Franklin: I’m Betting on Kentucky, But Don’t Feel Great About It
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: John Calipari
- Kentucky is 3-point favorites against Houston in Friday's Midwest Regional Sweet 16 matchup in Kansas City (9:59 p.m. ET).
- Drew Franklin has already placed a wager on the Wildcats, but he's still worried, especially if PJ Washington is limited.
Last time we talked, I told you to take Kentucky to cover the 5.5 points against Wofford in the Round of 32. I pretty much guaranteed the Kentucky cover, when most experts were encouraging you to do the opposite and get behind the hot-shooting Terriers.
Kentucky then went on to cover the 5.5 points, proving my expert opinion to be correct. You’re welcome. (We are going to pretend like it was easy money and we didn’t need two Tyler Herro free throws with four seconds left to cover by a half-point. We also won’t mention that Wofford had the lead for 19 minutes in the game, while Kentucky was in front for only 16 minutes. The check cleared. Minor details like the score for 39 minutes of the game don’t matter.)
Now Kentucky is staring down a dangerous Houston team in the Sweet 16, and I am on the Cats to cover once again. This time, however, I do not love the pick. Matter of fact, I am worried about my beloved Wildcats.
Fellow Kentucky bettors should worry too. Here are five reasons why you should be cautious with that -3:
1. PJ Washington’s status remains uncertain.
First and foremost, we still don’t know if Washington will play, and if he does play, for how long. Washington had his cast removed earlier this week and he said he feels good, but neither he nor John Calipari would confirm he is ready to go, when asked several times during Kentucky’s media session on Thursday.
Calipari went as far to say he will be stunned if Washington plays more than 18 minutes, and that he won’t be surprised if Washington decides not to play at all.
The thought process around the Bluegrass is that Washington will give it a try, but everyone is guessing at this point because we won’t truly know until the ball is tipped late Friday night.
If the worst-case scenario occurs and Kentucky has to go without Washington, I question if Kentucky can win the game, not just cover the three points.