SEC foes will collide when the No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats (10-2) meet the Georgia Bulldogs (9-2) at Rupp Arena. Kentucky is a 10-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 146 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 31, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Georgia Bulldogs at Kentucky Wildcats Betting Preview
In the Bulldogs last game, they easily got past the Temple Owls, 84-66. Yante Maten was the top scorer from either team with 30 points on 8-for-17 shooting. Georgia dominated every stat category in the game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.509 (above their season average of 0.309) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 47.1 (above their season average of 34.7). Temple recorded marks of 0.063 and 27.3, respectively, for those same stats.
The Wildcats will look to keep it rolling after blowing out the Louisville Cardinals in their last contest, 90-61. Kentucky rallied around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was the games high scorer with 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Kentucky played a flawless game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.387 (above their season average of 0.263) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.532 (below their season average of 0.539). Louisville was 0.145 and 0.370, respectively, for those same stats.
Conflicting styles will be on display in this contest. Kentucky likes to play quickly (73rd in possessions per game), while Georgia likes to grind-it-out (298th in possessions per game). Moreover, the Bulldogs are among the NCAA’s elite at getting to the line, ranking ninth in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.327). The Wildcats, meanwhile, rank 32nd in opponents FTA rate (0.176).
Both of these teams have a tendency to go over the O/U total. Games involving Georgia have finished over 62.5 percent of the time, while Kentucky games have gone over 63.6 percent of the time. Both teams have outstanding straight up (SU) records (9-2 for Georgia; 10-2 for Kentucky), but the Wildcats have the edge against the spread (ATS). Kentucky is 6-6 ATS, while the Bulldogs are 4-4.
Hamidou Diallo has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Kentucky, averaging 19.8 points and 1.6 steals per game.
This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year, after the Wildcats won all three contests last season. In the last matchup, Kentucky won 71-60. The Wildcats dominated every facet of the game. They had a turnover percentage of 11.8 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.425. The Bulldogs were 16.0 and 0.377, respectively, for those same stats.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kentucky, ATS Winner – Kentucky, O/U – Over
- The Bulldogs average 4.8 blocks per game, which ranks 39th in the NCAA. The Wildcats rank 70th in blocks allowed per game (3.1).
- Georgia is 2-3 ATS on the road, while Kentucky is 4-5 ATS at home.
- The Bulldogs have 3 unders and 2 overs in 5 road games.
- The Wildcats have 5 overs and 3 unders in 9 home games.
- Georgia ranks 131st in three pointers allowed per game (22.2) while Kentucky ranks 249th (26.8).
- The Bulldogs rank 44th in assists allowed per game (11.5) while the Wildcats rank 120th (13.4).
- Georgia ranks 27th in rebounds per game (40.5) while Kentucky ranks 77th in rebounds allowed per game (33.3).
- Kentucky is 3-2 ATS with 5 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Georgia is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Wildcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 10.8, down from 11.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bulldogs have scored an average of 77.2 points per game (2.5 above their season average) and allowed an average of 69.0 points per game (1.5 above their season average).