NCAAB Betting Guide: Texas A&M vs. Kentucky Odds & Picks
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.
Texas A&M vs. Kentucky Odds
|Texas A&M Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
A tale of two ships, back on course. The Wildcats and Aggies were once two SEC teams spiraling far below preseason expectations. Now, they’re sailing steady.
The Aggies are 6-0 outright and 4-2 against the spread over their last six contests. That ATS record should sit at 5-1 had it not been for a late Florida rally last game.
Buzz Williams’ teams thrive on energy and effort, which is precisely what’s been injected into A&M’s veins.
After an armageddon home loss to South Carolina, Kentucky shocked everyone with a road victory at Tennessee. Then, UK took care of business against a resurgent Florida club back in Rupp Arena.
Can they notch a third straight win at home against the white-hot Aggies?
A couple of weeks ago, LSU head coach Matt McMahon shined the light on Dexter Dennis as an X-factor in Texas A&M’s double-digit win over the Tigers.
Dennis, a former Defensive Player of the Year in the AAC, is a tone-setter on both sides of the floor. Williams loves to generate offense from his defense, and Dennis is the catalyst to that formula.
Dennis can produce steals of his own, but his glass cleaning allows him to ignite the break off opposing misses.
His offensive game is also rounding into form, as is frontline ally Julius Marble, a Michigan State defector. Marble’s been a menace on the boards as well, enabling the Aggies to dominate the glass on both ends.
Despite the loss of former five-star talent Manny Obaseki, A&M’s depth — a fusion of proven returners and productive newcomers — is wearing SEC opponents down.
It looks like the Wildcats found their blue-blood moxie. Oscar Tshiebwe needed a swift kick in the rear from head coach John Calipari to find it, but the preseason Player of the Year is looking the part after injuries derailed is highly-anticipated encore explosion.
Veteran deadeye CJ Fredrick, another injury-related slow starter, is back in a groove and making winning plays and key shots. The former Iowa transfer is a cool 5-for-10 from downtown since returning to action.
Fellow transfer and backcourt counterpart Antonio Reeves is also settling into a newfound role: off-the-bench instant offense. Collectively, the ancillary pieces are starting to fall in place.
The key, however, remains the centerpiece in Cason Wallace. The rookie’s a two-way terror at his best but still a freshman at heart. Thus, he’s prone to ups and downs.
He responded in emphatic fashion against Georgia, pacing Kentucky’s sound floor game while chipping in 17 efficient points of his own (which didn’t hold a candle to Tshiebwe’s 37-point, 24-rebound dominance).
Texas A&M vs Kentucky Betting Pick
Given the rapid rise of both teams in this tilt, the value lies on the side with more headroom to rise.
In this instance, that’s Kentucky, which has plummeted outside the top 25 in most analytical metrics. The bookmakers generally agree, as evidenced by a whopping 14-point opening line at Tennessee.
The books will likely adjust, but this could be the inflection point of a meteoric rise for the Wildcats. The idea of laying large numbers with UK feels icky, but a short-spread home favorite is probably a worthwhile investment.
Bet Kentucky up to -5, with a slight preference toward Kentucky first half -3.