Kentucky Wildcats at Missouri Tigers – NCAAM February 3

Kentucky (5-10, 4-4) at Missouri (11-3, 4-3)

  • Time: 4PM PST | 6PM CST | 7PM EST
  • Location: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, MO
  • TV: ESPN2

Tip-Off

Kentucky is going through a tumultuous season as the Wildcats have been off for a week due to COVID-19 protocols. The Wildcats are in the middle of a string of five games against SEC teams that are in the middle of the Top 40 of the NET rankings. UK has lost four out of it’s last five games as the ‘Cats have fallen to the lower middle of the SEC.

Missouri has won four of it’s last five games, but Kentucky has taken the last three games in this series by an average of 13.7 points per game. The Wildcats hold a 13-1 lead in the series with Mizzou’s lone win coming in 2018.

Vs. The Spread

Kentucky:

  • The Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Kentucky’s last 15 outings
  • The UNDER has also been the play in 5 of the Wildcats’ last 6 road games

Missouri:

  • The OVER has been the play in 5 of the Tigers’ last 6 games
  • Mizzou is 4-1 ATS in it’s last 5 home games vs. Kentucky
  • The Tigers are 7-1 SU in their last 8 home games

Last Time Out

The Wildcats game against Texas on Saturday was cancelled due to COVID protocols within the Wildcats program. Kentucky fell at Alabama, 70-59, last Tuesday as Davion Mintz, Dontai Allen, and Olivier Saar scored 12 points apiece.

Missouri trailed TCU by 12 with 4:40 remaining in regulation, but the Tigers fought back to force overtime and eventually claim a 102-98 overtime victory over the Horned Frogs. Xavier Pinson and Jeremiah Tilmon had 36 and 33 points, respectively. The 69 combined points are the most ever scored in a game by a Tiger duo since 2001.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Kentucky +5 (-115) +170 O 137 (-110)
Missouri -5 (-105) -200 U 137 (-110)

Wildcats Stat Pack

  • Turnovers from the guards have been a problem as the Wildcats only average 11.6 turnovers in their five wins, but 16.7 in their 10 losses.
  • Isaiah Jackson is averaging 2.9 blocks per game while the Wildcats average 6.1 blocks to game, good for second in the NCAA.
  • Kentucky has given up over one point per possession in only one game this season as the Wildcats rank 14th in the nation in defensive efficiency, per kenpom.com.

Wildcats Grease Board

Kentucky Wildcats LogoThis is settling in to becoming a defensive game as neither team shoots the three well and both are strong on the defensive end of the floor. Kentucky is 14th in the SEC in two-point field goal percentage at 45 percent, so the need to get to the rim off the dribble is a must. Devin Askew (43) and Davion Mintz (40) are Kentucky’s best assist men, however they have the penchant to turn the ball over. Getting into transition before Mizzou can set it’s defense would be great for Kentucky behind leading scorer Brandon Boston, Jr. (12.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg).

Tigers Stat Pack

  • Dru Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon, Drew Buggs, Mark Smith, and Xavier Pinson all have scored over 700 points in their careers.
  • Missouri is 3-0 in games decided by five or less points this season.
  • The Tigers are 7-1 in their last 8 games coming off a loss.

Tigers Grease Board

Missouri Tigers LogoBig man Jeremiah Tilmon (13.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg) has raised his game in SEC play as he leads the Tigers in scoring inside the league at 16.1 points per game as he is shooting 67 percent from the field overall and in the SEC. How Kentucky defends him will be interesting as Olivier Saar and Isaiah Jackson are foul prone inside. This could call for bigger minutes from Jacob Toppin and Demarcus Ware in the paint. Kentucky could take plenty of fouls because Tilmon only shoots 53.5 percent from the line. The dribble-drive out of the guards will be important as well as Mizzou only shoots 28.8 percent from the three.

Winner: Missouri (-5) 70, Kentucky 61
Over-Under: Take UNDER 137

The Bets
Missouri Tigers -5
-115
UNDER 137
-110
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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.