The SC State Bulldogs take on the Kentucky Wildcats. Check out our college basketball odds series for our SC State Kentucky prediction and pick.
The SC State Bulldogs played a competitive game against South Carolina a week and a half ago, but we all know they're unlikely to mount an especially robust challenge to the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky is in a very difficult place right now after losing to Michigan State on Tuesday night. The Wildcats blew a late lead and could not get the defensive stops they needed. Head coach John Calipari is coming off a season in which Kentucky was a frontline contender for both the Final Four and the national championship, but was stunned in the first round as a No. 2 seed by 15th-seeded Saint Peter's. This Kentucky team is trying to take the next steps last season's team failed to make in March, but with the Michigan State loss under their belt, the Wildcats are going to travel to the Pacific Northwest to play a road game against Gonzaga. Kentucky needs to improve very quickly if it wants to avoid a multi-loss November. This game against South Carolina State needs to give Calipari a sense that his players can build back some improved habits and instincts.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the SC State-Kentucky College Basketball odds.
College Basketball Odds: SC State-Kentucky Odds
SC State Bulldogs: +40.5 (-106)
Kentucky Wildcats: -40.5 (-114)
Over: 145.5 (-112)
Under: 145.5 (-108)
Why SC State Could Cover the Spread
It's the trap game dimension of this contest which works in SC State's favor. Kentucky just played an overtime game against Michigan State. That was physically and mentally draining for the Wildcats. Now they have to turn around and play this game with only one full day of rest, and they know that they face Gonzaga this upcoming weekend. Human nature being what it is, Kentucky's players are likely to drift through this game and not go full tilt for all 40 minutes. That should enable South Carolina State to keep the score at least somewhat close for a portion of the game. South Carolina State could lose by 38 and still cover the spread. It's still a lot of points for Kentucky to win by. The spread is enormous.
Why Kentucky Could Cover the Spread
South Carolina State has Travion McCray out for the season, and Latavian Lawrence is academically ineligible at the moment. Those were supposed to be core rotational players, not fringe players or benchwarmers.
Also, former South Carolina State coach Tony Madlock left the program. Erik Martin didn't become the new head coach until the summer. This is not a team ideally situated to play a competitive game against Kentucky in Rupp Arena. Also, Kentucky is going to be very angry after losing to Michigan State. The Wildcats are going to be focused and fired up, because they know how much work they have to do after their stumble against Tom Izzo and the Spartans a few days ago in Indianapolis.
Final SC State-Kentucky Prediction & Pick
South Carolina State is not a good team, but Kentucky isn't going to fix its problems all at once. More than that, Kentucky will not play a high-energy game coming off the overtime loss to Michigan State, with Gonzaga just around the corner in a few days. South Carolina State might lose by 35, but that's enough to cover the spread.
Final SC State-Kentucky Prediction & Pick: SC State +40.5