SEC basketball is in full swing as the Kentucky Wildcats (13-6) try to continue their winning streak against the Vanderbilt Commodores (10-9). Could Vanderbilt manage to pull off an upset? Check out our college basketball odds series for our Kentucky-Vanderbilt prediction and pick.
The Kentucky Wildcats have had an uncharacteristic season by John Calipari’s standards. As college basketball was once dominated by on-and-done players, we’ve seen a shift this year in top teams being lead by their upperclassmen. For teams like Kentucky, it’s difficult to recruit a fresh crop of NBA-ready freshmen each year. They’ll have to lean on their experienced seniors to advance against a Vanderbilt team they’ve historically has success against. Their win over No.5 Tennessee shows that this Wildcats team still has the talent to compete at the top.
Vanderbilt will continue their season looking to stay above .500 and add a notable win against the Kentucky Wildcats. They had a rocky start to their season and dropped a few games they feel like they should have won. They showed their true capabilities by winning convincingly against No.15 Arkansas and most recently against a tough Georgia Bulldogs team. They’ll be slight underdogs in this one, but the Commodores hope that proper preparation can pay off as the try to topple college basketball royalty in John Calipari tonight.
Here are the Kentucky-Vanderbilt college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: Kentucky-Vanderbilt Odds
Kentucky: -6.5 (-105)
Vanderbilt: +6.5 (-115)
Over: 142.5 (-115)
Under: 142.5 (-105)
How To Watch Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt
TV: SEC Network
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT
*Watch college basketball LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Kentucky Could Cover The Spread
This Kentucky team is different from years past in that they don’t have as much raw talent on their roster. Gone are the days (for now at least) when five uber-athletic freshmen can come in an dominate a game for Kentucky like we’ve seen. They’ve had to rely on their senior players for leadership and guidance, an unfamiliar but effective tactic for John Calipari.
Forward Oscar Tshiebwe has established himself as one of the premier big men in the nation. He’s hard to stop on the post and is an even more willing rebounder. Averaging a double-double, Tshiebwe will need guards Sahvir Wheeler and Cason Wallace to provide scoring on the outside as the pair is leading the team in three-point percentage. It’ll only take a big game from one of them to advance past Vanderbilt, so look for Kentucky to keep going back to whoever has the hot hand early.
Why Vanderbilt Could Cover The Spread
Vanderbilt has been having a rather pedestrian season lately. While no one expects the Commodores to be a ranked team year after year, they certainly would have liked to win a few more games early in the season and put themselves in a better position in the standings. Senior Forward Liam Robbins has been the lifeblood of his team. Standing at seven feet tall, the mobile giant does it all for the Commodores, leading the team in points, rebounds, and blocks. If they want to be successful, they’ll have to look other places if they want to sustain scoring. For Robbins, averaging 13 PPG simply isn’t enough if you’re the star player on the team.
Vanderbilt can only have a shot at winning this game if the rest of the starters are able to provide scoring outside of Robbins, while letting him focus on the defensive end. Their blocks and steals totals are too low to stay competitive in most games, especially when playing a team like Kentucky. Vanderbilt will have to force Kentucky to turn the ball over and make this game as sloppy as possible if they want to have a chance.
Final Kentucky-Vanderbilt Prediction & Pick
Kentucky is on a nice little run right now. Their confidence seems to be growing as we get closer to March – this seems like a good tune-up game for the Wildcats. Liam Robbins won’t be able to single-handedly pull off this upset as Kentucky covers convincingly.
Final Kentucky-Vanderbilt Prediction & Pick: Kentucky Wildcats -6.5 (-105)