Outkick Bets: Betting Kentucky/LSU

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College football is slowing and on it’s heels comes the star-studded college basketball conference season. Tonight we get a chance to see a high-level SEC basketball game between a defensive-minded LSU and a burgeoning Kentucky squad. I can’t wait to watch and can’t wait to bet.

We travel to Baton Rouge where the Tigers are sitting as a 1.5-point favorite at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and I’d like you to consider me perplexed. Kentucky is exploding right now. You can smell the nets blazing for the first time since the 2017 team. The Wildcats have scored more than 80 points in four straight games for the first time since that 2017 season and that happened at the end of the SEC schedule. Kentucky was a Sweet 16 team that year. You can make of the competition what you will. Western Kentucky, Missouri and High Point aren’t world beaters but in this year of upsets, the Wildcats have kept all of them (plus North Carolina) far, far away on the court.

Kentucky is averaging 84 points a game on the season and are 11th on the season in field goal percentage and on defense they are long and really good allowing just 27% of opposing threes to be made and 22nd in overall field goal percentage defense. They are loaded with the nation’s #1 rebounder Oscar Tshiebwe (who also has the second most double-doubles in the country), the #3 assist tosser Sahvir Wheeler, and the #5 three-pointer shooter Kellan Grady. They have it all.

Here’s the rub, LSU is really, really good defensively. They better be, because they can not shoot. Period. The Tigers are 157th in FG percentage and 282nd in 3-point FG percentage. It’s kind of surprising they managed their way to 12-0 before last week. LSU holds the best defensive FG percentage in the entire county and are 5th in points allowed per game. They are also tied for 1st with 12.5 steals per game. But, their competition is what kept them unranked for almost the entirety of their undefeated open to the season. LSU then opened SEC play by getting smacked by Auburn, has Kentucky tonight and Tennessee is Saturday. Real talk is coming.

LSU will have some emotional momentum early as they are planning to name the court after former coach Dale Brown. The crowd will be ready and rowdy. I think Kentucky is Elite Eight good this year. This is a total and complete mismatch. LSU’s only chance is to muddy the water defensively and they might be able to, but if they don’t make early buckets, watch out (see their 18-1 deficit to Auburn early). I’ll take the Wildcats moneyline here.

Written by Arky Shea

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