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No. 5 Kentucky Aims to Extend its Winning Streak vs visiting No. 19 LSU

LSU vs Kentucky Betting Odds

The No. 19 LSU Tigers embark on a two-game road swing as they pay a visit to Rupp Arena to tip off against the No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats. LSU is looking to collect its third straight victory and its sixth win in a row on the road, while Kentucky is looking to continue its 10-game winning streak. The Wildcats have claimed victory in each of the last three meetings with the Tigers and are an 8.5-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 149 points.

Shark Bites
  • Kentucky is 10-0 SU and 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • LSU averages the ninth-most points per game in the nation this season (83.3).
  • The total has gone UNDER in seven of Kentucky’s last nine games.

LSU vs Kentucky Game Center

Wildcats Continue to Climb the Rankings

It was just over a month ago that Kentucky fell to No. 18 in the AP poll, following its 77-75 road loss to Alabama for its third defeat on the season, but it enters tonight’s game on a 10-game winning streak and is No. 5 in the AP poll. Included in this torrid stretch are three wins over ranked opponents, most notably a 71-63 triumph over then-No. 9 Kansas and at then-No. 14 Auburn.

The offense has been fairly strong for the Wildcats this year, pouring in 78.7 points per game overall and 80.2 ppg at Rupp Arena. Don’t expect them to make it rain from downtown, though, as they attempt just 17.3 three-pointers per game, the 17th-fewest in college basketball, but they do make the most of their opportunities, hitting 35.7 percent of those shots (106th). Kentucky is 13th with 42.5 points per game coming from two-point range and shoots 52.9 percent from that area.

The Wildcats have been stingy defensively, restricting opponents to just 65.2 points per game for the No. 33 mark in the country and that plummets to 60.6 ppg at home. They do exceptionally well around the rim, limiting foes to a shooting percentage of 43.7 inside the arc, which is the 10th-lowest percentage in the nation, and that falls to 41.7 percent at home. Additionally, they rank fourth in the NCAA by allowing opponents to secure just 29.4 rebounds per game.

Can the Tigers’ Offense Break Through Tonight?

LSU has been on a pretty good tear since mid-December, capturing 12 wins in its last 13 games, including an ongoing two-game winning streak. The Tigers had won 10 straight games with two wins over ranked opponents before falling 90-89 at home to Arkansas earlier this month. Kentucky is the highest-ranked opponent that LSU has faced this year, with its previous high being then-No. 14 Florida State in late November, a game it lost 79-76 in overtime.

The Tigers have been filling the basket with ease all season. They have the No. 9 offense in the nation averaging 83.3 points per game, but that figure falls to 80.1 ppg away from home. Similar to Kentucky, LSU doesn’t do much damage from beyond the arc, hitting just 7.1 triples per game (222nd) and getting only 25.5 percent of its total points from three-point range (320th). Inside the arc, the Tigers pick up 43.6 points per game to rank 10th but that drops to 39.6 ppg on the road. They shoot 54.9 percent from two-point range.

It has been a bit of a struggle on the defensive side of the ball, though, as they are surrendering 73.4 points per game (209th) and that climbs to 76.2 ppg on the road. They haven’t done a good job making shots difficult as their foes are shooting 50.2 percent from inside the arc and that jumps to 53.3 percent on the road. Over their last three games, they’ve ranked 345th by allowing opponents to shoot 63.3 percent from that area. LSU gives up the 68th-fewest opponent rebounds per game at 32.9, but once again that climbs to 38.2 on the road.

Which side of the total should you be on?

We have two strong offensive teams, but one of those clubs has a really good defense as well and Bovada has the total opening at 149 points. LSU has been on an OVER tear recently, going OVER in eight of its last 11 games with 10 of those contests going OVER 149 points.

On the other hand, Kentucky has been a solid UNDER play, going UNDER in seven of its last nine games with only one game going OVER 149 points. I think the Wildcats’ defense is going to be able to slow down the Tigers’ offense and I would be on the UNDER 149 points.

My take on LSU vs Kentucky

I like Kentucky -8.5 in tonight’s game. Kentucky is 16-0 SU and 10-6 ATS in its last 16 home games dating back to last season with an average winning margin of 19.63 and only one game being settled by fewer than nine points. That being said, LSU is 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in its last five road games, but none of those games was against a ranked opponent and its only road contest with a ranked foe this year came at Houston when it fell 82-76.

Both teams do a lot of damage inside the arc with Kentucky chipping in 42.5 points per game from two-point range to rank 13th while LSU ranks 10th at 43.6, but the Tigers fall to 39.6 on the road. However, the Wildcats restrict their foes to a 43.7 shooting percentage from two-point range, while the Tigers allow their opponents to shoot 50.2 percent from that area of the court and that average has skyrocketed to 63.3 percent in their last three.

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