Best NCAAB Bets: Tennessee vs. Kentucky Prediction, Odds & Picks

Feb 17, 2023
Best NCAAB Bets: Tennessee vs. Kentucky Prediction, Odds & Picks

The NFL season is officially over, and the NBA season is on pause for the All-Star Break. That means college basketball will take center stage this weekend.

As we inch closer to March, this really is the time most people start tuning into college hoops. If you fall into that bucket, allow me to welcome you to the fun. In these weekly best bets columns, we try to sift through the 150-game Saturday slates and zero in on a few plays worth making.

With College Gameday on-site at my alma mater, a Big 12 showdown between Kansas and Baylor should highlight another monster day in college hoops. The winner of that game could have a good chance at securing a conference title and potentially being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Elsewhere in the country, we have plenty of other intriguing matchups featuring Missouri-Texas A&M, Kansas State-Iowa State, Michigan-Michigan State, Indiana-Illinois, Kentucky-Tennessee, and much more. Let’s try to find a couple of winners on this card.

Today’s CBB Best Bets (February 18)

Tennessee -2 at Kentucky (-110, Caesars)

The last time these two teams played on Jan. 14, Kentucky delivered a stunner with a 63-56 road win over Tennessee. The Volunteers were an 11-point favorite in that outright loss a month ago. KenPom projects a 69-65 victory for the visitors in the rematch.

This opening line feels like a bit of an overreaction from the first meeting, along with Kentucky needing this win more for its NCAA Tournament aspirations. I’m willing to fade both narratives, especially since my numbers would make this spread closer to five.

Tennessee is coming off a big win over Alabama earlier in the week, breaking out of a funk where it lost three out of four games. The Volunteers still rank first in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, and that matters against a Kentucky team that won’t really shoot anyone out of the gym.

With seeding implications still on the line for Tennessee, I expect Rick Barnes’ squad to be plenty motivated for this revenge trip to Lexington.

Risk: 0.55 units at Caesars to win 0.5 unit (Playable to -3)

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Kansas State Moneyline vs. Iowa State (-150, DraftKings)

The Wildcats were playing a bit over their head to start Big 12 play, but have now lost four of the last five games. This is where I’m actually buying into a narrative because I think Kansas State gets back in the win column.

KSU head coach Jerome Tang knows his team needs a win, so much so that he sent out a tweet pleading for students to show up to Saturday’s game against Iowa State at Bramlage Coliseum. Tang also admitted after a loss to Oklahoma that the Wildcats need two more victories to lock up an NCAA Tournament berth.

Back on Jan. 24, Kanasa State suffered an 80-76 loss in Ames, thanks in large part to a decisive 15-2 run in the second half. With the rematch taking place in Manhattan, where Kansas State has only lost once, I expect a different outcome this weekend.

I’ll just play a juiced Moneyline rather than dealing with the points in a potentially-close game, but I’d be willing to lay up to 3 if you’d rather play the spread.

Risk: 1.5 units at DraftKings to win 1 unit (Playable at -150 or better)

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For the most up-to-date picks check out my Twitter and subscribe to our Discord. This sheet from Dan Rivera tracks all my betting picks (and those from the rest of the betting staff) on the year. Just click on the tab with my name on it for the results.

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