Kentucky Wildcats -4 (-115 DraftKings) are the team to bet on as they face off against the Providence Friars in the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats have been playing well lately, winning five of their last seven games straight up and against the spread. On the other hand, Providence has lost four of its last five games straight up and against the spread.
Kentucky’s Offense vs. Providence’s Defense
Kentucky’s offense is the key to this game as they are scoring an average of 75.1 points per game, while Providence’s defense has been struggling, allowing an average of 71.3 points per game. Kentucky is also in the top 100 in both field goal shooting percentage at 46.0% and 3-point shooting percentage at 35.9%, which will make it difficult for Providence to keep up.
One player to watch out for is Oscar Tshiebwe, who will dominate the glass on both ends of the court for Kentucky and score more than his share of points. However, Providence has the talent on the perimeter to challenge Kentucky in space, especially with Jared Bynum’s crafty ball-handling skills.
Providence’s Offense vs. Kentucky’s Defense
Despite this, Kentucky has defenders capable of answering the call in isolation, with Tshiebwe then freed up to play help defense and clean the glass. Tshiebwe is likely too much on the interior for Providence. Ed Croswell is a nice player inside for the Friars but can’t be expected to outduel the reigning National Player of the Year. Turning to 6-foot-11 Clifton Moore is likely just as futile or worse.
Recent Performances and Betting Trends
Overall, Kentucky is the safer bet in this game as Providence has struggled against above-average opponents, failing to cover the spread in each of the last four when playing against a team with a winning record straight up. Kentucky, on the other hand, has covered the spread in five of the last seven when playing against a team with a winning record straight up.
In conclusion, with Kentucky’s dominant offense and Tshiebwe’s presence on the interior, the Wildcats are the team to bet on in this matchup. The line may not have much value, but it’s still worth backing the Cats to come out on top.
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