Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Tuesday's Tip Sheet

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Louisiana State at Kentucky

-- A crucial conference battle will go down night at Rupp Arena. Kentucky (20-3 straight up, 14-9 against the spread) will play host to LSU in a showdown of 9-1 teams who are looking to keep pace with 10-0 Tennessee at the top of the SEC standings. As of early this morning, most books had Kentucky installed as an 8.5-point favorite after most books opened the Wildcats at nine. The total was 149 and LSU was +350 on the money line.

-- Since losing at Alabama in its SEC opener, John Calipari’s team has won 10 consecutive games and has covered the number in eight straight. Kentucky went into Starkville on Saturday and won by a 71-67 count as a 3.5-point road favorite. UK led 40-25 at intermission, only to see that deficit cut to two by the eight-minute mark. But the Wildcats promptly went on a 12-4 run to extend the lead back to 10 and held off a late charge from the Bulldogs. P.J. Washington was the catalyst with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Washington had game-high scoring honors despite fouling out after playing for only 24 minutes. Keldon Johnson added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Tyler Herro finished with 12 points.

-- UK is undefeated in 13 home games with a 7-6 spread record. The ‘Cats get four of their next five games at home, including a trip to Lexington from top-ranked Tennessee this Saturday. Does that qualify the ‘Cats for a letdown scenario tonight? We shall see.

-- Kentucky is 2-0 ATS in a pair of games as a single-digit favorite.

-- UK is No. 7 at KenPom.com, compiling a 7-2 record against K-Pom Top-50 opponents. The other L’s for the Wildcats have come against Duke (118-84) and Seton Hall (84-83 in overtime) on neutral courts. They have quality home wins over Kansas and Mississippi St., in addition to road scalps at MSU, at Florida, at Auburn and at Louisville. UK also has a neutral-court victory over North Carolina.

-- Washington leads UK in scoring (14.2 points per game), rebounding (8.1 RPG) and 3-point accuracy (44.9%). Johnson is averaging 14.0 points and 5.3 RPG while hitting 40.5 percent of his 3-pointers. Herro (13.3 PPG) is draining 91.8 percent of his free-throw attempts, while Stanford grad transfer Reid Travis is averaging 11.7 points and 7.0 RPG.

-- LSU (19-4 SU, 13-9 ATS) owns a 5-1 record both SU and ATS in six road assignments. The Tigers are 3-1-1 ATS with three outright win in five games as underdogs.

-- Will Wade’s club has won 12 of its past 13 games while going 10-3 ATS. The only loss during this span came two Saturday’s ago in Baton Rouge, where Arkansas came in and pulled a 90-89 upset as a 10-point road underdog. LSU bounced back nicely last week, however, winning 92-88 in overtime at Mississippi St. on Wednesday as a three-point underdog. Then on Saturday, the Tigers held off Auburn 83-78 as 2.5-point home ‘chalk.’

-- Naz Reid scored 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the win over the Bulldogs at The Hump in Starkville. Tremont Waters produced 26 points, five steals, five assists and four rebounds. Skylar Mays led the way Saturday against Auburn, scoring a team-high 20 points to go with three rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists without a turnover. Waters finished with 19 points, three steals, three boards and 10 assists compared to two turnovers. Reid added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

-- Waters, a sophomore point guard, isn’t as prolific a scorer as LSU legend Chris Jackson, but he can get buckets in bunches and is a better distributor. Waters is averaging team-highs in scoring (15.7 points per game), assists (6.1 APG) and steals (3.0 SPG). He ranks tops in the SEC and third in the nation in steals and is third in the SEC in assists.

-- Reid, the 5-star freshman out of New Jersey, has been ‘as advertised.’ He is currently listed as the No. 26 overall picks in the latest 2019 mock draft at NBADraft.net. The 6’10” 250-pounder is averaging 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game. Mays is scoring at a 13.4 PPG clip, is second on the team in steals with 47 and has a 52/30 assist-to-turnover ratio.

-- LSU is No. 21 at K-Pom, producing a 5-2 record against Top-50 foes. The Tigers are 11-4 versus the Top 100. They’ve lost at Houston and on a neutral court vs. FSU (in OT) and vs. Oklahoma St. LSU’s best wins have come at Misissippi St., at Ole Miss, at Arkansas, vs. Saint Mary’s (neutral court), vs. Auburn, vs. Alabama and vs. Furman.

-- The ‘under’ is on a 7-2 run for the ‘Cats to improve to 14-9 overall and 9-4 in their home games.

-- The ‘over’ is on an 11-3 roll for LSU to improve to 14-8 overall and 4-2 in its road assignments.

-- ESPN will have the broadcast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Duke at Louisville

-- As of early this morning, most books had Duke (21-2 SU, 15-8 ATS) listed as an eight-point favorites with a total of 151.5. U of L was +280 to win outright (risk $100 to win $280).

-- Duke is atop the ACC standings with a 9-1 record in league play. The Blue Devils lead UNC and Virginia bye one-half game, while Louisville and Syracuse are 1.5 games back with 8-3 ACC ledgers.

