College Basketball Odds & Picks for Richmond vs. Kentucky: Back the Spiders’ Experience to Pull Off Upset
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: John Calipari.
Richmond vs. Kentucky Odds
|Richmond Odds||+8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Kentucky Odds||-8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+330/-420 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||143.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Sunday, 1 p.m. ET|
After cruising by a couple of cupcakes, Richmond and Kentucky are set to meet in Lexington for what figures to be one of the best games on Sunday.
Richmond is one of the elite mid-majors in college basketball. The Spiders return five senior starters, four of which averaged double-figure points last season. They aren’t considered the favorites in the Atlantic 10 but will be near the top all season. Richmond gets a rare opportunity to take its shot at one of college basketball’s blue bloods on Sunday. Will the Spiders be up for the test?
John Calipari once again has the Wildcats loaded with talented freshmen. Kentucky had the No. 1 recruiting class, led by BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke, both of whom were top-10 recruits in the country.
Calipari also took advantage of the transfer portal and added Olivier Sarr from Wake Forest and Davion Mintz from Creighton. The Wildcats are projected to win the Southeastern Conference with what is by far has the most talented team.
This matchup, though, presents a classic battle of experience vs. talent.
There is not an older, more experienced team in the nation than Richmond. When the 2019-20 season was cut short, the Spiders were right behind Dayton in the Atlantic 10, with a 14-4 conference record, and they were going to be a tournament team. However, Richmond gets a do-over because all of their main contributors are back in 2020.
The one thing about the Spiders is that they know how to shoot the ball. Last season, Richmond ranked inside the top 45 in effective field goal percentage, 2-point percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage. Since the Spiders have their entire starting lineup back, there should not be much regression this season.
To beat Kentucky, though, Richmond’s three-headed scoring monster of Jacob Gilyard, Blake Francis and Nick Sherod is going to have to match Kentucky’s freshman guards.
For what seems like the 20th straight year, Calipari has another loaded class of freshmen. Kentucky loses 94% of its scoring from the 2019-20 season, but “Cal” is used to it at this point. It has a dynamic backcourt with Boston (No. 7 overall recruit) and Clarke (No. 10). Not to mention Kentucky secured perhaps the number on transfer on the market in the form of Sarr from Wake Forest. It’s safe to say Kentucky will be loaded, athletic, deep and dangerous this year.
KenPom has Kentucky ranked in the top 15 in both offensive and defensive efficiency to begin the season. The Wildcats are going to win most of their games this season based on pure talent and athleticism, and Sunday would be no different.
Kentucky cruised in their first game blowing out Morehead State, 81-45, at home. The Wildcats, though, are in a precarious spot on Sunday because they are poised for a heavyweight matchup with Kansas in the Champions Classic on Tuesday. Calipari better have his team ready to take on the Spiders or the Wildcats could be on upset alert.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This is one fascinating matchup on Sunday. Can a senior-led mid-major knock off one of the blue bloods?
It is paramount for Richmond to have fantastic backcourt play. If the Spiders can match Boston and Clarke, then they have a real shot at pulling off the upset.
I have Kentucky projected as -6.76 favorites and -202 on the moneyline. Richmond is currently +265 on FanDuel, so I think there is some value in taking the Spiders to pull off the upset outright.
Pick: Richmond +265.