Kentucky at Louisville Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Tuesday,December 20, 2016 8:39, EST in

No question the best college basketball game on Wednesday is arguably the most heated rivalry in the sport. Oh, you may say Duke-North Carolina, but those programs actually respect each other. Fans of No. 6 Kentucky and No. 10 Louisville generally don’t like each other and the two head coaches aren’t pals, either, it should make for good theater on Wednesday night from Louisville. Here’s a look at the college basketball lines for the game.

Kentucky at Louisville Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7 PM ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Kentucky / Louisville 
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: TBA

Why Bet On Kentucky?

The Wildcats (10-1) beat No. 7 North Carolina 103-100 on Saturday in Las Vegas. Malik Monk set Kentucky freshman record with 47 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.7 seconds left. North Carolina got the ball in the front court with less than a second left. But Kenny Williams’ desperation 3 at the buzzer got lodged between the rim and backboard.

UK had seemed to grab some small measure of control of the game when Bam Adebayo put in a ferocious dunk with 5:08 to go to give UK a 93-86 lead. The Tar Heels, though, weren’t about to go gently, rallying to take a 98-95 with a furious 12-2 run. Monk tied it with his seventh 3-pointer, but Justin Jackson answered with the go-ahead basket. Then Monk hit the key 3-pointer.

Monk hit 18 of 28 shots, including 8 of 12 3-point attempts, scoring in various ways in an electric performance that was the most points in Division I this season. Only Duke’s Dick Groat (48 points) in 1952 has scored more against the Tar Heels. Monk scored 27 first-half points. That was more than any Wildcat has scored in a half this season. His 27 points tied Jamal Murray for the most by a Wildcat in the John Calipari era in any half.

Monk tied Dan Issel for the sixth-most points ever by a Wildcat in a single game. Issel did it Feb. 23, 1970 in a win at Alabama. Monk’s 47 points were the most a Wildcat has scored in a game since Jodie Meeks recorded the single-game record of 54 points at Tennessee on Jan. 18, 2009. He’s the only player in the Calipari era to score more than 40 points in a game. He became the eighth player in the Calipari era to eclipse 30 points.

UK topped the 100-point plateau for the fourth time this season. It ties the most 100-point games in the Calipari era as the 2009-10 team also achieved the feat. It was the first time in 52 games that North Carolina hit the century mark and still lost.

Why Bet On Louisville?

Where UCLA and North Carolina, the two best teams Kentucky has faced to date, are offensive juggernauts, Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals are great on defense. Louisville leads the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing just 87.7 points per 100 possessions. (Kentucky is sixth at 92.1 points per 100 possessions.) Louisville is averaging 78.5 points per game. The Cards are 32nd in adjusted offensive efficiency. On the flip side, the Cards are giving up just 59.4 points per game. UK averages 95.2 per game.

The Cardinals (10-1) come off an 87-56 win over Eastern Kentucky. Donovan Mitchell scored 15 points, Quentin Snider added 13 and Louisville used a 20-0 run to close the first half and dominate EKU for its fifth straight victory. U of L shook off a sluggish start and 12-6 deficit to outscore EKU 30-4 the rest of the half and hold the Colonels scoreless for the final 7 minutes.

There were positive numbers like a 10-of- 24 performance from 3-point range, 19 assists on 30 field goals or 38 points in the paint. All those things, plus Quentin Snider’s third consecutive game with multiple 3-pointers, have given U of L reason to feel confident as it enters a pivotal and treacherous four-game stretch.

The return of junior big man Anas Mahmoud has U of L back at full strength. Mahmoud’s return after missing three games because of a concussion gives Louisville its full complement of big men and its best shot blocker. With Mahmoud and sophomore Ray Spalding paired together, which has happened for 67 minutes and 39 seconds of game action this season, the Cards have outscored opponents by 46 points.

Kentucky at Louisville Expert Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky has won the past four in the series. Last year it was 75-73 in Lexington. Take the Cats here in NCAA Basketball betting.