The No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats (2-1) welcome the East Tennessee State Buccaneers (1-1) in a matchup that pits phenomenal offense against superb defense. Kentucky is a 23-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 147.5 points. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday, November 17, 2017, and it can be seen on SEC Network.
East Tennessee State Buccaneers vs. Kentucky Wildcats ATS Preview
The Buccaneers were victorious over the Savannah State Tigers in their last matchup, 76-61. Devontavius Payne was the top scorer from either team with 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting. East Tennessee State dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an effective field goal percentage of 0.515 and an offensive rebounding percentage of 30.8. For those same stats, Savannah State put up marks of 0.373 and 28.9, respectively.
In the Wildcats last matchup, they were defeated by the No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks, 65-61. Kevin Knox was the top scorer from either team with 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Kansas had a much better turnover percentage (12.8 vs. 22.2). Kentucky, meanwhile, had a better free throw rate (0.218 vs. 0.132).
The game should be a showdown of strength against strength as the productive offense of Kentucky takes on the elite defense of East Tennessee State. Dating back to the 2016-17 season, the Wildcats rank 27th in offensive efficiency, while the Buccaneers are 49th in defensive efficiency.
Since last season, the Buccaneers are 28-8 straight up (SU) and 18-15 against the spread (ATS). Games including East Tennessee State have had a slight tendency to finish under the projected point total since last season (51.5 percent).
The Wildcats are 31-6 SU since last season, but have had a difficult time covering the spread (18-20-2 ATS). Games involving Kentucky have finished under the O/U total 59.0 percent of the time over that same period.
East Tennessee State Buccaneers at Kentucky Wildcats ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kentucky, ATS Winner – East Tennessee State, O/U – Under
Betting Notes (2016-Present):
- The Wildcats rank 128th in three pointers allowed per game (20.6) while the Buccaneers rank 237th (22.7).
- East Tennessee State is 28th in the nation with 11.2 assists allowed per game while Kentucky is 53rd with 11.6 assists allowed per game.
- Kentucky ranks 25th in steals allowed per game (5.0) while East Tennessee State ranks 237th (7.0).
- The Wildcats average 5.4 blocks per game, which ranks ninth in the NCAA. The Buccaneers rank 166th in blocks allowed per game (3.6).
- East Tennessee State ranks 44th in rebounds allowed per game (32.5) while Kentucky ranks 158th (35.0).