Davidson Wildcats (21-11 SU 18-12 ATS) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (24-10 SU 17-17 ATS)
DATE: 7 PM ET Thursday March 15 on CBS
LINE: Kentucky -5.5 Over/Under 143
This first round NCAA Tournament game is in the South Region where fifth seed Kentucky and 12th seed Davidson are each coming off conference tournament wins.
Davidson needed to win its Atlantic 10 tournament final to get to the Big Dance – which it did – and the Wildcats also ended the season well, winning their last four games and eight of their last nine. Davidson is a balanced basketball squad that has been solid on both ends of the floor this season and their defense has been great, giving up an average of only 62ppg in their current four-game winning streak.
Kentucky was in the midst of a four-game losing streak, but they rebounded and won seven of their last eight games, including their last three. The Wildcats were only two games over .500 in SEC play (10-8), but they turned it on when it counted, winning the conference tournament and beating a ranked Tennessee team in the championship game. UK is also a pretty balanced team and they have four players on the season that are averaging in double figures.
This game is being held at a neutral site and this season both of these teams won four of their six games that were held at a neutral site.
At Bovada Kentucky is at +2000 to win the NCAA Tournament and Davidson has long-shot odds at +25000.
This is the first ever match-up between these teams.
Davidson vs. Kentucky key betting trends
- Davidson is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games.
- Davidson is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
- Davidson has an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games
- Kentucky is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games
- Kentucky is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
- Kentucky has an Over record of 7-1 in their last 8 games
Davidson upset a ranked Rhode Island team in their last game in the Atlantic 10 title game 58-57. While they only shot 38 per cent from the floor and had 12 turnovers, they held Rhode Island to 38.5% shooting and they forced 14 turnovers. Peyton Aldridge and Kellan Grady combined for 30 points in the game and they are the two high-scorers for the season and the two players Kentucky really have to worry about. Aldridge (21.5 ppg) had scored 24 and 35 points respectively in the first two games of the conference tournament before going for 13 in the title game. Grady (18 ppg) is averaging 22.8 ppg in his last five games. Davidson is not as athletic as Kentucky and they need to slow the pace of the game like they did facing Rhode Island to pull off the upset.
Kentucky was crowned the SEC champion after beating a ranked Tennessee team 77-72. They gave up seven more offensive boards in the game, but shot 50% from the floor and held the Volunteers to 37.1%. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went for 29 points in the game, Kevin Knox had 18 points, and four players for the Wildcats scored in double figures. Knox (15.6 ppg) and Alexander (13.9 ppg) are the two leading scorers on the deep team and Alexander has totaled 38 points and 11 rebounds in the last two games.
Kentucky vs. Davidson prediction
Both of these teams are peaking at the right time, but UK has more talent and are much more athletic ability and they will show that in this game. The first half may be close, but Kentucky will pull away in the 2nd half and win and cover the spread at Bovada.
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