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LSU vs Kentucky Odds, Picks: Can Tigers Keep Things Close?

LSU vs Kentucky Odds, Picks: Can Tigers Keep Things Close? article feature image
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Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: John Calipari (Kentucky)

LSU vs Kentucky Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 3
8 p.m. ET
ESPN
LSU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+10.5
-110
137.5
-106o / -114u
+430
Kentucky Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-10.5
-110
137.5
-106o / -114u
-600
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Kentucky Wildcats showed what they were made of this past Saturday as they routed their in-state rivals on the heels of an upset loss to Missouri.

Now they’ll get their second conference test from a team that’s already proven they shouldn’t be overlooked.

LSU made a statement in its first SEC game as it took down the No. 9-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The win moved the Tigers to 12-1 on the year, and now they could burst onto the national scene with another upset.

Will the Tigers continue their hot stretch? Or can the Wildcats prove they are still the top dogs in the SEC?


LSU Tigers

While the Tigers are built through the defensive end of the floor, their tremendous start has also been fueled by the ascension of KJ Williams. Williams has been dynamite thus far, averaging 18.5 points and eight rebounds per game, all while shooting 55% from the floor.

While Williams was quiet in the victory against Arkansas, we saw others step up. Derek Fountain had a double-double and Trae Hannibal came off the bench to lead the team with 19 points.

Seeing those two step up in a big game is a good sign, as the Tigers will need that type of effort again. However, Williams will have to contend with Oscar Tshiebwe, and may be quiet once again.

It will be up to the backcourt to score from the perimeter, as that’s where Kentucky has been susceptible this year. The Wildcats are 163rd in 3-point percentage allowed and 3s have accounted for over a third of the points they’ve surrendered.

Now, LSU is not a team that will shoot the lights out, but we’ve seen Williams stretch the floor and sophomore Adam Miller is a volume 3-point shooter.

Those are the two men that will make or break this matchup for the Tigers.

Kentucky Wildcats

Entering the season, many thought John Calipari had found the perfect combination of roster construction. The reigning National Player of the Year returned — along with other upperclassmen — and the Wildcats also brought in an excellent freshmen class.

However, the results have yet to show as Kentucky has fallen out of the top 25.

The Cats’ losses are valid, though, as they’ve each come to top-tier programs and a rapidly-ascending Missouri team. However, their blue-blood expectations have begun to work against them.

They’re being given plenty of respect entering this matchup, but they’ll have to prove themselves against the LSU defense. The Tigers have the size to match up with Tshiebwe and the perimeter defense to contain Cason Wallace and Antonio Reeves beyond the arc.

Kentucky may have the clear talent edge on the offensive end of the floor, but it may have a tough time showing it against this very game Tigers team.

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LSU vs. Kentucky Betting Pick

As I mentioned above, the Wildcats are not a team that should be counted out because of their early-season losses. The line in this game is a perfect representation of that, as they’re double-digit favorites over a team that is 12-1 on the year.

However, the Tigers are still not being given enough respect. They match up well with the Wildcats, and if they can get perimeter shots to fall, an upset will be in the cards.

LSU is too strong defensively to be sizable underdogs here, as Kentucky can’t blow the Tigers out if it can’t score. So, back the Tigers to keep this one close and potentially give Kentucky a run for its money.

Pick: LSU +10.5 (Play to 8.5)

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