Kentucky came back to earth last time out against a Tennessee squad that was lying in wait for it. Now the Wildcats have a chance to get back on track playing at home, where they’re 15-0 SU on the season and have barely been scratched, winning four of their six SEC home games by double digits. They’re up against an Alabama team that’s trying to get some kind of consistency going after winning its past three and collecting a couple big wins against Mississippi State and Arkansas.
But for all the success the Tide have had this year, they have yet to figure out playing on the road. Alabama has just two road wins to its name, and the Crimson Tide have managed to lose to both Missouri and Georgia, handing the latter its only league win. Alabama is one of the largest variance teams in the nation, as the Tide own wins over Gonzaga and Baylor, but have gone just 2-4-1 ATS away from Tuscaloosa despite playing a fairly weak road slate.
Alabama vs. Kentucky Betting Analysis
Opening Betting Odds and Lines
|Alabama Crimson Tide
|(17-9 SU, 9-16-1 ATS)
||(21-5 SU, 12-14 ATS)
When: 1 p.m, Friday, February 19th
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY.
Betting the Total
Neither team shot the ball well two weeks ago when the teams met in Tuscaloosa, but Kentucky seems to shoot much better at Rupp Arena than it does on the road. The Wildcats have almost scored at will in Lexington this season, in large part because its guards feel comfortable there and the Wildcats have Oscar Tshiebwe inside to clean up any misses. Kentucky has hit 76 points in every home game it’s played this season, and with how fast Alabama likes to play, the Wildcats shouldn’t have much of an issue getting enough shots to go over its number.
Whether Alabama will as well is another matter, as the Tide has tended to be inconsistent with its offense. Over its past 10 games, only once did Alabama hit the over after cashing the over in the previous game. The Tide got to 80 against Mississippi State, which suggests a letdown might be coming.
I recommend backing the Kentucky team total Over 81 at (-110) at PointsBet
Backing the Spread
Given how strong Kentucky has looked at home, this could be a real problem for Alabama. You’re not going to outscore the Wildcats in Lexington; you have to be able to defend against them to have a real chance at a win. Alabama isn’t really in a position to do that, as the Crimson Tide give up 75.5 points per game and have only a middling defense this season.
The Tide did win the rebounding battle when the teams played in Tuscaloosa, but that’s not likely to repeat itself a second time. That game featured a ton of missed shots on both sides and several long rebounds out of the reach of Tshiebwe. Alabama doesn’t have anyone who can match him inside, so unless Jaden Shackleford misses from distance again, long rebounds aren’t likely to come into play here.
Based on Kentucky’s strong home performances, my recommended play is Kentucky -7 at (-110) at PointsBet