Kentucky vs Vanderbilt Odds & Prediction: Why to Bet Commodores
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Kentucky guards Sahvir Wheeler (left) and Cason Wallace (right).
Kentucky vs Vanderbilt Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Kentucky and Vanderbilt will meet on Tuesday night in a game featuring two teams sitting in the middle of the densely-packed SEC standings.
The Wildcats come into this matchup at 4-3 in the SEC after winning three straight games over Tennessee, Georgia and Texas A&M. These three victories came after a rock-bottom type of loss to South Carolina in Rupp Arena.
On the other side, Vanderbilt has begun to surpass preseason expectations after taking down Arkansas and Georgia in its last three games. The Commodores are no stranger to tough competition with the 39th-highest strength of schedule, according to KenPom‘s overall components.
In order to make a pick for which team will continue to climb the SEC ladder, let’s take a look at the odds and make a prediction for Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt.
This Kentucky team has completely turned its season around since a blowout loss to Alabama and a home defeat to South Carolina as 21-point favorites.
This turnaround can be attributed to freshman Cason Wallace playing the majority of minutes at the point guard position. He brings a level of offense that his counterpart, Sahvir Wheeler, simply failed to produce consistently.
The lineup that has changed Kentucky's season now has the highest Adjusted Team Efficiency Margin in the entire country for all D1 lineups (60+ possessions at https://t.co/cegyfz96ax).
In fact, Wallace/Reeves/Fredrick/Toppin/Oscar has the highest mark of any lineup since 2019-20 pic.twitter.com/VVBrPMmz43
— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) January 18, 2023
This additional offensive threat has also done wonders for one of the country’s strongest interior players, Oscar Tshiebwe. In his last two games, Tshiebwe is averaging 22 points and 20.5 rebounds.
This newfound starting lineup has helped the Wildcats rise to 25th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency while averaging 76.1 points per game.
Uncharacteristically, the defensive end is where John Calipari’s Wildcats now need to improve in order to meet preseason expectations. Kentucky ranks outside the top 100 in effective field goal percentage allowed and turnover percentage — two areas that will be crucial in disrupting a thriving Vanderbilt offense.
Until the Wildcats can find consistency on the defensive end, they will have a hard time pulling away from any conference opponents.
Vanderbilt, which was picked by many to finish at the bottom of the SEC standings, currently sits in a tie for fifth place with Georgia.
This success is a result of an experienced Commodores team that has been tested early and often. Although they sit at just 10-9 overall, Vanderbilt has faced 10 teams inside the top 100 this season.
The Commodores have been particularly successful on the offensive end, ranking 43rd nationally in adjusted efficiency. That’s due in part to their ability to take care of the basketball, create second chances and find open looks from beyond the arc.
Vanderbilt ranks 83rd nationally in offensive turnover percentage, giving the ball up on just 17.4% of possessions. The Commodores combine this ball control with an offensive rebounding percentage of 32.4% to create a possession advantage against most opponents.
Vanderbilt has used these possessions to find open looks from beyond the arc. The Commodores shoot 41.6% of their total field goals from the 3-point line, the 73rd-highest rate in the country.
This offensive success will be crucial against a Kentucky team showing vulnerability on defense.
Kentucky vs Vanderbilt Betting Pick
Although Kentucky has completely turned its season around through a new and improved starting rotation, this is a tough situational spot for the Wildcats. The last three games for this Kentucky team have been a grind, regardless of the results.
The Wildcats must now go on the road and face a Vanderbilt offense primed to expose Kentucky’s weakness on defense.
UK’s recent success is reflected in the market, as the initial spread of Kentucky -2.5 has been bet up to -4.5. I believe this steam gives us an opportunity to invest in a Vanderbilt team ready to take advantage of a favorable situational matchup with Kentucky.
Given the public money on Kentucky, make sure to monitor the market and shop around for the best number.
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