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College Basketball Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions for Michigan vs. Kentucky (Sunday, Dec. 4)

College Basketball Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions for Michigan vs. Kentucky (Sunday, Dec. 4) article feature image
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Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky)

  • Kentucky and Michigan face off in a critical non-conference test from London.
  • The Wolverines are coming off of a disappointing blown lead in a loss to Virginia at home.
  • Can they keep the game close against the Wildcats? Dive in now.

Michigan vs. Kentucky Odds

Sunday, Dec. 4
1 p.m. ET
ABC
Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+9
-110
143.5
-110o / -110u
-435
Kentucky Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-9
-110
143.5
-110o / -110u
+350
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Michigan and Kentucky will square off in a blue-blood matchup that will be a crucial jumping off point for both 5-2 teams.

This game — being played in London, England — will feature two of the best big men in the country in Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.

Both teams have been battle tested early, with their only losses of the season coming to teams ranked inside the top-50.

For Michigan, the question will be who will step up offensively against a Kentucky defense that ranks fourth in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (87.0).

Similarly, Kentucky is still looking for a go-to scorer as the Wildcats have five players averaging double figures, none of which average more that 14 per contest.

Whichever team is able to surround their superstar big man with additional offensive firepower will have the upper hand in this matchup.


Michigan Wolverines

Juwan Howard’s fourth year as head coach of Michigan got off to a hot start, as the Wolverines were to able to rattle off three straight wins before dropping the title game of the Legends Classic to Arizona State, 87-62.

In its last contest, Michigan was outlasted by undefeated No. 3 Virginia in its home building.

The Wolverines’ success starts with Dickinson, who is averaging 19.1 points and 9.1 boards through a 28.3% usage rate (120th among D-I players).

Dickinson will have his work cut out for him against last year’s National Player of the Year, Tshiebwe.

This matchup is especially important given that Michigan generates 50.0% of its points inside the 3-point line, with a 54.5% shooting percentage inside the arc (64th nationally).

If Kentucky and Tshiebwe are able to limit Michigan’s inside success, it could be a long afternoon for the Wolverines. Michigan ranks 196th nationally in 3P% at 32.9%.

This is an area where the Wildcats are proficient, holding teams to just 29.6% from beyond the arc, which is 71st nationally.

Even if the Wolverines want to rely on Dickinson’s interior play, they will have to do so against a Wildcats defense that is top-20 in defensive 2P%, allowing their opponents to shoot just 41.9% inside the arc.

Look for Tshiebwe’s stellar interior play to make Michigan rely on its outside shooting more than it would like.

Kentucky Wildcats

John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats are looking to bounce back after they were embarrassed in their last marquee matchup, losing 88-72 to Gonzaga.

Since this defeat, Kentucky has been able to put together a two-game winning streak against North Florida and Bellarmine, both outside the top-200 nationally.

In order to live up to preseason expectations, the Wildcats will need to find a go-to scorer to pair with their All-American, Tshiebwe.

Calipari will look to Jacob Toppin and Antonio Reeves to step up.

Both of these players thrive on the mid-range jump shot, which will be crucial to exploiting a Michigan defense that is allowing 47.2% shooting to its opponents from inside the 3-point line.

Given this matchup with Michigan defense’s (outside the top-100 in 3P%, 2P% and offensive rebounding percentage), this is a perfect opportunity for Kentucky to establish a go-to scorer.

Look for Kentucky to build on the offensive success it has built in its last two contests.

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Michigan vs. Kentucky Betting Pick

This situational matchup is an interesting one, as both teams have had to travel to London, England.

Michigan is coming off of a loss to undefeated Virginia, and Kentucky is coming in on a two-game winning streak against inferior competition.

I believe that Kentucky is the more complete team surrounding Tshiebwe, which will be a major advantage in this neutral-site contest.

At the time of writing, KenPom projects this game as a 76-67 victory for the Wildcats.

Given their depth on offense, I am aligned with this prediction and favor the Wildcats in this spot.

Pick: Kentucky -9 or Better

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