No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats at Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, 1/14/12, 12:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Kentucky -10
Current Betting Line: Kentucky -10
Opening Total: 135
Current Total: 135
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Kentucky travels to Knoxville, TN, and closes out its modest two-game road swing after picking up a 68-53 win over the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday night. The Wildcats are still trying to learn how to play away from Rupp Arena, as this contest will be just their third true road game. “They’re all going to be like this,” commented Wildcats head coach John Calipari. “I might as well accept that.” The program has won eight games in a row and has all five starters average double-digit points. Kentucky is 0-6 ATS on Saturdays.
The Wildcats are led offensively by forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, as he averages 13.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He will get plenty of help from his teammates, including freshman center Anthony Davis, who has tallied a double-double in five of his past six games. Kentucky leads the Southeastern Conference in nine different categories, including outscoring opponents by 21.4 points per game. In the squad’s first 17 games this season, the team has been led in scoring by six different players.
Tennessee has faced a second-ranked Kentucky side 19 times previous, posting a 6-13 record in those contests. The Volunteers have won 66 conference games since the start of the 2005-06 season, which is more than any other SEC team. Since the start of the new calendar year, the program has alternated wins and losses in its four games, coming off a 62-58 defeat to the Mississippi State Bulldogs as seven-point road underdogs. Tennessee is 3-1-1 ATS in its last five games overall.
The Volunteers are riding a five-game home win streak inside Thompson-Boling Arena, currently ranked eighth nationally in average home attendance at 16,080 fans a game. Tennessee’s schedule during the month of January is definitely grueling, as it featurs five games against current AP top-20 teams. Sophomore guard Trae Golden will need to play a terrific game on the offensive end, coming in averaging 14.9 points per game. “Kentucky is a great team, a team that we have to be ready to play and be ready to face,” stated Golden this week.
Bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 8-1 ATS mark in the last nine meetings, while the Volunteers are 3-10 ATS versus teams with a winning record.
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