Saturday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Kentucky-Louisville, Belmont-Purdue
Mark Zerof, USA Today Sports. Pictured: John Calipari
Within college basketball’s loaded slate on Saturday, Kentucky and Louisville renew one of the sport’s best rivalries. Later on, an elite mid-major in Belmont travels to Purdue in a battle of two explosive offenses. Which sides present the best value? Let’s breakdown the matchups.
>> All odds as of Friday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.
Kentucky Wildcats at Louisville Cardinals
- Spread: Kentucky -2.5
- Over/Under: 147
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN2
There’s tremendous buildup to this contest, as expected. John Calipari and Chris Mack have never gone head-to-head in Mack’s first nine seasons as a head coach at Xavier.
The Wildcats (5-5 against the spread), winners of eight of their past 10 duels against their in-state rival, are beginning to peak after a dominating win against North Carolina on Dec. 22.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals (5-5-2 ATS) have overachieved in what was presumed to be a rebuilding season in the wake of the Rick Pitino scandal.
Sharps are favoring Kentucky, which boasts a slight size advantage with Reid Travis (15.1 points per game) and P.J. Washington (13.3 ppg) leading the way.
While the Wildcats have amassed the third and 44th-highest Offensive and Defensive Rebounding Rate in Division I, respectively, the Cardinals own the ninth-best Defensive Rebounding Percentage and will make it tough on their foe’s bigs to create second-chance opportunities.