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NCAAB Handicapping: Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt (Feb. 17)

Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores – We got your Winner

BetUS NCAA Basketball Betting Odds: KENTUCKY -2

Here are some of the NCAA basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* KY has covered one of its last five games
* KY has played five of its last eight games UNDER the total* KY has covered four of its last five road games
* VAN has won three of its last four games SU
* VAN has covered two of its last eight games
* VAN has played four of its last six games UNDER the total
* VAN has won eight of its last ten home games SU
* VAN is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six home games
* VAN has played four of its last six home games UNDER the total

Also…

* VAN has won five of the last seven meetings
* KY has covered four of the last six meetings
* Four of the last five meetings have gone UNDER the total
* VAN has had the shooting edge in four of the last six meetings
* KY has had the rebounding edge in four of the last six meetings
* VAN has made more three-pointers in each of the last five meetings

After three straight losses, Kentucky comes into this game with a head of steam, scoring consecutive wins against Florida and AT Arkansas, so Vanderbilt, off a 19-point loss to in-state rival Tennessee, needs to get its confidence level back.

These teams met on January 10 and Kentucky was coming off a loss to its own in-state rival, the Louisville Cardinals. Kentucky registered a 70-60 win at Rupp Arena in what was the SEC opener, but Vanderbilt was without A.J. Ogilvy, who is by far its best player but was sidelined with a heel injury. They had to limp along on 32% shooting, and the Wildcats, who got only 5-for-16 shooting from Jodie Meeks, at least had some offensive balance, as three other players were in double digits.

Ogilvy’s presence is not inconsequential. The 6’11” sophomore from Australia is shooting 52% but was held to just 11 points in Saturday’s loss to the Vols. He had 19 points and 12 rebounds in last year’s meeting with Kentucky that was held at the Memorial Gymnasium, a romp for Vandy in which the ‘Dores led by 30 points (41-11) at the half, and rolled to a 93-52 victory.

Some things were different in that game. Vandy had the benefit of its big outside presence in Shan Foster that was so effective in complementing Ogilvy’s inside game. Foster is gone, and the Commodores have had to supplement Ogilvy’s production with the outside shooting of Jermaine Beal and Brad Tinsley, who combine to hit 41% from beyond the arc.

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky’s inside presence, sprained his ankle against Florida, sat out the game against Arkansas, and is questionable here. If he plays, he’s not 100% obviously. If Vandy can concentrate more of its defensive efforts on Meeks, it can hold him to a low percentage again (Commodores allow less than 40% shooting overall).

We’re going to take the points with Vanderbilt, the two-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA betting odds.

Our PLAY: VANDERBILT +2 **

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