College Basketball Picks: Baylor Bears vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Baylor Bears at No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats
Saturday, 12/1/12, 12:30 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Kentucky -8.5
Current Betting Line:  Kentucky -7
Opening Total:  147.5
Current Total:  150
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Baylor Bears have never beaten the Kentucky Wildcats

Baylor has lost all seven meetings with Kentucky heading into Saturday’s contest at Rupp Arena, as the team has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, which includes a 63-59 setback to Charlotte as 17.5-point home favorites last time out.  “We’ve got to be better prepared,” stated Bears senior guard A.J. Walton.  The Bears have three players that are in the Big 12 Conference’s top 10 in scoring, with guard Pierre Jackson leading the way in averaging 20.3 points per game.  Baylor is 0-2 ATS versus SEC opponents since 2010, which is important to note when looking at the college basketball odds page.

The Bears lead their conference and rank 22nd nationally in shooting 49.7 percent from the field, while they’ve gone 27-14 in non-conference action away from the Ferrell Center during the Scott Drew era.  Baylor is 4-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor, but that number will be extremely difficult to reach in this matchup.

Kentucky will begin a five-game home stretch in a rematch of last year’s Elite 8 meeting in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.  The Wildcats earned a decisive 82-70 victory over the Bears as 7.5-point neutral-site favorites in that affair, while going OVER the posted total of 148.  The program is coming off a disappointing 64-50 setback to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as 1.5-point road underdogs, but will most likely bounce back due to possessing the nation’s longest home-winning streak of 55 games.  Kentucky is 2-2 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus years, with the UNDER going 4-1 in that situation.

The Wildcats have five projected starters averaging in double figures, with guard Archie Goodwin leading the way, averaging 16.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.  Kentucky has tallied a dominating 59-9 all-time record against current teams in the Big 12 Conference, while Calipari has won 27 of 43 games in that situation during the course of his career.

Sports bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 4-0 ATS mark versus Big 12 foes, while the Bears are 3-7 ATS on the road.

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