Ole Miss vs Kentucky Odds, Pick: Rout for Cats?
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Reed Sheppard (Kentucky)
Ole Miss vs Kentucky Odds
What's wrong with John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats? The Cats were a medium-sized favorite at home against a less-than-impressive Gonzaga team this past Saturday, but their defense couldn't stop a nose bleed, and there were zero in-game adjustments made by Calipari.
Meanwhile, it's been a great season for the Ole Miss Rebels. Chris Beard has done a terrific job in his first year with the program, but the Rebs have faltered as of late.
Here's Ole Miss vs. Kentucky odds and a pick.
While it's been a strong campaign for Beard and company, the Rebels are finally crashing back down to Earth.
They've dropped their last two contests, and there's more negative regression looming, especially on offense.
The Rebels are nearly double-digit 'dogs in this matchup against a horrific Cats defense, but there's no reason to consider backing them.
First of all, they're 31st in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, which is most certainly inflated. Anybody can score on the Cats' defense lately, but the Rebels' offense is not built to keep up in a track meet.
They're shooting 39% from 3-point land, but are 283rd in 3-point attempts per contest.
Starters Jaylen Murray, Matthew Murrell and Jaemyn Brakefield are all shooting above 35% from deep. They'll hit a few 3s, but there's legitimate concern that the Rebels will get ice cold during this game.
They struggle to rebound the basketball, but luckily, the Cats have been a horrific defensive rebounding team. It was a tough watch this past Saturday against Gonzaga, as they were out-rebounded 43-31.
Defensively, the Rebels are in trouble. The Cats are the best 3-point shooting team in the nation, and the Rebels have struggled to defend the perimeter lately.
There's no doubt about the talent of the Wildcats, but as I mentioned, their defense isn't very good. It seemed like Gonzaga was running the same offensive play over and over again last Saturday, but the Wildcats were unable to make any adjustments.
Guard Reed Sheppard is shooting 52% from deep and is one of the most talented offensive players in the nation. With Rob Dillingham and Antonio Reeves alongside him, it's hard to argue there's a better offensive trio in the sport.
The Wildcats are fifth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, and as mentioned previously, they're the best 3-point shooting team in the nation. There's no shortage of firepower, and it's enough the overcome their atrocious defense — at least on most nights.
I expect an inspirational effort from the Cats after being embarrassed by the Zags, and don't be surprised to see them blow the Rebels out of the gym.
It's scary swallowing the points with Kentucky, but I believe it's primed to win in a blowout.
There's too much regression incoming for the Rebels; there's not enough offensive juice and tempo to keep up with Kentucky.
Beard's Rebels have been a fun story, but unfortunately, they're on a downward spiral that might not end anytime soon.
Expect the Cats to win in a rout, as they need it in the worst way.