The No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats (9-2) look to put an end to the six-game winning streak of Louisville when they welcome the Cardinals (10-2) to Rupp Arena. The games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 145.5 points with Kentucky set as a 6-point favorite. Action starts at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, December 29, 2017.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats Betting Preview
The Cardinals won big over the Grand Canyon Antelopes in their last contest, 74-56. Raymond Spalding was the top scorer from either team with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Louisville dominated every facet of the game. They had a solid free throw rate of 0.305 (above their season average of 0.225) and a turnover percentage of 14.5 (worse than their season average of 14.4). For those same stats, Grand Canyon put up marks of 0.109 and 24.0, respectively.
The last time the Wildcats played, they were thoroughly outplayed by the UCLA Bruins, 83-75. With 16 points and six rebounds, Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel put together a solid performance. UCLA did a great job of converting from the free throw line (13-15; 86.7 percent). Kentucky, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (15.7 vs. 17.2).
The offensive glass could be a huge edge for Kentucky in this matchup. The Wildcats are among the nations elite on the offensive glass, ranking 18th in offensive rebounding percentage at 37.4 percent. Meanwhile, Louisville ranks 291st in the nation at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 67.9 percent.
Of Louisville’s 10 games that accepted bets, five have finished over the projected point total, while 6 of Kentucky’s 10 games have finished over the projected point total. Both teams have superb straight up (SU) records (10-2 for Louisville; 9-2 for Kentucky), but the Wildcats have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Kentucky is 5-6 ATS, while the Cardinals are 3-6-1.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Cardinals, it’s been Quentin Snider, who has averaged 16.8 points and 3.6 assists, while the Wildcats have received solid contributions from Hamidou Diallo (17.8 points and 1.8 steals).
This is the first time these teams will meet this year, after the Cardinals won the sole contest last season, 73-70. Louisville had a better offensive rebounding percentage (32.4 vs. 28.2). Kentucky, meanwhile, had a better free throw rate (0.328 vs. 0.250).
Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Louisville, ATS Winner – Louisville, O/U – Over
- The Cardinals rank 55th in steals per game (7.6) while the Wildcats rank 137th in steals allowed per game (7.1).
- Louisville ranks second in blocks per game (8.4) while Kentucky ranks 60th in blocks allowed per game (2.9).
- On the road, Louisville is 0-2 ATS with 1 over and 1 under.
- At home, Kentucky is 3-5 ATS with 4 overs and 3 unders.
- Kentucky ranks 36th in rebounds per game (39.7) while Louisville ranks 211th in rebounds allowed per game (37.3).
- The Cardinals rank 90th in three pointers allowed per game (20.7) while the Wildcats rank 245th (27.0).
- Louisville ranks sixth in assists allowed per game (9.6) while Kentucky ranks 141st (13.7).
- Kentucky is 3-2 ATS with 5 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Louisville is 1-2-1 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders.
- The Wildcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 11.8, up from 10.3 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Cardinals have scored an average of 79.6 points per game (0.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 63.4 points per game (1.2 below their season average).