Georgia vs. Kentucky Odds, Picks: Will Wildcats Continue to Shine?
Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Antonio Reeves & CJ Fredrick (Kentucky)
Georgia vs. Kentucky Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Bulldogs have won three of their last four games, including back-to-back wins against Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
Mike White’s team has been disciplined on the defensive end, allowing an average of 54 points in its last two victories.
Kentucky will look to build upon its biggest win of the season, taking down Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday. This victory was massive for a Wildcats team that lost as a 19.5-point favorite at home to South Carolina a week ago.
In order to find out which team will keep the train rolling, let’s take a look at the odds and make a prediction for Kentucky vs. Georgia.
White’s first season at the helm for the Bulldogs has been an overall success, as Georgia sits in sole possession of fourth place in the SEC.
Much of this success has been the result of Georgia’s consistent defensive play.
The Bulldogs rank 53rd nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency through their ability to defend the perimeter. Georgia ranks eighth nationally in 3-point percentage defense, allowing teams to score just 27.9% of their points from deep on 27.7% shooting.
Georgia combines this perimeter defense with an ability to defend without fouling, only allowing 23.2% of its opponents’ shots to come from the charity stripe (21st nationally).
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Wildcats have not relied on their outside shooting to find offensive success. Kentucky ranks 308th nationally in 3-point attempts, with just 32% of its shots coming from beyond the arc.
The biggest question mark for Georgia will be if it can find consistent offensive success. The Bulldogs have been effective at winning their one-on-one matchups, which can be reflected in just 50.1% of their baskets coming off an assist (202nd nationally).
This one-on-one effectiveness will be hard to come by against a Kentucky defense built to win isolated matchups.
Kentucky is coming off an impressive victory on the road against Tennessee in a game in which the Wildcats looked like a brand new team.
This turnaround can arguably be attributed to the Wildcats utilizing their most effective lineup for most of the game. This lineup change came as a result of point guard Sahvir Wheeler being sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Updated look at Kentucky's most used lineups after yesterday's win. Their A+ lineup of Wallace, Reeves, Fredrick, Toppin, and Oscar went from 20 to 45 possessions in one game and continues to dominate. pic.twitter.com/wFs8EauyMl
— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) January 15, 2023
Although Wheeler has found success this season, replacing him with Cason Wallace at the point guard position may do wonders for this Wildcats team on both ends of the floor.
Wheeler’s status for Tuesday’s matchup with Georgia is unknown.
With the implementation of this new lineup, Kentucky will look to attack a Georgia defense allowing 57.3% of its points from the interior, the 22nd-highest rate in the country.
This inability to prevent penetration is important to note, as Kentucky creates 54.5% of its points from 2-point range, the 75th-highest rate in the country.
Defensively, this is a favorable matchup for a Kentucky team that has been exceptional at defending without fouling this season. The Wildcats allow just 17.1% of their points from the charity stripe, an area Georgia relies on for 22% of its total points.
If Kentucky is able to continue its offensive production, it will have advantages on both ends of the floor.
Georgia vs. Kentucky Betting Pick
This Kentucky team has been difficult to handicap due to its inconsistent lineup structure and injury history.
These same factors will be in play against Georgia on Tuesday night. If the Wildcats continue to utilize their best lineup — CJ Fredrick, Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin, Oscar Tshiebwe and Wallace — they will be able to create enough offensive production to simply outpace the Bulldogs.
Additionally, the Wildcats will welcome a Georgia offense looking to win one-on-one matchups in space.
Given these lineup uncertainties, I like an investment in the Wildcats, but at the right number.
I see value in Kentucky taking care of business on its home floor up to -9.5
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