NCAAB Odds, Picks & Prediction for Arkansas vs Kentucky
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Cason Wallace (Kentucky)
Arkansas vs Kentucky Odds
-106o / -114u
-106o / -114u
Arkansas travels to Rupp Arena to take on a Kentucky team trending in the right direction in SEC play.
The Wildcats have strung together six straight conference wins to put themselves in a tie for third place with Auburn.
Kentucky’s recent success has been the result of a balanced offense that has seen improved numbers from Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin and Cason Wallace.
On the other side, Arkansas has struggled to stay healthy. That has resulted in three of its five conference wins coming against Ole Miss, LSU and South Carolina, who are in a three-way tie for last place in the SEC at 1-9.
In addition to the long-term absences of Trevon Brazile and Nick Smith Jr., the Razorbacks have had Jalen Graham (Achilles), Ricky Council IV (back) and Anthony Black (knee) all miss practice and/or time due to injury.
To predict whether each team will continue their trends in conference play, let’s take a look at the odds and make a prediction for Arkansas vs. Kentucky.
After opening the season winning 11 of its first 12 games, Arkansas lost six of its next 11 games, including a four-game losing streak in the heart of January.
Much of the Razorbacks’ struggles have come away from Bud Walton Arena, as Arkansas recorded its first road victory last Saturday when it narrowly defeated South Carolina in Columbia.
In addition, Arkansas’ inability to stay healthy has hindered its production on the offensive end. The Razorbacks rank outside the top 320 nationally in 3-point percentage.
As a result, Eric Mussleman has turned to the interior for 59.7% of the Razorbacks’ total points this season, the 11th-highest rate in the country. In particular, Arkansas creates these interior points by grabbing offensive rebounds on 35.1% of its attempts in conference play.
Although this is the third highest offensive rebounding percentage in the SEC, the Razorbacks will be going up against Oscar Tshiebwe and a Kentucky defense allowing second chances on 23.7% of its opponents’ shots, the lowest rate in the conference.
Overall, look for Kentucky’s defense — which has not allowed more than 70 points in four straight SEC games — to continue to trend in the right direction.
The Wildcats have seemingly turned their season around due to their newfound balance on the offensive end.
Kentucky now has four players averaging double figures after stellar performances from Toppin and Wallace against Florida.
Kentucky is undefeated when Jacob Toppin tallies a double-double: 17 PTS and 10 REB against Florida.
He is a constant threat at the rim: (88th %ILE) drives to the hoop and dump-offs at the rim (94th %ILE). pic.twitter.com/ePzwcmJXUn
— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) February 6, 2023
The penetration that Toppin and Wallace are able to create has opened up the floor for perimeter shooters CJ Fredrick and Reeves to see a steady stream of open looks.
This newfound balance has resulted in the Wildcats climbing into the top 20 in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (116.3), with an average of 75.2 points per game.
Additionally, the one area this Kentucky offense has struggled in is likely to see some regression in Tuesday’s matchup with Arkansas.
The Wildcats have only accounted for 16.8% of their points from the charity stripe. Arkansas has an inability to defend without fouling, giving up 22% of its points from the charity stripe.
This additional production from the free-throw line will be paired with an offense that has been exceptionally good at finishing at the rim, an area where Arkansas is used to having an advantage.
The Razorbacks rank 24th nationally in block percentage at 13.4%, while Kentucky’s offense has only allowed 4.9% of its shot attempts to be blocked, the second-lowest rate in the country.
In the end, I expect a Kentucky offense that has finally found its stride to outpace an Arkansas team still trying to get fully healthy.
Arkansas vs. Kentucky Betting Pick
This is an SEC battle between two teams trending in opposite directions.
For Arkansas, this is an opportunity to continue to find road success with a roster constantly seeing guys in and out of the lineup.
On the other side, Kentucky will look to continue to build upon its play at both ends of the floor, which has resulted in six straight SEC wins.
Overall, this is a game both teams will look to win on the offensive end.
Kentucky will look to get to the line to add another dimension to its offense, while Arkansas will attack Tshiebwe on the interior.
That being said, I will gladly invest in the over in a game that both teams will be ultra motivated to produce a result.
Pick: Over 140 (Play to 141.5)
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