College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Kentucky vs. Alabama (Saturday, February 5)
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: Jahvon Quinerly (Alabama)
- Alabama is now a 1.5-point favorite over Kentucky after the Wildcats opened -2 on Friday night.
- D.J. James is attacking the total in this game, which has stood pat over the last day.
- Get his full Alabama vs. Kentucky preview and pick below.
Kentucky vs. Alabama Odds
-102o / -120u
-102o / -120u
The Alabama Crimson Tide run hot and cold. They are 3-5 in their last eight, but they have wins over Missouri, LSU and Baylor, and losses to Missouri and Georgia.
Kentucky will take to the road to play this one without any brutal losses.
These teams are both fast-paced and are a tad weaker on the defensive end.
In addition, Alabama has a weak interior defense, so Oscar Tshiebwe should be able to feast for the Wildcats.
With all of these variables being considered, the over should be the play here.
Kentucky has a top-five adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom.
The Wildcats rank fourth in offensive rebounding, so they should have plenty of second scoring chances on offense.
As mentioned above, much of this can be attributed to the potential Wooden Award winner, Tshiebwe. Kentucky loves getting the ball inside to him on most possessions, and he should be able to score at will.
Kentucky also shoots above 35% as a team from outside the arc, so as a default, when Alabama guards Tshiebwe tightly, he can kick it outside.
Kellan Grady, Davion Mintz and TyTy Washington Jr. are the Wildcats’ best shooters — they all shoot above 35% from 3-point range. Grady has almost 150 outside attempts and shoots 44.7%.
Alabama allows 31.6% of its opponents’ 3s to fall, so the Wildcats should be able to exploit this with multiple exterior options.
Kentucky also pushes the pace. It averages 16.7 seconds per possession on offense and ranks 102nd in KenPom’s adjusted tempo. This means the Wildcats should get plenty of shot opportunities.
Alabama is much of the same. The Tide play even faster than the Wildcats. They rank 17th in adjusted tempo and average 15.5 seconds per possession on offense.
They essentially launch a ton of 3-pointers. They only shoot 31.4% from outside, but their strength is in the backcourt.
Jaden Shackelford, Keon Ellis and Darius Miles are the most efficient 3-point shooters for the Crimson Tide, as all are above 34% from outside. Shackelford, Ellis and Jahvon Quinerly all have over 100 3-point attempts on the season, so they should not slow down in this game.
Alabama also exceeds on shots inside the arc. The Tide shoot 56.6% as a team, and Ellis, Noah Gurley and JD Davison all shoot above 57%.
Even if the Wildcats have Tshiebwe inside, Alabama should find a way to make some shots. After all, Kentucky does allow a 2-point percentage of around 46% for opponents this season.
If Tshiebwe rests at all, Alabama will exploit this weakness because the Wildcats have a significant drop-off down low when they go to the bench.
Finally, Alabama fouls opponents often. It ranks 279th in free throw attempts on defense, so this implies the Wildcats will get to the line. This should lead to some extra padding to the total.
Kentucky vs. Alabama Betting Pick
Both of these teams are too fast-paced for this game to go under the total. They excel on offense and are a bit short-handed defensively in certain regards.
Alabama will continue to launch 3s and should hit a decent amount. Kentucky will continue to feed Tshiebwe the ball when he’s on the floor. Otherwise, the Wildcats have outside threats, like the Crimson Tide do.
Take the over at 157 and play it to 160.5.
Given the home court advantage for Alabama, staying away from the red-hot Kentucky Wildcats might be the correct call in this game.
Pick: Over 157 (Play to 160.5)
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