With Selection Sunday a little more than one month away and conference tournaments tipping off early next month, several Top 25 teams will be trying to position themselves for March Madness bids in Saturday’s college basketball action.
There will be no bigger game though than the SEC showdown that will take place in Lexington between the top-ranked Tennessee Volunteers and fifth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, who will try to rebound from a loss as three-point favorites on the college basketball odds for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Wildcats were stunned 73-71 by the 19th-ranked LSU Tigers at Rupp Arena on Tuesday, blowing a nine-point lead and surrendering a controversial tip-in at the buzzer for the game-winning shot. Kentucky fell as an 8.5-point favorite and had not lost to LSU since 2009, but the team should be plenty motivated to bounce back versus Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Tennessee is riding a school-record 19-game winning streak, going 11-7-1 against the spread during that stretch, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. The Volunteers have also gone 4-3 straight up in the past seven meetings with the Kentucky to go along with a 5-2 mark ATS.
Tennessee won the last game played between the teams at Rupp 61-59 as a two-point road underdog on February 6, 2018. But Kentucky avenged that defeat with a 77-72 victory in the SEC Tournament.
Two other games on Saturday’s betting slate pit Top 25 teams against each other, starting with a Big Ten battle between the sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines and 24th-ranked Maryland Terrapins. Like the Wildcats, the Wolverines are coming off a loss as big favorites, dropping a 75-69 road decision to the Penn State Nittany Lions as seven-point chalk on Tuesday. Maryland has won two games in a row and will try to break a two-game series skid at Michigan as a six-point road underdog.
Later in the Big 12, the 18th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats will go for a sweep of the 23rd-ranked Iowa State Cyclones as two-point home favorites. Kansas State currently sits atop the conference standings with a 9-2 record, and one of the biggest wins was a 58-57 upset of Iowa State as a nine-point road underdog on January 12.