Kentucky Wildcats (12-3) vs Georgia Bulldogs (9-6)Date : 01/15/2019
Time : 7:00 PM
Location : Stegeman Coliseum
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Kentucky Wildcats vs Georgia Bulldogs
The Georgia Bulldogs are set to return home to Stegeman Coliseum after playing on the road in their latest outing and they will play host to the Kentucky Wildcats in an SEC clash, the opening tipoff is slated for 7:00 PM. Georgia is still trying to rebuild this program and make them a threat in the SEC while Kentucky once again has reloaded talent and should be one of the favorites to win the conference as the 12th ranked team in the country.
Kentucky Wildcats 's Latest Performance :
Kentucky has always been a basketball powerhouse but they have only expanded their level of success to another level under John Calipari as they have made the NCAA Tournament in 8 of the 9 years he has been a part of this program. Kentucky usually fills their lineup with 5-stars that like to score which is once again the case this season but their defense was the reason they won their last game as they beat the Vanderbilt Commodores 56-47. Keldon Johnson has been the go-to scorer for the Wildcats as the former 12th ranked recruit in the nation averages a team-high 15.8 PPG and 5.3 RPG, and he was able to take over the game with 15 points. Joining Johnson in the backcourt is Ashton Hagans and while he hasn’t been a scoring juggernaut (6.6 PPG) he has been one of the top defenders in the nation as he averages 2.1 steals per game, Hagans was able to break out in the scoring department with 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists against Vanderbilt. Kentucky did something different this season as they added a grad transfer in Reid Travis out of Stanford and he has been a good gamble as he averages 13.2 PPG and 6.4 RPG. Not many teams have the depth to bring a 5-star off the bench but Immanuel Quickley has been a force off the bench for Calipari and we saw that against Vanderbilt as he recorded 12 points in 20 minutes of playing time.
Georgia Bulldogs's Latest Performance :
Georgia has only made the NCAA Tournament 1 time since 2011 but the hope is at an all-time high as Tom Crean should be able to give this program a much-needed boost as he was a good coach at his previous stop at Indiana. Georgia showed that they still are a few years away from competing with the top teams in the SEC during their recent matchup as they lost to the 14th ranked Auburn Tigers 93-78. Despite the losing effort, the Bulldogs received a big game out of an unlikely source as senior guard Willie Jackson was able to contribute a team-high 16 points and 5 assists which is well above his season average of 4.9 PPG and 1.7 APG. Sophomore forward Rayshaun Hammonds has been the top player all season long for Georiga as he averages 13.9 PPG and 6.7 RPG, and he was able to have a solid outing against the Tigers as he fell just short of a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds. The frontcourt success doesn’t stop at Hammonds though as junior Nicolas Claxton averages just shy of a double-double on the season with 12.6 PPG and 9.5 RPG, Claxton was kept off the boards with only 3 rebounds in their latest outing but he did contribute 15 points. Junior guard Tyree Crump may be the 3rd leading scorer for the Bulldogs even though he comes off the bench he showed us the spark he gives Crean and company as he was able to come in and drop 14 points.
How Kentucky Wildcats & Georgia Bulldogs Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Kentucky is 6-9 ATS, 1-1 ATS on the road.
Georgia is 10-5 ATS, 7-1 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Kentucky ranks 42nd in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 80.9 PPG while Georgia ranks 97th as they score an average of 77.3 PPG.
Kentucky ranks 114th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 68.7 PPG while Georgia ranks 228th as they hold opponents to an average of 73.2 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Kentucky Wildcats
My reason for the pick :
Georgia has been really good at home this season as they are 7-1 ATS but they haven’t played a team like Kentucky and it will show in this one as the 5-star freshmen should run up and down the court of Georgia. Georgia has a good frontcourt and that is their strength but Kentucky is able to match that with Reid Travis and P.J. Washington while also bringing Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery off the bench. Georgia also lacks a good ball handler which will play into the hands of Ashton Hagans as he will force turnovers and get his team running on the break. A major mismatch is the fact that Kentucky has the 42nd ranked scoring offense and Georgia has the 228th ranked scoring defense. Kentucky has grown this season and will continue to gain confidence with a win here.
Betting trends for Kentucky Wildcats :
- Kentucky is 36-31-2 ATS after a win since 2016.
Betting trends for Georgia Bulldogs:
- Georgia is 1-2 ATS in SEC matchups this season.