SEC foes will collide when the LSU Tigers (9-3) go head-to-head against the No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats (11-2, 1-0 SEC) at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 153.5 points with Kentucky opening as a 4.5-point favorite. Action gets underway at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, and it can be seen on SEC Network.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. LSU Tigers Betting Preview
The Wildcats were victorious over the Georgia Bulldogs in their last outing, 66-61. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the top scorer from either team with 21 points on 4-for-9 shooting. Kentucky played a nearly flawless game. They had a ridiculous free throw rate of 0.500 (above their season average of 0.273) and a turnover percentage of 11.3 (better than their season average of 17.2). Georgia was 0.224 and 18.2, respectively, for those same stats.
The last time the Tigers played, they defeated the Memphis Tigers, 71-61. With 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting, Tremont Waters was the games leading scorer. LSU had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.583 vs. 0.407) and had a better turnover percentage (17.6 vs. 19.1).
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, this will be a matchup of two heavyweights. The elite LSU offense ranks eighth in the nation in that metric at 0.589, while the top-notch Kentucky defense is ranked 48th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.462). Additionally, the Wildcats could control the offensive glass in this battle as they rank 17th in the NCAA in offensive rebounding percentage at 37.2 percent. The Tigers, meanwhile, rank 274th in defensive rebounding percentage (68.5 percent).
Games including these teams have a tendency to finish over the projected point total. Kentucky games have finished over 58.3 percent of the time, while LSU games have gone over 55.6 percent of the time. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Wildcats have a significant advantage. They are 11-2 SU and 6-7 ATS, while the Tigers are 9-3 SU and 5-3-1 ATS.
Hamidou Diallo has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Kentucky, averaging 18.8 points and 1.8 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Wildcats won the only contest played against each other last season, 92-85. The Wildcats dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.333 and an extraordinary offensive rebounding percentage of 43.8. For those same stats, the Tigers recorded marks of 0.172 and 23.5, respectively.
Kentucky Wildcats at LSU Tigers ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kentucky, ATS Winner – Kentucky, O/U – Over
- The Tigers rank 31st in steals per game (8.1) while the Wildcats rank 99th in steals allowed per game (6.4).
- LSU averages 15.9 assists per game, which ranks 60th in the nation. Kentucky ranks 111th in assists allowed per game (13.2).
- On the road, Kentucky is 2-1 ATS with 2 overs and 1 under.
- LSU is 3-1-1 ATS at home with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- LSU ranks 113th in three pointers attempted per game (23.0) while Kentucky ranks 270th (14.6).
- The Wildcats rank 33rd in rebounds per game (40.2) while the Tigers rank 155th (35.7).
- Kentucky ranks 15th in blocks per game (5.9) while LSU ranks 90th (3.7).
- LSU is 2-1 ATS with 2 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Kentucky is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Tigers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 17.2, up from 11.3 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 83.4 points per game (3.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 73.4 points per game (4.4 above their season average).