Kentucky vs Georgia Odds & Prediction: Bet Saturday’s SEC Favorite

Kentucky vs Georgia Odds & Prediction: Bet Saturday’s SEC Favorite article feature image

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: John Calipari (Kentucky)

Kentucky vs Georgia Odds

Saturday, Feb. 11
12 p.m. ET
Kentucky Odds
-115o / -105u
Georgia Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Big bad Kentucky is on the brink. After a loss at home to Arkansas, the Cats sit squarely on the bubble — an 11-seed, per Bracket Matrix.

A win on the road at lowly Georgia is required for UK to stay on the right side of the bubble and keep its hopes of a tourney berth alive.

For Georgia, this game represents a chance to “get right," one last chance to save a season that is quickly circling the drain. The Dawgs have lost six of their last seven games and haven’t covered any of them.

One could argue the turning point was UGA blowing an 11-point lead at Kentucky on Jan. 17. It’s been only doom and gloom since.

Kentucky Wildcats

Health is a question on both sides. UK point guard Sahvir Wheeler, a Georgia transfer, missed Tuesday’s game against Arkansas due to an ankle injury and is considered day-to-day.

While Wheeler hasn’t been stellar by any measure this season, his presence is important from a depth perspective.

Without Wheeler, John Calipari used essentially a six-man rotation against the Razorbacks, and freshman guard Cason Wallace played all but one minute of the game.

Matchup-wise this game is all about reigning National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe. Tshiebwe absolutely dominated the Bulldogs in game one, putting up 37 points and grabbing 24 rebounds in a Herculean effort.

He alone grabbed nearly one out of every three Kentucky misses on the offensive end and made 13 free throws, so while his Cats shot below 27% from 3 and below 50% from 2, they still scored a muscular 1.20 points per possession.

There’s no reason to believe Tshiebwe doesn’t dominate for a second straight contest.

UGA head coach Mike White can adjust all he wants, but nobody can keep the Big O off the glass — he’s a one-man wrecking machine.

Georgia did somewhat execute its game plan in the first matchup and lured Kentucky into taking low-percentage outside shots, but it just couldn’t secure the ball when it caromed off the rim.

Defensively, Kentucky will need to stay disciplined and guard without fouling. UGA leads the SEC in free-throw attempt rate and got to the line 24 times against the Cats in the first game.

Foul trouble for Tshiebwe or any of the UK guards could spell major trouble on the road, especially if Wheeler is ruled out or limited.

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Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia’s health question is much, much more crucial than Kentucky’s. Starting point guard, leading scorer and all-around leader Terry Roberts has missed the past two contests with a concussion.

In those two games Roberts was absent, Georgia is 0-2 straight up and against the spread and has a -13.75 cover margin.

Per Hoop-Explorer, UGA is a whopping 13.4 points per 100 possessions better offensively when Roberts is on the floor.

In short, Georgia needs him.

Roberts’ status was officially day-to-day on Tuesday, so there’s probably a better than 50% chance he’s back for this game. But if he’s out, you can stop reading now and just take the Cats.

If Roberts plays, UGA should feel confident knowing it led Kentucky by 11 points at Rupp Arena. The Bulldogs came out, punched Big Blue Nation in the mouth and played competitive basketball for 30 minutes.

Attacking the rim is key, getting Tshiebwe in foul trouble is key and putting multiple bodies on the big man every time a shot goes up is key.

If the Dogs execute, they can play spoiler to a Kentucky tourney bid.

Three times this season UGA has been a home dog — in those games, it’s 2-1 straight up and against the number.

Georgia’s primary paths to scoring on the offensive end are ball screens and transition. Kentucky has been average defending both this season, per Synergy.

Making Tshiebwe defend in space should be a priority and can be exploited, but successfully scoring in transition might be difficult.

Transition chances come via live ball turnovers and running off the defensive glass. Georgia ranks last in the SEC in turnover and steal rate, and leaking out against a dominant offensive rebounding team like Kentucky seems like an awful idea.

Kentucky vs Georgia Betting Pick

Georgia’s goose might be cooked with or without Roberts. Kentucky has such a major advantage inside and on the glass that it negates any edge Georgia might have on the other end.

Additionally, Kentucky shot just 4-of-15 from deep in game one, its fourth-worst outside shooting performance of the season.

That number likely ticks up, which is bad news for a Bulldogs squad that still lost by 14 with the Cats having an off night.

Lay the points with Kentucky in a crucial resume-building (or resume-protecting) spot for the Wildcats.

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