Missouri vs. Kentucky Prediction, Odds, Key Players for Tuesday, Jan. 9 (Lay it with Wildcats)

Jan 6, 2024; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Reed Sheppard (15) attempts a
Jan 6, 2024; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Reed Sheppard (15) attempts a / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a massive road win on Saturday, Kentucky looks to flex its muscles in SEC play.

The Wildcats return to Lexington to host Missouri as double-digit conference favorites. After a strong second half led to another signature victory in what is shaping up to be a dominant regular season for UK, can the team back it up with a blowout win?

Let's break it all down with our betting preview for Tuesday's conference clash.

Missouri vs. Kentucky Odds, Spread and Total

Kentucky vs. Missouri Betting Trends

  • Kentucky is 9-4 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Missouri is 4-10 ATS this season
  • Kentucky is 6-4 ATS as a favorite this season
  • Kentucky has gone OVER in 10 of 13 games this season

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Missouri vs. Kentucky How to Watch

  • Date: Tuesday, January 9th
  • Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Rupp Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • [Away Team] Record: 8-6
  • [Home Team] Record: 11-2

Missouri vs. Kentucky Key Players to Watch


Sean East II: It's been a down year for Missouri this season after an NCAA Tournament in 2023, just 8-6 on the year, but East has stepped into a featured role nicely. He is averaging 17 points per game while shooting 55% from the field and 53% from beyond the arc while taking nearly three per game. In an expected high-scoring affair, East will be called upon for a big outing.


Reed Sheppard: The freshman guard isn't as high profile as some other key players, Sheppard has been a massive boost to the team's ability to stretch the floor and rise to the nation's eighth-best offense in terms of KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency rating. Sheppard is shooting nearly 55% from the field on more than four attempts while grabbing four rebounds and four assists to go with his 12 points per game.

Missouri vs. Kentucky Prediction and Pick

This is going to be an uphill climb for Missouri, who doesn't have the size to handle Kentucky down low, a team that features plenty of guys 6'8" or taller and is 31st in two-point percentage, but also the floor spacing to shoot teams out of games. The Wildcats are sixth in three-point percentage while shooting from beyond the arc at a national average rate. This all leads to the team ranking 10th in effective field goal percentage.

Missouri's best bet on defense is to rely on its relentless ball pressure, but the team Wildcats are second in the country in turnover percentage, so UK should be able to get whatever they want on offense.

On the other side, Missouri is reliant on getting clean looks from three, taking perimeter shots at a top 100 rate, but Kentucky does a great job of limiting those shots, presenting its length to shoot down to run opponents off the line. Kentucky is allowing a bottom 50 rate of catch-and-shoot threes this season, per ShotQuality.

There are too many avenues for Kentucky to control this game on its home floor that I'm going to lay it with Big Blue Nation.