Kentucky travels to Arkansas in a marquee SEC matchup on Saturday afternoon.
No team in the entire country may be hotter than Arkansas, who has won 12 of 13 in league play, but will have a stiff test against Kentucky, who profiles as a National Championship contender this season.
However, the team is battling injuries in the backcourt to the likes of Shvir Wheeler and TyTy Washington. They have missed the last two games, and we saw Kentucky start slow against Alabama and LSU the past week at home, but the team rallied to win.
Will they have another slow start in a hostile environment if those two are ruled out? Let's dig into the numbers and find the best bet.
Odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook:
Kentucky vs. Arkansas Odds, Spread and Total
- Kentucky: +2.5 (-110)
- Alabama: -2.5 (-110)
- Kentucky: +120
- Alabama: -140
Total: 144 (Over -110/Under -110)
Kentucky vs. Arkansas Prediction and Pick
The market is hinting towards Wheeler and Washington being ruled out as the total has dropped about four points and the side has moved nearly three points towards the Hogs.
Without those two, Kentucky is likely going to struggle to handle the ball pressure of Arkansas. The team is 49th in the country in generating turnovers and has the length on the perimeter to challenge the undermanned ball handlers that Coach Cal has past those two guards.
Kentucky does have National Player of the Year candidate Oscar Tshiebwe but Arkansas can hold up with Jaylin Williams down low.
I can't step in front of this Arkansas wagon with a banged up Kentucky team. While the Wildcats were able to beat the offensively challenge Alabama and LSU without Washington and Wheeler, Arkansas is coming into their own on offense while also posting the best defensive rating in the SEC since the start of 2022 according to KenPom
I will lay off the spread at over a bucket, but do lean towards Eric Musselman's crew winning another key game as they shoot up the rankings ahead of Selection Sunday. However, I'd wait to hear about Wheeler and Washington's status.
LEAN: Arkansas ML as a parlay piece, UNDER 144
All of Reed's college basketball plays can be tracked here, his best bets column for college basketball is 70-67-3 for -0.65 units.