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The #19 LSU Tigers (19-4 / 9-1 SEC) and the #5 Kentucky Wildcats (20-3 / 9-1 SEC) will be batting on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena with plenty on the line with this being their only encounter of the season.
Two teams locked in a second-place tie in the SEC standings behind Tennessee (10-0) will likely be leaving it all on the court with so much at stake headed towards the SEC Tournament.
With equal 9 – 1 SEC records and a potential tie-breaking scenario that could come from this only meeting between them, the Cars arrive to the party as nearly double-digit favorites at home.
Rupp Arena has had 13 visitors attempt to come out of Rupp Arena with a result, and all of them have left with a +1 in the L column thus far.
The Road Isn’t Always As Scary As It May Seem!
Some teams get intimidated by the road and the crowd and the in-your-face environment that many an SEC gathering can create, but this LSU Tigers team really hasn’t felt any of that this season with their impressive 5 – 1 record away from home this season.
We're set for a 6 p.m. CT matchup tomorrow night at No. 5 Kentucky on ESPN! #BootUp 🐯
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 11, 2019
All 5 of those road wins have come during SEC play, with that lone loss being to a tough out of conference Houston team that we all know is pretty damn good themselves.
The Tigers are 13 – 1 since the loss to Houston on December 12, which is about as impressive as the current 10-game win streak that the Cats carry into tonight’s affair. A 1-point loss to Arkansas accounts for that lone SEC loss, but the Tigers have won their last 2 games since and come into tonight’s game hungry. Bring in Eddie O when you need him man.. Geaux Tigers! LOL)
Hey, are you a fan of scoring, and offense, and shooting, and more shooting, and maybe even seeing another shot or two? Good because have we found you a team to root for if you just like high-scoring affairs, which this could certainly end up being tonight at Rupp. Granted, the Kentucky defense is certainly stepping up their game, but the Tigers D has plenty left to be desired.
The Tigers allow 73..4 PPG, and that will stamp a 233rd ranking on a team that ranks outside the top-200 in too many defensive stats to keep this pace up.
Seriously, the better the offense, the more trouble LSU will find, and the Cats throw in nearing 79 PPG, spelling trouble tonight. Why do you think the line setters have LSU +9 tonight? Defensive issues, because we know they can score.
LSU sits 18th in the nation dropping 83.3 PPG, although they do rank an ugly 262nd from behind the arc (32.7%).
Sophomore guard Tremont Waters does most of the damage on a nightly basis for the Tigers, averaging 15.7 PPG, and dropping just over 6 dimes an outing as well. It’s nice to have teammates that produce, and Waters has a few around him.
Freshman forward Naz Reid sits second being Waters bringing in 13.9 PPG and a pretty nice 6.2 boards a game. The Asbury Park, NJ native picked up his 3rd double-double of the season in the recent win over Auburn the last time the Tigers were on the floor on Saturday. Reid snatched 10 boards and 13 points in the 83 – 78 home win that followed up that amazing overtime win in Miss State the game previous where he only fell 1 board shy of another D-D.
Baker’s Dozen Wins At Rupp Makes Lexington A Fortress
Kentucky and Tennessee are the last two teams remaining without a scar in the L column at home in SEC play, and the Tigers will now try to end the 10-game overall win streak that the Cats have managed since January 8.
The line setters have obviously made their claim as to whom they expect to come away with the win, but the Cats and John Calipari ARE DAMN SURE to know who is coming to town tonight is not just another underdog in the building.
When you look at the schedule and see our upcoming games. pic.twitter.com/NToJATXDRt
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 11, 2019
It is hard to not impressed by what the Cats are doing right now, and even more so what they are doing defensively has everyone impressed.
The Cats rank 39th in the nation allowing 65.2 PPG, with the same ranking in shooting percentage from their opponents this season (40.6%).
Over their last 8 games, and I mentioned this when I just covered the Kentucky / Miss State the other day, the Cats defense lately has been stupid solid outside of that high-scoring affair with Auburn. We are seeing this Cats team allow 55, 55, 47, 48.. etc night after night now, and there are some pretty decent shooting teams in the SEC, by the way.
Sophomore forward PJ Washington is now leading the Cats in scoring because of how nuts he has played lately, including finding his way 23 points in the overtime win over Miss State this Saturday. Washington has been a double-digit performer in all of his last 8 games, and he has accumulated 7 double-doubles this year averaging 8 boards a night.
With Keldon Johnson not being as hot as he was when the season got started, his average has fallen to 13.9 PPG after leading the team for most of the year.
• Over is 6-2 in Wildcats last 8 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
• Over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Kentucky.
• Over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.
• Tigers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
• Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games.
• Tigers are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 vs. Southeastern.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Sure, you go ahead and give me nearly double-digits on a solid LSU squad that has proven the road to be not so tough this year at 5 – 1, and having won all 5 of their SEC road games this season to boot.
LSU +9 is the 3* Play on the Side.
Prediction: LSU +9
Full-Game Total Pick
This might not be so easy to hit, but I can’t trust the LSU defense to completely shut down the Cats on the road.
I see a 84 – 76 game happening tonight, which gets us to 160 when this one is done.
The Over 149 is the 3* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Over 149