SEC Predictions: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Tuesday, 2/21/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Kentucky -10.5
Current Betting Line:  Kentucky -9.5
Opening Total:  139.5
Current Total:  139.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Mississippi State Bulldogs will look to snap a three-game SEC losing streak Tuesday night

Kentucky pushed the nation’s longest current winning streak to 18 games after registering a 77-62 win over the Mississippi Rebels as 21-point home favorites.  The Wildcats failed to cover the spread for the first time since Jan. 24, while going “over” the posted total of 134.5.  The program is now dealing with the pressure of potentially finishing the Southeastern Conference schedule with a perfect 16-0 record.  “We are staying in the moment, like right now,” commented Wildcats head coach John Calipari.  Kentucky is 3-1 ATS as a road favorite of 9.5 to 12 points and the “under” is 3-1 in that situation.

The Wildcats have won six-straight road games for the first time since 2003 and have four starters that are averaging in double figures.  Freshman center Anthony Davis is leading the way in scoring 13.9 points and also leading the nation with 4.9 blocked shots per game.  Kentucky has been tremendous on the defensive end over the last seven games, allowing just 53.3 points per game.  The program is 36-12 on the road when playing as the top-ranked team during its history.

Mississippi State has split the last six games in this particular series, with the last seven games between the two programs being decided by nine points or less.  The series has been so close over that span that the average margin of victory is just 4.9 points per game.  Over the course of the 2011-12 campaign, the Bulldogs have tallied a 2-1 record against ranked teams, while going 22-51 in the situation during the Rick Stansbury era.  Mississippi State is 5-1 ATS as an underdog and the “under” is 5-1 in those contests.

The Bulldogs have tallied a 9-16 mark versus ranked teams inside Humphrey Coliseum since Stansbury arrived on campus.  Mississippi State is also just 1-8 versus ranked Kentucky teams under his direction.  Offensively, the team is being led by junior forward Arnett Moultrie, who is averaging 16.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.  The team has dropped three-straight SEC games for the first time this year and for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Bettors will likely back the Bulldogs due to the underdog being 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings, while the Wildcats are 2-10-1 ATS after a spread defeat.

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