LSU at Kentucky Betting, Preview and Prediction
Tuesday night, John Calipari’s 20-3 Kentucky Wildcats will host the surging 19-4 LSU Tigers. The No. 5
Wildcats will face No. 1 Tennessee on Saturday, following Tuesday nights showdown against No. 19 LSU.
Both Kentucky and LSU are tied for the second-best record in the SEC this year with a 9-1 conference
record. The Wildcats are coming off a 71-67 road win against Mississippi State on Saturday, and now go
back to Rupp Arena where they are 13-0 on the season. Kentucky is -8 ½ in this game on Tuesday.
“This is going to be war, war, war – or two wars, and then we get to go to the NCAA tournament,” said
Calipari. “All those (SEC) teams are going to be in the NCAA tournament.”
Tigers Streaking Red Hot
LSU enters this game winners of 12 of their last 13 games and 5-1 on the road this season. The bad news
for Tigers fans is that LSU hasn’t won at Rupp since 2009. Kentucky has gone 82-26 all-time against LSU
and are winners of their last three matchups. The Tigers have a dangerous one-two punch between
sophomore guard Tremont Waters and 6-10 freshman forward Naz Reid.
Waters was recently named the SEC Player of the Week after averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 assists, 4 steals
and 3.5 rebounds in wins over Mississippi State and Arkansas. Reid provides brute strength down low
and a reliable from the outside, as he was selected Freshman of the Week. Over that period, Reid
averaged 21 points and 9.5 rebounds in those victories. Against Mississippi State, he tied his career high
of 29 points. Outside of those two, junior guard Skylar Mays is averages 13.4 points and freshman guard
Ja’vonte Smart averages 10.2 points a night.
When asked about the play of Waters Calipari said, “Tremont does an unbelievable job at stealing balls
on defense and creating havoc that way, and then, offensively, he really sees the court and can score.”
Hagans a Load for Kentucky
Ashton Hagans could be the answer to slowing down Waters, as the length and defensive abilities of the
6-3 guard figure to be in full effect. The offensive duties lean on a trio of Wildcats, as sophomore PJ
Washington leads Kentucky in scoring with 14.2 ppg. Between Washington’s 8 rpg and Reid Travis’ 7 rpg,
the two forwards look to wreck the boards against LSU. The freshman guard play of Keldon Johnson and
Tyler Herro have been key to the Wildcats success this season, as Johnson is coming off a 15-point
performance in Saturday’s win over Kansas.
Pick and Prediction
LSU has gotten off to slow starts over recent games, but look to change that on Tuesday. Will Wade has
his team closing out games well despite the slow starts, but are also great at getting to the free-throw
line and dominating the offensive glass. The Tigers have overcome double-digit deficits in four of their
last five games, as ESPN’s matchup predictor is only giving them a 12.9 percent chance at winning. If LSU
can get off to a hot start then we’ll have a really good game, but Kentucky is a team that can run away
with any game if given the opportunity. The Wildcats win the game, but LSU covers the +8 ½.