Tuesday College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks: Kentucky vs. Georgia, Clemson vs. Wake Forest
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Ashton Hagans
For tonight’s betting endeavors, we head to the SEC and ACC for a pair of high-level college basketball battles.
No. 15 Kentucky tries to win its fourth consecutive home game over a tough opponent when it faces super freshman Anthony Edwards and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Then we travel to Clemson to see if the Tigers can build on their stunning 79-72 upset win over Duke just one week ago.
Tuesday College Basketball Odds & Picks
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Kentucky vs. Georgia
- Spread: Kentucky -11.5
- Over/Under: 145
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Kentucky (13-4) is starting to find its rhythm, having won six of its last seven games. The Wildcats have won nine straight games at Rupp Arena including three in a row over No. 3 Louisville, Missouri, and Alabama. Kentucky is only 8-9 against the spread but has covered four of their last six games.
Georgia (11-6) has battled as a young team under second-year coach Tom Crean. The Bulldogs are 1-3 in conference play including 0-2 on the road. They are also 8-9 against the spread but have failed to cover in three of their past four games.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari will have the advantage of having just played and beaten this Georgia team on Jan. 7. The Wildcats pulled out a 78-69 road win, outscoring the Bulldogs by 12 over the last 10 minutes.
They posted that win despite shooting an uncharacteristic 50% (10 of 20) from the free-throw line. As a team, Kentucky shoots 76.8% which ranks 24th overall in the country.
The Wildcats defense (31st nationally) has been particularly good in Lexington, where they have held their last seven opponents to an average of 58 points in regulation.
They are particularly strong at defending the arc, holding opponents to an average of 29.5% from deep. In their win at Athens, the Bulldogs shot just 30.5% (5 of 23) from deep.
Georgia is coming off a 32-point blowout loss at Mississippi State and now plays at one of the most difficult road venues in the country. Freshman Anthony Edwards (19.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.2 apg) has been incredible but has been inefficient over his past five games, averaging only 36.6% (30 of 82) from the field.
The Bulldogs are one of the youngest teams in the country with a team experience average of just 1.18 years (314th), not ideal in a tough SEC road environment.
This should be a comfortable Kentucky win, with an unlikely improvement from such a young team in just 13 days.
The Pick: Kentucky -11.5
Clemson vs. Wake Forest
- Spread: Clemson -8.5
- Over/Under: 136.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ACCN
Clemson (9-8) is playing its best basketball of the season, having won three of its past four games including last week’s 79-72 home win over No. 3 Duke. The Tigers are 10-7 ATS and have covered their last four games buy a spread differential of +34.5 points.
Wake Forest (9-8) has struggled recently, losing three of its past four conference games. The Deacs are just 8-9 ATS and have failed to cover four of their past six games.
The Demon Deacons’ slide has coincided with the injury to junior guard Chaundee Brown (13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg). He has not played since Wake Forest’s 69-65 road win at Pittsburgh on Jan. 4.
Without Brown in the lineup, the Demon Deacons still scored a comfortable 80-62 home win over Boston College on Sunday. However, prior to that game, Wake Forest had struggled with three consecutive losses by an average of 17 points.
Clemson will have a major advantage on defense, ranking 33rd overall in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Tigers also force 14.9 turnovers per game while Wake Forest ranks a lowly 297th with 15.1 offensive turnovers per game.
Clemson junior forward Aamir Simms has averaged 21 points and 9.3 over the Tigers’ past three games, with guard Tevin Mack producing 17 points and 6.3 rpg over that same time span.
Clemson has also benefitted from the return of freshman Chase Hunter (5.7 points) from a high-ankle sprain suffered in December.
This matchup of a healthy and streaking Clemson team at home versus a short-handed struggling Wake Forest team leads me to take the Tigers and lay the 8.5 points.
With Brown out of the lineup, Wake Forest will struggle to keep pace against a Clemson team the scored 79 points on Duke’s defense.
The Pick: Clemson -8.5