SEC Betting Picks: Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores
Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores
Thursday, January 10, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Memorial Gym – Nashville, Tennessee
Opening Line: Kentucky -11 1/2
Current Line: Kentucky -12 1/2
Opening Total: 128
Current Total: 127 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kentucky -900 / Vanderbilt +650
Current Money Line: Kentucky -900 / Vanderbilt +650
The Kentucky Wildcats have gotten off to a disappointing 9-4 start after winning the national championship last season. With an amazing 11 players drafted by the NBA in the last two seasons, some talent drop off was to be expected. The Wildcats open up SEC play Thursday night at the 6-6 Vanderbilt Commodores. Not surprisingly, Kentucky has dominated the all time series 136-45 against Vanderbilt. Kentucky swept the two meeting in the regular season, but the Commodores upset them in the SEC Tournament Championship game. It was one of only 2 losses for the Wildcats all season.
Kentucky is coached by John Calipari. The Wildcats have losses to Duke in Atlanta, at Notre dame and Louisville, and at home against Baylor. Kentucky’s wins have come against some weak competition. They do have wins over Maryland in Brooklyn, and Portland and Marshall at home. The Wildcats destroyed Eastern Michigan last Wednesday 90-38 in their last game. Kentucky is 5-5 ATS and the total is 5-4 this season.
Vanderbilt is coached by Kevin Stallings. The Commodores have losses at Oregon, to Davidson and Marist in a tournament in Orlando, and at home to Villanova, Middle Tennessee, and Butler. Vanderbilt has key wins over UTEP, Xavier, and Cornell. The Commodores beat William and Mary 64-50 in their last game to break a 2 game losing streak. Vanderbilt is 5-5 ATS and the total is 1-7 this season.
Kentucky is outscoring teams 79-61 this season. The Wildcats are #20 in scoring nationally. Kentucky is shooting 49.2% from the field and 37.1% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are #15 in field goal percentage. Kentucky struggles at the free throw line hitting just 64.4% from the stripe. The Wildcats average 39.8 rebounds per game, and allow 30.4 to opponents. Kentucky is #32 in rebounding. Wildcat opponents are shooting 37.5% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. Kentucky is #21 in opponents’ field goal percentage. The Wildcats average 16 assists, 8 steals, 8 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.
Guard Archie Goodwin averages 15.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Forward Alex Poythress averages 14 points and 6.3 rebounds. Forward Kyle Wiltjer averages 12 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Forward Nerlens Noel averages 10.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.6 steals, and 3.5 blocks per game. Guard Julius Mays averages 9.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Ryan Harrow averages 9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Willie Cauley-Stein averages 7.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks per game. Jarrod Polson also gets minutes in the rotation. Guard Jon Hood is questionable with an illness. Kentucky is very young with 9 freshmen and sophomores on the roster.
Vanderbilt is outscoring teams 59.7-59.5 this season. The Commodores are #316 out of 347 teams in scoring, and #47 in points allowed. Vanderbilt is shooting 42% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Commodores are second to last in free throw shooting making a dreadful 57.9% from the line. Vanderbilt is averaging 32.3 rebounds per game, and they give up 30.8 to opponents. Commodore opponents are shooting 41.2% from the field and 31.4% from 3 point range. Vanderbilt averages 11 assists, 6 steals, 4 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.
Guard Kedren Johnson averages 16.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Kyle Fuller averages 11.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1 steal per game. Junior forward Rod Odom averages 9.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks a game to lead the team. Forward Kevin Bright averages 6.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Josh Henderson, Sheldon Jeter, Shelby Moats, Dai-Jon Parker, and James Siakam make up the rest of the rotation. Guard A.J. Astroth is questionable with a hamstring injury.The Commodores are also very young with 11 freshmen and sophomores on the roster.
Kentucky is 5-0 ATS overall, 5-1 after a cover, 7-2 after a win by 20 points or more, 6-2 in road games, and in road games against teams with winning home records, 2-6 against SEC teams, 5-16 after allowing less than 50 points, and 1-4-1 in Thursday games. The road team has covered the last 4 in this series.
Vanderbilt is 5-1 ATS in Thursday games, and against SEC teams, 4-1 overall and at home against teams with losing road records, and 9-4 against teams with winning records. The Commodores have covered in 4 of the last 5 against Kentucky, and were underdogs in each of those games.
Vanderbilt can’t score. They need to keep this game in the 50;s to have any shot of winning. I don’t think they can. Kentucky wins, but Vanderbilt could keep it closer than the 12.5 point spread.