College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Kentucky vs. Texas A&M (Wednesday, Jan. 19)
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Keion Brooks Jr. (Kentucky)
- Red-hot Kentucky faces off against Texas A&M, which has won eight in a row itself.
- The Wildcats had their best offensive performance of the season last time out against Tennessee, as they dropped 107 points against a strong Vols defense.
- Doug Ziefel breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet for the SEC showdown.
Kentucky vs. Texas A&M Odds
-110o / -110u
|Texas A&M Odds|
-110o / -110u
Coach Cal and his surging Cats hit the road, and their first stop will be in College Station, the home of the Texas A&M Aggies.
Kentucky has handled its business as of late, and it enters this matchup amidst a three-game winning streak.
The latest addition to that streak was a statement victory over the Tennessee Volunteers by a score of 107-79. That victory was one of the most impressive offensive performances of the season and has Kentucky’s confidence at an all-time high.
The Wildcats are not the only team on a winning streak in this matchup, as the Aggies have won their last eight contests. Texas A&M’s streak is impressive, though it lacks a true test like this matchup.
This game will answer the question, “Are the Aggies the real deal?”
It’s all starting to come together for this Kentucky team, and its explosion against the Volunteers may be a sign of things to come. The Wildcats shot an incredible 68% from the field and 61% from 3.
Leading the way for them was stud freshman TyTy Washington Jr. He dropped 28 points and added five assists to round out his performance. This has been the culmination of his growth and maturation to the college game, as he has now shown he can produce in the lead role on offense.
Savion Wheeler and Kellan Grady joined Washington in the scoring party as they posted 21 and 16 points, respectively. These two are critical to this Kentucky offense as their production and experienced leadership will be key if the team wants to maintain its success.
The man who was quieter then usual against Tennessee will have the opportunity to make himself heard in this matchup. Oscar Tshiebwe may be a big problem for the Aggies on the glass. The nation’s leading rebounder is facing a team that is 268th in offensive rebounding percentage allowed.
Along with their rebounding struggles, the Aggies also lack an inside presence to match up with Tshiebwe on the low block.
Look for the Wildcats to work from the inside out, as the mismatch down low will open up looks on the outside for Washington Jr. and Grady.
This Texas A&M team has been a pleasant surprise in the SEC. The Aggies’ 15-2 record is not a fluke, as they are 85th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 45th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
While they are a well-rounded club, their offensive plan of attack is clear.
The Aggies are 34th in the country in 3-point percentage and have an arsenal of shooters who can be deadly from deep. It is no coincidence that their leading scorer is excellent in the 3-point department.
Senior guard Quenton Jackson averages 13 points per game and shoots 39% from behind the arc.
While Jackson’s shooting prowess may be impressive, he is actually second on his team in shooting by a large margin. Andre Gordon has been unconscious from deep, as he is shooting 49% from behind the arc. That is on 48 attempts too, which is a solid sample size for that high of a rate.
The Aggies’ 3-point shooting needs to be highlighted because it is their avenue to stay in this game. The Wildcats proved that they will get their share of points regardless of who they are facing. The way Texas A&M can keep up is by hitting 3s.
The recipe to pulling off upsets includes being lights out from deep, and the Aggies are capable of doing just that.
Kentucky vs. Texas A&M Betting Pick
The Wildcats have some sizable advantages in this matchup, both literally and figuratively. They should control the pace as long as they can keep the Aggies’ shooters quiet.
I was hoping to get the Wildcats at a bit more of a road discount, but after their most recent performance, I shouldn’t be surprised by this line.
Even so, I will back the Wildcats here on the road. Their juggernaut offense and the possibility of Texas A&M going through cold stretches offensively makes this cover very possible.