Texas A&M at Kentucky Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Juan Carlos on Monday,January 2, 2017 2:03, EDT in

Texas A&M and Kentucky were the two best teams in the SEC regular season last year, but the Aggies aren’t thought to be in the same class of the No. 8 Wildcats this year. They face off Tuesday night from Lexington and UK will be a sizable college basketball betting favorite in this matchup.

Texas A&M at Kentucky Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Tuesday, Jan. 3, 9 PM ET
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioTexas A&M / Kentucky
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: TBA

Why Bet On Texas A&M?

The Aggies (8-4) comes off a 73-63 loss to Tennessee to open SEC play. Texas A&M’s offense went cold in the contest, matching its fewest points in a game and lowest shooting percentage of the season (.344). The Aggies were also guilty of a season-high 16 turnovers to go along with a season-low 10 assists. Conversely, Tennessee shot .397 (23-of- 58) against the Aggie defense while being charged with just 10 turnovers.

A&M’s D.J. Hogg led all scorers with 21 points, and the Aggies’ Tonny Trocha-Morelos grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. The teams were tied 29-all at halftime. Hogg scored 13 points over the first 20 minutes, making all three of his 3-point attempts in that span. But he cooled off in the second half right along with his teammates. Tennessee also proved to have a much deeper bench than A&M, with the Volunteers reserves outscoring their Aggies counterparts 30-8.

The Aggies rank as one of the SEC’s top defensive teams, ranking third in the league in both scoring defense at 64.6 points allowed per game and field goal percentage defense at .385 while being fourth in blocked shots 5.8 per game. They rank 19th nationally in blocked shots per game.

On the offensive end, A&M has shown efficiency, ranking third in SEC by shooting 46.9 percent from the field as a team as well as 25th nationally (second in SEC) in assists with an average of 17.6 per contest. The Aggies are 17th in the country with a 1.49 assist-to- turnover ratio (second in SEC).

This is A&M’s first true road game of the season. A year ago, Texas A&M stood out as the only SEC team to post a non-losing record on the road in league play (5-5). The series between Texas A&M and Kentucky (six games) has been hotly contested since the Aggies joined the SEC prior to the 2012-13 campaign with all but one game being decided by eight or less points and four games going to overtime. The margin of victory in the series is 7.0 points.

Why Bet On Kentucky?

The Cats (11-2) are off a 99-76 win over Ole Miss. Freshman Malik Monk scored 34 points, and Isaiah Briscoe had a triple-double and the Wildcats used an early surge to roll in their SEC opener. The Wildcats showed no emotional hangover or playing rust after losing at No. 6 Louisville eight days ago.

“That first half is as good as we’ve played in a long time around here,” said Kentucky coach John Calipari, whose club had a 13-0 run to build a 21-7 lead with 15:16 left in the first half. “It was a good road win against a good basketball team.”

The Wildcats’ 60 first-half points were the most in the Calipari era, and the third-most points in any half. The Wildcats shot a single-half season-high 63 percent in the first half. The previous best in a half this year was 55.4 percent.

Briscoe added 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats, who led 60-41 at halftime and were never seriously threatened. Edrice Adebayo added 25 points, primarily on the strength of seven dunks. Monk finished 11 of 16 from the field, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range, and added six rebounds and three steals. He joined Jamal Murray as the only freshman in school history with multiple games of 30-plus points. Murray had three such games last season. Monk made a 3-pointer at the 17:10 mark, extending Kentucky’s streak of 3-pointers to 988 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation. Adebayo was 12 of 19 from the field and blocked three shots.

The Wildcats have scored 90 or more points in 11 games this year. Kentucky scored the most points in a true road game in the Calipari era. The Wildcats’ previous best output in that category was 90 at Indiana on Dec. 12, 2009

Texas A&M at Kentucky Expert Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

Back Kentucky on NCAA Basketball odds.