SEC foes will collide when the South Carolina Gamecocks (11-6, 2-3 SEC) square off against the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats (14-3, 4-1 SEC) at Colonial Life Arena. The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 140.5 points with Kentucky opening as a 2.5-point favorite. Action gets underway at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Free Preview
In the Wildcats last game, they were victorious over the Vanderbilt Commodores, 74-67. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the top scorer from either team with 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Kentucky played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.581 (above their season average of 0.283) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.570 (above their season average of 0.532). For those same stats, Vanderbilt was 0.345 and 0.436, respectively.
The Gamecocks hope to maintain momentum after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in their last outing, 64-57. Chris Silva had a good game for South Carolina, recording 14 points and nine rebounds. South Carolina dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a great turnover percentage of 8.6 (better than their season average of 17.3) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 37.5 (above their season average of 33.4). For those same stats, Georgia put up marks of 18.1 and 30.0, respectively.
South Carolina figures to have an edge on the offensive glass in this meeting. The Gamecocks rank 64th in offensive rebounding percentage (33.8 percent), while Kentucky ranks 271st in defensive rebounding percentage (69.0 percent). Moreover, the Wildcats rank 24th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.296), while the Gamecocks rank 306th in opponents FTA rate (0.290).
Of Kentucky’s 16 games that accepted bets, eight have finished over the projected point total, while 9 of South Carolina’s 16 games have finished under the projected point total. The Wildcats have the significant advantage straight up (SU) (14-3 vs. 11-6), but both teams have similar against the spread (ATS) records. Kentucky is 7-9-1 ATS, while South Carolina is 7-8-1 ATS.
This is the first time these teams will battle this year, after the Wildcats won the lone game last season, 85-69. The Wildcats dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.438 and a phenomenal effective field goal percentage of 0.667. The Gamecocks were 0.276 and 0.457, respectively, for those same stats.
Kentucky Wildcats at South Carolina Gamecocks Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kentucky, ATS Winner – Kentucky, O/U – Under
- The Wildcats average 6.4 steals per game, which ranks 116th in the nation. The Gamecocks rank 172nd in steals allowed per game (7.6).
- South Carolina averages 38.6 rebounds per game, which ranks 54th in the NCAA. Kentucky ranks 76th in rebounds allowed per game (33.3).
- South Carolina is 3-3 ATS at home, while Kentucky is 3-2-1 ATS on the road.
- Of the Wildcats 6 road games, they have 4 unders and 2 overs.
- The Gamecocks have 3 overs, 2 unders and 1 push in 6 home games.
- South Carolina ranks 64th in three pointers allowed per game (20.2) while Kentucky ranks 241st (25.6).
- The Wildcats rank 21st in blocks per game (5.5) while the Gamecocks rank 160th in blocks allowed per game (4.8).
- South Carolina ranks 39th in assists allowed per game (11.4) while Kentucky ranks 142nd (13.7).
- South Carolina is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Kentucky is 1-3-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Gamecocks have been outscored by an average of 2.4 points in their last five games. For the season, South Carolina has defeated opponents by an average of 5.8 points.
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 70.6 points per game (7.7 below their season average) and allowed an average of 69.6 points per game (0.0 below their season average).