College Basketball Predictions: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Kentucky Wildcats at Alabama Crimson Tide
Tuesday, 1/22/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Kentucky -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Kentucky -4
Opening Total:  129.5
Current Total:  129.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Alabama Crimson Tide lead the SEC in 3-point FG percentage during league play
The Alabama Crimson Tide lead the SEC in 3-point FG percentage during league play

Kentucky has won back-to-back games, including a 75-53 blowout victory over the Auburn Tigers as 10-point road favorites last time out, while going UNDER the posted total of 139.5.  The Wildcats have been led recently by the play of first-year player Nerlens Noel, who earned SEC Freshman of the Week accolades after averaging 11 points, nine rebounds and 6.5 blocks.  The program is 12-0 this season when leading at halftime, and 0-5 when trailing at the break.  Kentucky is 3-3 ATS as a road favorite of 3.5 to 6 points over the last two-plus seasons, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Wildcats are certainly not the same team that walked away with the national championship, considering they were the only BCS school to not return a single player with at least one start this year.  Kentucky has four probable starters averaging in double figures, with guard Archie Goodwin leading the way by scoring 15.0 points per game.  The team has won 11 of the last 13 meetings in this series, while owning a 28-22 record when playing in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama is set to close out its two-game homestand, entering off a 50-49 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies as 7.5-point favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the total for a second consecutive contest.  The Crimson Tide have really been doing their best work in the final 20 minutes of their last three games—shooting a combined 62.7 percent from the field.  Alabama is 1-5 ATS at home this season, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks against the spread Tuesday night.

The Crimson Tide lead all SEC teams during league play by shooting 45.5 percent from the 3-point area, while they’ve compiled a 10-1 mark when recording at least eight steals in a game.  Alabama could struggle from beyond the arc in this affair, with Kentucky limiting foes to 28.4 percent shooting on the road in that situation.  It’s also important to note that coach Anthony Grant has used nine different starting lineups in 17 games.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 8-2 in the Crimson Tide’s last 10 games.

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