-- Duke is unbeaten in five road games with a 4-1 spread record. The Blue Devils went into Charlottesville on Saturday night and won 81-71 as 2.5-point underdogs. R.J. Barrett buried 6-of-10 launches from 3-point land and finished with 26 points and seven rebounds. Zion Williamson added 18 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocked shots. Cam Reddish went 5-of-8 from downtown in a 17-point effort. Reddish also had three assists, three steals, two blocked shots and two rebounds, while Tre Jones contributed 13 points, seven assists, six boards and two steals.

-- Since dropping a home game to Syracuse in overtime, Duke has won seven games in a row and it has covered in four straight contests. The Blue Devils are No. 1 at K-Pom, going 8-2 versus Top 50 foes. Their only other loss of the year came against Gonzaga in finals of the Maui Classic out in Hawaii. Duke’s best wins have come at Virginia, at FSU (on a Reddish buzzer beater) and vs. Kentucky, Texas Tech and Auburn on neutral floors. The Blue Devils also own home triumphs over Virginia, Indiana, Clemson and St. John’s.

-- Williamson (21.8 PPG) leads Duke in rebounding (9.2 RPG), field-goal percentage (68.4%), steals (2.2 SPG) and blocked shots (2.0 BPG). Barrett is averaging a team-best 23.1 PPG and averages 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 APG. Reddish (13.6) has 47 steals in 22 games played, while Jones (8.7 PPG) has an incredible 117/26 assist-to-turnover ratio.

-- Louisville (17-7 SU, 13-9-2 ATS) has won 12 of its 14 home games while posting a 6-6-2 ATS record. The Cardinals are 1-2 both SU and ATS in three games as home underdogs.

-- Chris Mack had done a remarkable job in his first season as head coach at U of L. He re-tooled the roster with several impact transfers and has seen sophomore Jordan Nwora make a big leap in his sophomore campaign. Nwora averages team-highs in scoring (17.6 PPG) and rebounding (7.6 RPG). Dwayne Sutton is averaging 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game, while Samford transfer Christen Cunningham (10.7 PPG) has a 108/42 assist-to-turnover ratio and has hit 39.3 percent of his 3-balls. Steven Enoch, a transfer from UConn, is averaging 9.2 points and 5.0 RPG while draining 42.9 percent his launches from downtown. Ryan McMahon is a deadly 3-point shooter with big-time range. He’s hit 37.9 percent from beyond the arc and made 94.4 percent of his FTAs.

-- Louisville has dropped two of its past three games both SU and ATS, including an 80-75 overtime loss Saturday at FSU as a three-point underdog. U of L led by as many as eight in the first half, by six at halftime and by 10 with less than 10 minutes remaining. However, the Seminoles forced the extra session with a late rally and then put the clamps on the Cardinals defensively in the first three-plus minutes of OT. Cunningham scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists in the losing effort. Sutton added 14 points, six boards and four assists, making 4-of-7 attempts from 3-point territory. Nwora had 13 points and five boards.

-- Louisville is ranked No. 13 at K-Pom, producing a 5-6 record against the Top 50 and a 9-7 mark versus the Top 100. The Cardinals own wins at Va. Tech, at North Carolina and at Seton Hall, in addition to home victories over Pitt, N.C. St., Miami, Michigan St., Vermont and Lipscomb.

-- When these teams met last season in Durham, Duke coasted to an 82-56 win as a 10.5-point home ‘chalk’.

-- Totals have been an overall was for the Cards (12-12-2) with the ‘over’ going 8-6 in their home outings.

-- The ‘under’ is 15-6-2 overall for the Blue Devils, 3-1-1 in its their road assignments.

-- Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

-- Anthony Edwards committed to Georgia over Kentucky on Monday morning. This is a huge recruiting coup for Tom Crean and the Bulldogs. NBADraft.net’s latest 2020 mock has Edwards listed as the No. 1 overall pick.

-- West Virginia’s nightmare campaign got even worse on Monday when Bob Huggins dismissed a pair of starters, Esa Ahmad and Wesley Harris, from the program “for a violation of athletic department policies.” The Mountaineers, who are 10-14, have already been playing without their best player, Sagaba Konate, since early Decembrer. Konate was averaging 13.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots per game in the team’s first eight contests. Ahmad was averaging 12.0 points and 5.8 RPG, while Harris was averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 RPG.

-- Wisconsin will host Michigan St. on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. As of early this morning, most spots had this game as a pick ‘em with the total in the 131-132 range. The Badgers are 9-2 SU and 6-5 ATS at home, while the Spartans are 6-3 both SU and ATS in nine road assignments. Wisconsin had its six-game winning streak both SU and ATS snapped in Saturday’s 61-52 loss at Michigan. The Spartans snapped their three-game losing streak both SU and ATS with Saturday’s 79-55 win over Minnesota as 13.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The ‘under’ is on a 7-2 run for Tom Izzo’s squad. The ‘under’ has cashed at a 7-1 clip for the Badgers in their past eight contests.

-- Bettors should take note of tonight’s early 6:30 p.m. Eastern tip on the Big Ten Network between Maryland and Purdue in College Park. As of early this morning, the Boilermakers were one-point road favorites with the total at 141. The Terrapins are 12-2 SU and 5-8 ATS at home, while Purdue is 3-4 SU and 4-3 ATS on the road. Maryland was in a 1-3 slump both SU and ATS until going to Nebraska last Wednesday and winning 60-45 as a 2.5-point underdog.

Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.

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