Kentucky Wildcats vs Portland Pilots NCAA Basketball Picks

Kentucky Wildcats vs Portland Pilots
Friday, 11/19/10, 10:30 PM EDT, TV:  ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  Kentucky -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Kentucky -6.5
Opening Total:  143
Current Total:  144
Current Moneyline:  Kentucky -275 / Portland +235

Kentucky brings a 5-1 overall record against the West Coast Conference into tonight's game against the Portland Pilots at the Rose Garden

Kentucky heads out the road after a season-opening 88-65 win against East Tennessee State, traveling to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Portland Pilots.  The game will serve as a homecoming of sorts for freshman Terrence Jones, who plays on hanging out with his mother and his grandmother.  “I told him that I have never had a player go home and play well, so good luck,” said head coach John Calipari with a bit of sarcasm.  He became the first Wildcat freshman to post a double-double in his debut since the 1998-99 season.  Ironically enough, this will be Kentucky’s first game in the state of Oregon.  The team is 18-11 ATS in non-conference games the past three years and the NCAA basketball lines page has them listed as a road favorite.

The Wildcats were picked to finish second in the SEC East by media members and won their only meeting with Portland, defeating the Pilots 88-71 in the 1989-90 season.  Kentucky has compiled a 5-1 record against schools comprising of the West Coast Conference, playing six different teams during that time.  The only loss to the conference came to San Diego in the 2007-08 season.  Calipari will definitely try to have his success rub off on this young team, as he’s the winning coach in the nation over the past five years, with a 173-17 record.

Portland is set to host the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats in the Rose Garden tonight and won all three games of the AIA Classic last weekend.  The team was led by Luke Sikma, who was named the tournament MVP and also was the WCC Co-Player of the Week.  He was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Jared Stohl and Tanner Riley.  Due to their efforts in the tournament, Portland received one vote in this weeks’ Associated Press Top 25 Poll, which is a similar path to the team cracking the poll last year for the first time in 50 years with a 5-0 start.  The team is 3-0 ATS on the year and will be facing an SEC opponent for the first time in a lined contest.

The Pilots will be hosting a game at the Rose Garden for the second time, losing by a 97-64 margin to Duke on December 19, 2000.  Portland will need a big game from Stohl to possibly pull off a stunning upset, as he led the nation in three-point percentage last season, hitting 47.8 percent of his shots beyond the arc.  He is already the school’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (257).

Bettors will find that the Wildcats are 35-16-2 ATS in their last 53 games as a road favorite, while the Pilots are 7-1-1 ATS on Fridays.

Don’t miss out on a huge weekend and let the college basketball handicappers at Maddux Sports deliver you to the winner’s circle!

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