Alabama Crimson Tide at Kentucky Wildcats – NCAAM January 12

Alabama (9-3, 4-0) at Kentucky (4-6, 3-0)

Time: 6 PST/8 CST/9 EST

Place: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.

TV: ESPN

Wildcats Have a 114-38 Series Lead:

Kentucky has won 12 of the last 13 games in the series as the Wildcats own a 58-10 advantage in Lexington and 26-6 at Rupp Arena. Alabama has won five in a row and six of it’s last seven as the Crimson Tide are in the Top 40 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Kentucky has started to find it’s game with a 3-game winning streak in the Wildcats’ start to the SEC season. The 1-6 pre-conference record was the worst since 1911.

Vs. The Spread:

Alabama:

  • The Crimson Tide is 4-0-1 ATS in it’s last 5 games
  • The Tide net a 9-3-1 record ATS in the last 13 games
  • Against Kentucky, the Crimson Tide is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games

Kentucky:

  • The Wildcats are 13-7 ATS in their last 20 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 8 of the Wildcats last 10 outings
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of UK’s last 5 meetings with an SEC opponent
Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Alabama +2½ (-103) +136 O 148 (-120)
Kentucky -2½ (-117) -156 U 148 (+100)

Last Time Out:

The Crimson Tide survived a stellar debut from Auburn point guard Sharife Cooper as the Crimson Tide slipped by the Tiger, 94-90. Josh Primo had 22 points and Jordan Bruner had 20 as Alabama scored 40 points in the paint and netted 16 points off of 15 offensive rebounds.

Kentucky picked up it’s third SEC win with a 76-58 thumping of the Florida Gators in Gainesville. The Wildcats used a solid defensive effort to take command of the game as Keion Brooks, Jr., was out three months with a leg injury, and helped key the win with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Brandon Boston, Jr., and Davion Mintz had 13 each to lead Kentucky.

Crimson Tide Clipboard:
Alabama Crimson Tide LogoThe shooting percentages are low, but Alabama takes 64.3 shots per game and then 29.2 of those are from 3-point range; thus it is easy to see why the Crimson Tide average 78.9 points per game. Jaden Shackelford (13.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg) leads a balanced scoring attack for coach Nate Oats at 13.1 points per game.

The Crimson Tide would like to get sharp-shooter John Petty (12.4 ppg) unloosened as he has the potential to get on a scoring role and carry this team. The inside presence of Herb Jones and Bruner will be important against Kentucky big men Olivier Sarr (16.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg – last 3 games) and Isaiah Jackson as the two have combined for 29 blocked shots.

When you think Alabama, you think offense, but the Crimson Tide stack up well defensively in leading the SEC in defensive efficiency as they allow opponents only 37.9 percent from the field and 27.2 percent from three.

Wildcats’ Clipboard:

Kentucky Wildcats LogoKentucky has to value the basketball against that Alabama defense as the Tide force 15.8 turnovers per game as the Wildcats give up 14 basketballs per game. The Wildcats have gotten better offensively since SEC play began. They are 22-of-45 from the 3-point arc in the three SEC games.

Mintz’s game has picked up since he entered the starting lineup with 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals since he entered the starting lineup six games ago against Notre Dame. Brandon Boston, Jr., (12.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg) has started to pick up his game as well as he averages 10.0 points, 3.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and just 1.8 turnovers per game during the last five games.

Please Note:
Isaiah Jackson comes off his best game of the season with nine points, six rebounds, four blocks and two assists. His block percentage is 14 percent, sixth in the nation.

Winner: Alabama (+2½) 80, Kentucky 75
O/U: Take OVER 148

The Bets
Alabama +2½
-103
OVER 148
-120

Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.