- Losers of four straight, the Kentucky Wildcats host the conference rival LSU Tigers on Saturday as betting underdogs
- Wildcats have tumbled at the sportsbooks during a dismal start, while the Tigers have climbed into second place in the SEC standings
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday’s SEC matchup at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center
The Kentucky Wildcats will be aiming to avoid a fourth straight loss when they return home on Saturday to take on the LSU Tigers as narrow 1.5-point favorites. The Wildcats so their woes extended with a 63-62 loss in Georgia on Wednesday, while the Tigers hit the road as underdogs after seeing a four-game win streak halted by a crushing 105-75 loss to Alabama on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday evening’s matchup at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center.
LSU Tigers vs Kentucky Wildcats Odds
|LSU Tigers||+1.5 (-110)||+104||O 144.5 (-110)|
|Kentucky Wildcats||-1.5 (-110)||-122||U 144.5 (-110)|
Odds taken at FanDuel on Jan 22nd
Wildcats’ Woes Continue
It has been an uncharacteristically rough start to the season for Kentucky. SU winners in just one of their first seven contests, the Wildcats showed signs of a turnaround with wins in each of their first three dates with SEC conference rivals. However, their early-season struggles have returned in recent days, with the team following up an 85-65 loss to the Crimson Tide as 3-point with subsequent losses on the road, to Auburn and the Bulldogs.
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL
Records of DI teams from Kentucky so far this season ..
EKU – 13-2
Louisville – 9-3
Western Kentucky – 11-4
Morehead State – 10-6
Murray State – 5-8
Northern Kentucky – 5-9
Kentucky – [email protected]
— Register Sports (@RichmondRsports) January 22, 2021
Perched among the National Championship favorites with average odds of +900 prior to the start of this season, the Wildcats have fallen well off the pace to as long as +10000. Kentucky has also been bumped from its season-opening perch atop the odds to repeat as SEC champion, slipping as far as +1500.
Toothless Offense Contributing to Slide
A lack of offensive punch has been a major concern. The Wildcats have failed to score 65 in any of their nine SU losses this season, powering steady run for the UNDER in totals betting, which has gone 10-3 so far this season. The team has had to lean heavily on their bench during their current slide, with Wildcats starters averaging just a combined 27.7 points per game over the past three outings, and contributing just 16 combined points in this week’s loss to Georgia.
[email protected] game winning basket by PJ Horne for Dawgs to beat Kentucky for the first time since 2013 63-62 #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/K3WVtIcsy1
— Bulldog Roundtable (@dawgroundtable) January 21, 2021
Not surprisingly, Kentucky has been a massive disappointment to loyal sports bettors. After going winless ATS in their past four home dates, the Wildcats are 5-8 ATS overall. The team has also fallen to outright defeat in five of eight outings as betting favorites, including three of four at home.
The upside for the Wildcats is their history of success against LSU, posting SZU wins in 20 of 25 meetings since 2000, including an 11-2 SU record at home. However, Kentucky dropped a 73-71 decision to the Tigers in their most recent visit in February 2019, and is 2-5 ATS in their past seven home meetings.
Tigers on the Rebound from Crushing Loss
While the Tigers have enjoyed a steady start, they arrive in Kentucky on the heels of their worst defeat of the season. Besieged by the Tide’s relentless attack from beyond the arc, which generated an SEC-record 23 3-pointers, LSU suffered their first home loss in humiliating fashion. It has been an otherwise successful campaign for the Tigers, who sport a 10-3 SU overall record, and a 5-2 mark in conference play, good for second place in the SEC standings.
Jahvon Quinerly was LIGHTS OUT last night, finishing with 22 points on a career high 6-7 3 PT’s ! Alabama defeats LSU 105-75. #NOUTURNS ⚠️ @RealJahvonQ pic.twitter.com/71UGAv9GRV
— NJ Basketball (@NJHoopRecruit) January 20, 2021
A steady offense has been LSU’s key to success. The Tigers rank 12th in the nation with 85.2 points scored per game, and are listed at No. 6 in adjusted offensive efficiency at Kenpom. But like the Wildcats, the Tigers have failed to produce at the sportsbooks. LSU sports a meagre 5-8 ATS record, and has failed to cover in two of three road contests, all as small underdogs.
LSU freshman Cameron Thomas scored 26 points in a win over Georgia, his 4th consecutive 25-pt game.
Two things: Thomas is the only SEC freshman with a 4-game 25-pt streak in the last 25 seasons & also the only to surpass 200 pts in 9 career games during that span as well. pic.twitter.com/EuhJaWyoUh
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 7, 2021
One bright spot for the Tigers has been the play of Cameron Thomas. The freshman guard has powered the LSU attack with a team-leading 22.0 points per game, capped by a steady 21-point performance in this week’s loss to Alabama.
However, the Tigers will have to do far better than the 37.8% they shot from the field to avoid losing two in a row for the first time since last February. But with the Wildcats searching for answers, LSU is well positioned to record consecutive road wins over Kentucky for the first time since 1980.
The Picks: Tigers to win (+104); OVER 144.5 (-110)