The Mississippi Rebels (15-10) and Kentucky Wildcats (25-1) will face off in a Southeastern Conference showdown Saturday inside Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.
Mississippi Rebels at Kentucky Wildcats
Mississippi has lost three of its last four games and comes off a 102-76 blowout loss against the Vanderbilt Commodores as 4.5-point home underdogs. “I didn’t anticipate that whipping we just took,” commented Rebels coach Andy Kennedy stated after that contest. The Rebels will now face the best team in college basketball according to the polls, which likely spells disaster on Saturday. The program is 0-14 all-time when facing the top-ranked team in the country. Mississippi is 5-4 ATS on the road and the “over” is 6-3 in those games.
The Rebels have four starters that average double figures offensively, with senior forward Terrance Henry leading the way in averaging 11.5 points per game. Mississippi is 3-6 in road games this year and hasn’t won in Kentucky since 1998. Offensively, the team is averaging 66.1 points per game, while giving up 65.6 to its opponents. During SEC play, the program is leading all teams in rebounding and rebounding margin.
Kentucky continued its season-best 17-game win streak in posting a 69-63 victory over Vanderbilt, with Doron Lamb led all players in scoring 16 points. The Wildcats were certainly tested in that affair after defeating their previous five opponents by an average of 23.3 points. “In every huddle, I kept saying this is great for us,” commented Wildcats head coach John Calipari about being tested by a quality opponent on the road. Offensively, the team has four players averaging double figures in scoring, with freshman center Anthony Davis leading the way in averaging 14.0 points per game. Kentucky is 1-3 ATS as a home favorite of 18.5 to 24 points this season.
The Wildcats have held their last five opponents to just 51.8 points per game, with Davis being a major deterrent in the middle in leading the country in averaging 4.9 blocked shots per game. Kentucky is 162-25 all-time when playing as the top-ranked team in the country, including a sterling 66-2 mark at home. Calipari will likely prove victorious Saturday, as he’s won all 48 games inside Rupp Arena since arriving on campus.
Bettors will likely back the Rebels due to their 6-0 ATS mark following a double-digit loss at home, while the favorite is 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in this series.
Recommendation: Mississippi Rebels +22
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