Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Predictions, Picks, Odds

Score Prediction

Kentucky 75, Tennessee 70

Best Bets

Kentucky +1 (-110) at DraftKings

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Predictions

The fourth ranked Kentucky Wildcats defeated Florida 78-57 at home on Saturday. The Wildcats are now on a six-game winning streak and have won 10 of their last 11. Kentucky is 13-0 this season when holding opponents to less than 63 points, and this may be the best defensive team head coach John Calipari has had in quite some time. If Kentucky is able to finish the final stretch of the season out strong, they should find themselves with a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.

The 16th ranked Tennessee Volunteers rattled off a 73-64 home win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Tennessee has won seven of their last eight matchups and have won 13 in a row at home. Saturday’s win was a team effort, with all 11 players who saw the floor scoring, as well as four of those players reaching double digits. In the first matchup with Kentucky, Tennessee allowed the Wildcats to shoot 67.9 FG%, 61.1 3PT%, and turned the ball over 20 time, and ended up losing by 28.

This will not be a blowout game like the first meeting was. However, Kentucky is arguably the best basketball team in the country right now. Vegas is predicting a Tennessee win and I have to disagree. Even with the Volunteers having home court advantage, I think Kentucky leaves with a W. Give me the road dog and the points, Kentucky +1.5.

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Odds

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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Resources

  • Matchup: SEC
  • Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2022
  • Venue: Thompson-Boling Arena
  • Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
  • TV-Time: ESPN - 9:00 p.m. ET

Kentucky Wildcats Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 21-4
  • ATS: 12-13
  • O/U: 12-13

The Kentucky Wildcats have not been profitable with a 21-4 ATS record. The Wildcats are 2-5 ATS in their last seven matchups but are 6-1 SU during that same period. The total has gone over in 12 of Kentucky’s 25 games, quite surprising considering they are averaging 81.3 PPG. In the last five road matchups against Tennessee the total has gone under four times.

The Wildcats offense is one of the best in the country. Entering this matchup Kentucky is averaging 81.3 PPG (9th), 17.1 APG (10th), 49.1 FG% (9th), 35.6 3PT% (88th), and 41.2 RPG (7th). Junior forward Oscar Tshiebwe has been the difference maker for Kentucky, averaging 16.4 PPG, an NCAA high of 15.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, while shooting 60 FG%. The Wildcats like to spread the ball around as they have six players averaging above 8 PPG.

Kentucky’s defense, as mentioned before, is the best Calipari has had in a few years. This season they are allowing 64.2 PPG (51st), 40.3 FG% (42nd), 29 3PT% (15th), while averaging 7.1 SPG (129th), and 4.4 BPG (64th). The Wildcats will try and replicate their first outing against the Volunteers by forcing 20 turnovers. The did allow Tennessee to shoot 53 FG% and 47.8 3PT%, which will need to come down as they can't rely on their offense shooting over 60% from both the field and three.

Tennessee Volunteers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 18-6
  • ATS: 14-10
  • O/U: 11-13

The Tennessee Volunteers have rewarded bettors with a 14-10 ATS record. They have not been all that impressive covering at home with a 7-7 ATS record. The Volunteers are just 3-5 ATS in their last eight matchups but are 7-1 SU during that span. The total has gone under 13 times for Tennessee, but has gone over in four of their last six games played as well as five of the last six against Kentucky.

Tennessee’s offense is led by their backcourt, Santiago Vescovi and Kennedy Chandler. The two are averaging a combined 26 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 8.1 APG. As a team, the Volunteers are averaging 74.4 PPG (98th), 16.8 APG (13th), 43.6 FG% (206th), 34.5 3PT% (147th), and 36.4 RPG (122nd). In the first meeting with Kentucky, the offense played very well, shooting the ball 53% from the field. If they can shoot like that again, it may be a different story now that they are on their home court.

The only time the Volunteers defense has allowed more than 80 points was their first game against Kentucky when they gave up 107. This season they are allowing 63.1 PPG (35th), 41.7 FG% (106th), 33.1 3PT% (159th), while averaging 9.9 SPG (8th), and 4.4 BPG (62nd). To put it simply, Tennessee cannot allow Kentucky to shoot over 60% like they did in the first matchup. If they can do that and force some turnovers, the Volunteers should put themselves in a position to win this ball game.

Kentucky has failed to cover the spread in five of its last eight road games. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Kentucky Wildcats

  • Record: 21-4
  • PS/G: 81.3 (9th)
  • PA/G: 64.2 (50th)
  • ORtg: 114.8 (7th)
  • DRtg: 90.7 (22nd)

Inside the Stats - Tennessee Volunteers

  • Record: 18-6
  • PS/G: 74.4 (100th)
  • PA/G: 63.1 (33rd)
  • ORtg: 106.4 (98th)
  • DRtg: 90.3 (19th)

Key Players to Watch

  • UK: Oscar Tshiebwe - F (16.4 ppg, 15.3 rpg)
  • UK: TyTy Washington - G (12.8 ppg, 4.1 apg)
  • TENN: Santiago Vescovi - G (13.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
  • TENN: Kennedy Chandler - G (13.1 ppg, 4.8 apg)

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Conclusion

This will be a fun game as Thompson-Boling arena tends to get pretty rowdy during big games. Tennessee has played great basketball all season, but Kentucky has been even better. The Volunteers have the capability to win this game, but as we saw in the first matchup, even shooting over 50% from the field and three was not enough for a victory. Backing Kentucky on the road at +1.5.

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Trends

  • Kentucky has failed to cover the spread in five of its last eight road games.
  • Kentucky has won six straight games.
  • Tennessee has gone OVER the point total in three of its last four games.