky comes into this matchup ranked 16th in the nation. They opened the season with a loss against now No. 2 ranked Duke and are now 11-2 on the season. Their only other loss came against Notre Dame back in early December. Since the loss to Notre Dame, Kentucky has won four straight games and are averaging 83.9 points per game on the season. The Wildcats dominated unranked North Carolina which seems to be their top win of the season to date. LSU started the season 11-0 but fell to No. 11 Auburn on December 29. Neither team has beaten a ranked opponent this season and so the winner of the game should move up in the rankings quite a bit.

Let's check out how FanDuel set the Kentucky-LSU line for Tuesday night.

College Basketball Odds: Kentucky-LSU Odds

Kentucky: +2.5 (-115)

LSU: -2.5 (-105)

Over: 144 (-110)

Under: 144 (-110)

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Why Kentucky Could Cover The Spread

Kentucky is led by junior Oscar Tshiebwe who is averaging 15.8 points and 15.2 rebounds on the season. The Congo native is among one of the top rebounders in the NCAA but clearly brings more to the table than just his height. If he and guard Ty Ty Washington are playing well, then Kentucky should have a chance to cover this spread. Washington is averaging 14 points per game and 4.2 rebounds to go along with it. Those two, plus Kellan Grady's 50% shooting from three on the season, are going to be the main factors in this matchup.

Kentucky is undefeated when they hold their opponent to under 43% shooting. Their two losses came when Duke and Notre Dame exceeded that percentage. The defense will need to step up Tuesday night because LSU is led by two elite forwards who can score. The Wildcats will also need to be careful with the LSU defense, they are one of the best teams in the nation at forcing turnovers. Those are the keys for the Wildcats to cover this spread. Kentucky is currently 7-6 against the spread this season.

Why LSU Could Cover The Spread

Forwards Darius Days and Tari Eason are leading the Tigers to a great start to the season. Days is averaging 14.7 points and eight rebounds per game while Eason is averaging 15.8 and 7.4 rebounds per game. Eason is on a tear shooting over 50% for the season and 80% from the line. If those two are on their game then LSU will be right in it with Kentucky. The Tigers are averaging 77.7 points per game which is roughly six less than Kentucky. However, on the defensive end, they are allowing five fewer points and are sixth in Division I in forcing turnovers at 27.3% of all possessions.

LSU is 10-3 against the spread this year. They come into this matchup favored by just a few points. It's going to be the defensive effort that likely is the reason they cover this spread. Kentucky has 156 turnovers in their 13 games this year so if LSU continues to force turnovers, then that will be a huge difference-maker.

Final Kentucky-LSU Prediction & Pick

The last time I took the opponent over Kentucky, the Wildcats scored 98 points and dominated a historic North Carolina team. That is one of the reasons I'll be taking Kentucky in this one. The main reason I believe the Wildcats cover is because of their hot 4-game winning streak. They have scored over 92 points in three of the four and with LSU coming off a loss, I think Kentucky gets it done. I imagine it will be a high-scoring affair, so consider the over at 144 as well.

Final Kentucky-LSU Prediction & Pick: Kentucky +2.5 (-115) and over: 144 (-110)