SEC Basketball Predictions: Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Tennessee Volunteers at No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats
Tuesday, 1/31/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  Kentucky -16.5
Current Betting Line:  Kentucky -16.5
Opening Total:  132
Current Total:  132
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Kentucky Wildcats have won 47 consecutive home games

Tennessee has alternated wins and losses over its past four games, coming off a 64-49 win over the Auburn Tigers as 8.5-point home favorites.  The Volunteers have gone “under” the posted total in eight consecutive games entering tonight’s Southeastern Conference affair.  The program owns a 4-11 record against the top-ranked team in the AP poll, which includes a 4-2 mark in its last six opportunities.  Tennessee is 6-5 ATS as an underdog this year and the “under” is 10-1 in those contests.

The Volunteers have three starters that currently average double figures in scoring, with sophomore guard Trae Golden leading the way in scoring 13.1 points a game.  Tennessee has dropped the last five meetings in this series inside Rupp Arena, losing those contests by an average of 13.4 points a game.  Defensively, the program ranks second in the SEC in allowing opponents to shoot just 38.1 percent from the floor, while ranking third in allowing 59.0 points per game.

Kentucky won its 13th consecutive game with a 74-50 win over the LSU Tigers as 10-point road favorites, improving the team to 3-1 ATS over its last four games.  The Wildcats are hoping that Terrence Jones can build upon his latest effort, scoring a season-high 27 points, which is more reminiscent of his freshman season than his second year within the program.  He is averaging 12.4 points a game, which is 3.3 fewer than his first year average in Lexington.  Kentucky is 3-9 ATS at home this season and the “over” is 6-5 in that situation.

The Wildcats have five players averaging in double-figures and are led by Doron Lamb’s 13.5 points per game average.  Kentucky currently owns the nation’s longest home-winning streak at 47 games, with 46 of those wins happening at tonight’s venue.  The program is a dominating 64-2 when playing in front of the home fans as the nation’s top-ranked team, while head coach John Calipari is 46-7 when leading the No. 1 team during his career.  The Wildcats lead the SEC in eight different categories, which includes outscoring opponents by 19.7 points per game.

Bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 6-0 ATS mark at home in this series, while the Volunteers are 1-4 ATS as a road underdog.

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