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Texas Tech Favored As They Aim For First Win Ever Against Kentucky

Betting Preview: Kentucky Wildcats vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

In the only Big 12/SEC challenge game to feature two nationally-ranked teams, Texas Tech opened as 5.5-point home favorites. But are they a good play Saturday, considering they’re facing a dangerous Kentucky program… and have covered the spread in just four of their last 13 games?

Kentucky Wildcats vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

Opening Odds Analysis

Texas Tech is 9-1 at home this season, 16-1 in their last 17 home games and possess an elite defense, so they get the nod at home as they opened as four-point favorites. Both programs combine to allow 126.5 points per game, but the oddsmakers are expecting a slightly higher-scoring game, as the total opened at 132.5 points.

Kentucky News & Notes

Following the Wildcats’ 89-79 victory at home Tuesday against Georgia, Kentucky enters their portion of the Big 12/SEC challenge having won six of their last seven games.

Kentucky presents a deep offense, with four players averaging between 13.3 and 13.7 points per game, that is powered by guard Ashton Hagans, who sits at 13.6 points per game and leads the team with 7.3 assists per contest as well. The Wildcats have also been playing almost exclusively in high-scoring games lately, as the total has gone OVER in seven of their last eight games.

Hagans is listed as questionable to Saturday’s game with an ankle injury, but considering he played 35 minutes and scored a game-high 23 points on Tuesday, all signs point to him being in the lineup. He, along with all of Kentucky’s key offensive pieces, will need to bring their A-game against an elite Texas Tech defense.

Texas Tech News & Notes

Texas Tech may currently be the 18th-ranked program in the nation, but they’re in danger of dropping out of the top 25 following their surprising 65-54 loss to TCU on Tuesday. That’s now given the Red Raiders losses in three of their last five games and over their past 13 games they’ve covered the spread just four times.

The Red Raiders are currently 30th in the country in scoring defense and 17th in turnovers forced, but they are just a middle-of-the-pack offensive club. That’s led to the total going UNDER in four of their last five games.

Texas Tech is also searching for their first win over Kentucky in school history, sitting at 0-4, although they have not faced the Wildcats since 1994. Their chances of winning are about as good as they can be considering they are at home, where the Red Raiders are 9-1 SU this season and 16-1 SU over their last 17 home games.

Betting Pick: Wildcats +4

The Red Raiders are tough at home and possess a dominant defense, but struggle to pull away from teams, meaning there is a good chance it’ll be a close game. With Kentucky’s deep offense and a 5.5-point spread, I’ll take the Wildcats to keep it close and cover.

Shark Bites
  • Kentucky is 9-2 SU in their last 11 road games.
  • Texas Tech is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games played on a Saturday.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Kentucky's last 13 games against the Big 12 Conference.