How to Bet the Missouri Tigers vs Kentucky Wildcats Game

Posted by Aaron . on January 27, 2016 in

This Wednesday, the Missouri Tigers travel to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats in SEC basketball action. Kentucky is 8-0 all time against the Tigers in SEC play. Kentucky has won 31 consecutive home games, while Missouri has lost 20 in a row on the road. This might seem like another rout in the making, so who should be your betting pick?

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Why should you bet on the Kentucky Wildcats?

As of this writing, lines have not come out on this game yet. However, I’d take a look at those lines before you make a bet. Last year, when Missouri came to Rupp Arena, the Wildcats rolled 86-37. That 49-point margin of victory was Missouri’s worst SEC loss ever. It was the worst loss of any kind since 1998, and the fewest points that they had scored since the NCAA added the three-point shot. Kentucky is rolling now, after some hiccups early in the season, and they are coming in off a steamroller of a win over the Vanderbilt Commodores in Saturday.

Kentucky has put in some extra time in the film room over the last week or so, as they have struggled down the stretch on defense, particularly when the shot clock is winding down close to zero, and they had a hard time closing out offensive possessions after they got up big on some of their recent rivals — most memorably in the case of the Auburn game, and so they saw a 12-point lead vanish to nothing. I expect them to be well prepared for a team that has never challenged them.

Why should you bet on the Missouri Tigers?

We wouldn’t suggest taking the Tigers straight up by any means.

I wouldn’t suggest taking the Tigers straight up by any means. However, if that line is over 20 or 25, you might take a look at Missouri. After all, Kentucky has had some issues staying focused when they are up big. It’s true that they held their big leads over Arkansas and Vanderbilt, but they saw big leads vanish against Mississippi State and Auburn. So if Missouri can catch Kentucky napping a bit, they could cut into that lead and cover — so take a look at that spread. In the press conference after the win over Vanderbilt, Calipari said, “We guarded full possessions for the first time. We had breakdowns, now. At least the mentality was let’s guard an entire possession.” There had been breakdowns in the Kentucky defense as the shot clock would wind down and the opposition would find themselves wide open. That’s one of the hazards of building a one-and-done team like Kentucky has, because very few players stick around to provide continuity in philosophy. Coach Calipari is a fixture, but there are few other players to learn from, which can make focus a problem over the course of a long season.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I think that Kentucky will beat Missouri easily. They might lose a little focus in the second half as their lead expands, but I expect them to right the ship in time and win running away. I’m liking them to win 84-67.