Having nothing to lose can make a team dangerous, and nobody understands this better than betting NCAA basketball legend John Calipari. Calipari’s Wildcats are set to face a team that pales in comparison to the leaders of the SEC (technically Kentucky is tied with Florida for the lead in conference), the penultimate-ranking Missouri Tigers. Despite the fact that the Wildcats will come into this contest as heavy sportsbook favorites, Calipari still understands that the unhinged Tigers could still pose a problem to his squad.
“The last time we were at Missouri the first half was touch and go,” Calipari stated Monday. “I know what their record is, so I expected to see something different when I started watching tape. But I fully expect they’ll come to play… They’re dangerous because they can make perimeter shots.”
Calipari has an outstanding sportsbook repute for a reason, and the longtime Wildcat coach will make sure his team has the right mentality heading into this SEC matchup. Missouri will be playing host to the Wildcats Tuesday night at the Mizzou Arena. Given the aforementioned rankings, Kentucky is bound to come into this contest as a heavy betting favorite. Let’s take a look.
BETTING NCAA BASKETBALL ODDS –Tuesday, February 21
Kentucky Wildcats -16 (-110) 154 (-110) -3500
Missouri Tigers +16 (-110) 154 (-110) +1750
As anticipated, the bookies think your basketball bets should go towards the conference leaders. The Wildcats enter this contest with a 22-5 record that ties them with Florida and gives them a 2-game lead over No. 3 South Carolina. Kentucky comes into this game riding a 4-game win streak. However, the Wildcats have suffered 3 losses in their last 8 games and will be looking for a more consistent performance down the stretch.
The betting NCAA basketball favorites have one of the highest-scoring offenses in the nation thanks to their energetic pace that is spearheaded by Malik Monk. Monk is the Wildcats leading-scorer with his average of 21.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Second for the Wildcats in points is De’Aaron Fox who is putting up 15.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per contest.
The sportsbook underdogs are coming off a 10-21 season and given their current pace, Missouri is right on track for another disappointing season. The Tigers have slumped their way to a 7-19 record this season that includes a 2-12 record in SEC play. The Tigers enter this game on a 2-game losing streak as well as a 2-8 record in their last 10 games. The odds aren’t giving the Tigers a fighting chance Tuesday night, which makes sense considering that Missouri hasn’t had much luck against nationally ranked teams this season.
Missouri is led in points by Jordan Barnett who is putting up an average of 12.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game. The Tigers only have two double-digit points scorers and the second is Kevin Puryear who is draining 11.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game.