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Vanderbilt Kentucky Betting – Wildcats’ Home Court Edge Continues At Rupp

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 2:02:11 AM

Sports betting players should know that Kentucky is a different team on the road than they are at home, where they don’t make the mistakes that have cost them so many games away from Rupp Arena. But the Wildcats are coming off a big win over a top team, and they’re aiming for another when Vanderbilt comes to Lexington on Tuesday, and you can expect a poised Kentucky squad that you didn’t see in the first meeting.

  • What: NCAA Basketball Betting
  • When: Tuesday, March 1st, 9:00 PM ET
  • Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
  • Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

Why Bet On Vanderbilt (21-7, 9-5 SEC)

The Commodores bounced back from a home loss against Tennessee to win at LSU, their sixth win in seven games, and a victory in Lexington will wrap up second place in the SEC East for Vanderbilt, who would love to have a first-round bye to take into the conference tournament. The duo of sophomore guard John Jenkins (19.5 points. 3.2 rebounds) and junior forward Jeffrey Taylor (14.5 points, 5.5 boards) are an excellent one-two scoring punch, and the Commodores are 30th in the nation in points scored. A lot of their success comes from the three-point line, both offensively and defensively: Vanderbilt is 25th in three-point field-goal percentage, and eighth in three-point defense, and they’re also extremely good at the foul line, hitting 74.9% of their attempts. Junior center Festus Ezeli (12.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks) has definitely been productive in the post for the Commodores, who are also 42nd in field-goal defense.

Vanderbilt’s main problem stem from turnovers, where they are 201st in the country, and they’re 151st in assist-to-turnover ratio. Junior guard Brad Tinsley (10.9 points, 4.4 assists) is second on the team with 2.1 turnovers, behing Taylor’s 2.6 turnovers, and they’re going to have to take care of the ball against a high-pressure Kentucky defense.

Why Bet On Kentucky (20-8, 8-6 SEC)

Kentucky has now won 33 in a row at Rupp Arena after dropping Florida, and there is such a big difference in late-game execution when the young Wildcats are in Lexington. The Wildcats looked calm and composed against a very good team in the Gators, and they got a career game from junior swingman Darius Miller (10.9 points, 4.9 rebounds), who notched 24 points. He is fourth on the Wildcats in scoring behind a trio of freshmen in guard Brandon Knight (17.7 points, 4.1 assists), Terrence Jones (17.3 points, 9.1 boards) and guard Doron Lamb (13.4 points, 2.1 rebounds), and Kentucky comes in 19th in points scored. Like last year, the Wildcats are wildly athletic at both ends of the floor, and they’re ninth in the nation in field-goal defense, meaning they make the opposition work for every shot they get. They sometimes lapse in defending the three-point line (143rd in three-point defense), and that burned them in the first meeting against Vanderbilt, an 81-77 loss in Nashville, as the Commodores 11-of-20 from long distance.

The Wildcats are also 51st in field-goal percentage and 19th in turnovers, but they have a knack for turnovers and poor shot selection late in the game, a problem they haven’t been having at home in Lexington. Kentucky had every chance to win in Nashville on February 12th, but a few small mistakes was the difference and they’ll need to sort those out on Tuesday night in Lexington.

How The Game Will Play Out

Look for the Wildcats to be the NCAA basketball betting favorites at Rupp Arena, where they haven’t lost since March 4th, 2008 in a game against Georgia, and they’ve won their last three at home against the Commodores, covering the spread in all three games as well. As we said, in the first meeting Kentucky couldn’t stop Vanderbilt from beyond the arc, and Jenkins lit up the Wildcats for 32 points, so look for the guard to be Kentucky’s main focus on Tuesday. The Wildcats are going to need more from their secondary scorers as Knight and Jones combined for 45 points in the first meeting; DeAndre Liggins had 10 points and no one else reached double figures for the Wildcats. They’ll need others, especially Miller, to step up and make some plays against the Commodores, who won’t be able to hit that many treys at Rupp Arena. Kentucky will continue to roll at home, so take them in your online betting picks.

Vanderbilt Kentucky Betting Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

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