Vanderbilt Commodores at Kentucky Wildcats – NCAAM January 5

Vanderbilt (4-3, 0-1) at Kentucky (2-6, 1-0)

Series:

Kentucky leads the series, 146-47, and has won the last eight matchups between the two. The Commodores have dropped 11 straight in Rupp Arena as the last victory came in 2007.

Vs. the Spread:

Vanderbilt is 12-5 ATS in it’s last 17 games against Kentucky and the Commodores are 2-4 ATS in their last six games. Kentucky is 12-6 ATS in its last 18 games and the total has gone UNDER in seven of the Wildcats’ eight games. The total has also been UNDER in six of Kentucky’s last seven games at home.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Vanderbilt +11½ (-114) +550 O 136½ (-110)
Kentucky -11½ (-106) -750 U 136½ (-110)

Last Time Out:

Scotty Pippen, Jr., scored 19 points and Dylan Disu added 14, but Vanderbilt fell to Florida at home, 91-72, last. Wednesday. The Commodores’ defense couldn’t get any consistent stops throughout the game as the Gators shot 61.8 percent from the floor.

John Calipari’s ejection midway through the second half sparked an intense Kentucky Wildcats’ comeback as Dontaie Allen scored 23 points in the ‘Cats’ 78-73 double overtime win at Mississippi State. Kentucky started 1-6 for the first time since 1911 as Allen, a Kentucky native, came back from a knee injury after redshirting last season.

Anchor Down:

Vanderbilt Commodores LogoScotty Pippen, Jr., is having a break out season for Vanderbilt in leading the SEC with 22.6 points per game while shooting 45 percent and making 17-of-39 triples in 32 minutes per game. Dylan Disu (11.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg) is giving Vanderbilt the inside presence that it needs as well.

Defending this one-two punch is a tough chore, but when Vanderbilt plays better defensive teams, it is going to have to have role player stop up in a steady fashion since Pippen and Disu average 34 of the Commodores’ 73 points per game.

Coach Jerry Stackhouse is getting contributions from Trey Thomas who is second among freshmen in the SEC with a 42.3 percent 3-point percentage and Myles Stute has had a good start for Commodores’ freshmen as he averages 10.0 points per game and 22.5 minutes.

Cat Paws:

Kentucky Wildcats LogoKentucky is going to see Vanderbilt at a good time because the Wildcats are going to seemingly get a good building block after an emotional win in Starkville. Kentucky has performed against the 12th toughest schedule in the nation while those opponents have combined for the 26th toughest schedule, per kenpom.com.

How the Wildcats respond will be interesting and then who responds might be even more of a storyline. This team is still a huge work in progress on offense and it’s effective field goal efficiency is 286th and the turnovers per 100 possessions sticks at 22.8. B.J. Boston had all the raves coming in but he still sits at 36 percent from the field, yet he is Kentucky’s leading scorer at 13.7 points per game.

Kentucky is looking for more from Creighton transfer Davion Mintz and Wake Forest transfer Olivier Saar as Mintz has shot 37.7 percent from the field thus far while Saar has started all eight games yet only averages 9.8 points per game. Terrance Clarke has been downgraded to doubtful with his injured ankle.

Fitting the pieces of this team together has been a chore for Calipari as this team is 338th in the nation out of 357 teams in experience. The Hall of Fame coach is a master at player development and with covid over the summer and into the fall, it played havoc with how a team like this is able to grow with all the interruptions.

Winner: Kentucky 67, Vanderbilt (+11½) 60
O/U: Take UNDER 136½

The Bets
Kentucky -11½
-106
UNDER 136½
-110
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.