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Kentucky Vanderbilt Betting – Two Shaky SEC Clubs Battle In Nashville

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 1:21:44 AM

The Kentucky Wildcats are terrible away from home, but they’re more talented than the Vanderbilt Commodores. Can Kentucky go on the road and beat Vanderbilt this Saturday?

NCAA basketball betting: Kentucky Wildcats @ Vanderbilt Commodores

Why To Bet On Kentucky

The ranks of sports betting pundits know a vulnerable team when they see one. Vanderbilt has been thoroughly unsteady this season. The Commodores have displayed very little backbone and represent the kind of team that, if it played hockey, would have needed a goon or an enforcer by the NHL trade deadline. Vanderbilt is a team that simply can’t get important rebounds late in close games. The Commodores were outfought for 50-50 balls (rebounds that were entirely up for grabs and could have been snatched by either team) in the final minute of their loss at Tennessee a few weeks ago. Just last week, Vanderbilt lost multiple 50-50 balls late in regulation and then again in overtime during an excruciating loss at Florida. Vanderbilt was expected to flourish this season, at least after it reached the final of an early-season tournament in Puerto Rico. However, the Commodores and coach Kevin Stallings are falling far short of their potential. They lost to South Carolina, the weakest link in the SEC East. In their loss at Tennessee, they blew a 17-point lead. This is a team that Kentucky should be happy to face. The Wildcats have underachieved by any reasonable measure this season, but Vanderbilt is not a team that possesses a killer instinct. Kentucky can play a physical game in the paint and establish dominance on the glass.

Why To Bet On Vanderbilt

NHL trade rumors are abundant at this time of year, and so are home-court wins for Vanderbilt. The Commodores might be an inconsistent team on a larger level, but that consistency is a reflection of home-road splits. Vanderbilt has lost just one game at home so far this season, an 89-78 loss to Arkansas on an afternoon when VU’s defense simply didn’t show up. Memorial Gym in Nashville is the one arena in Division I competition that has its benches located along the baselines of the court. This quirky setup is familiar to Vandy’s roster but foreign to all of its opponents. Communication becomes much easier for the Commodores when they play at home, and that’s part of why they perform particularly well in their Music City abode.

The other reason to pick Vanderbilt is quite simple: Kentucky is terrible on the road. The Wildcats have lost to SEC West programs Alabama and Ole Miss as well as Florida and Georgia. Last year, Kentucky was a legitimate juggernaut that took care of business wherever it went, but this season, the Cats are toothless away from their own home building, Rupp Arena. It will be hard for Kentucky – which is all too aware of its mental block on the road – to play high-level basketball for a long-enough period of time.

How The Game Will Play Out

The Wildcats will stay in the fight throughout, but Vanderbilt – being at home – merits a slight edge. Each of these teams is positively awful on the road, so since Kentucky is the road team in this game, the clear choice is Vanderbilt… even if the Commodores are not the kind of team that can or should be trusted.

Kentucky Vanderbilt Betting Pick: Vanderbilt

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