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CBB: Kentucky at Tennessee

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Feb/26/2010

 

CBS brings a big college hoops contest to living rooms on Saturday afternoon, starting with #2 ranked Kentucky traveling to Knoxville to take on Tennessee.

The hometown Tennessee Volunteers have only lost once at home this season and are scoring over 80 PPG there. However, the visiting Wildcats have lost just once overall and are in line for a #1 seed in the Big Dance.

It should be a classic SEC battle. Get more info on this game as well as the rest of the betting board on the LIVE ODDS, BETTING TRENDS, and TEAM STATISTICS pages on Sportsbook.com.

Nothing stirs the orange-clad Tennessee fans to see red, like the blue in a Kentucky basketball uniform. The Hatfield's and McCoy's feud had nothing on these two universities, where genuine hatred exists between the neighboring states.

Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl has coached up his team since the trials and tribulations of the new year occurred, however recently, the loss of Tyler Smith, injuries and slumps have seen them struggle.

Pearl almost assuredly will be in the orange sports jacket and the Vols (20-7, 10-14 ATS) are 20-5 ATS as a home underdog or pick.

Though Kentucky (27-1, 15-11 ATS) plays its four freshmen extensively, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are arguably as talented as anyone playing their respective positions. The earlier South Carolina road loss may have been a blessing, since forward Patrick Patterson listened to the criticism and has raised his play to the level of his ability and his team has gone on to win eight straight (6-2 ATS).

Patterson was the difference-maker in recent overtime wins at Mississippi State and at Vanderbilt. The Wildcats are 6-1 and 5-2 ATS on the road this season and 7-2 ATS dating back to last season if the opponent has a winning home record.

Kentucky has taken seven of the last dozen in Knoxville, and the SU winner is 11-2 ATS wherever they have played in previous 13 outings.

The StatFox Power Line shows Kentucky by 3, but this is what StatFox Steve had to say about the game in the Platinum Sheet: Kentucky may have beaten Tennessee by 11 points for a win and cover a couple weeks ago in Lexington, but that game was far more competitive than the score indicated. Here, the Volunteers figure to be a home dog. That, in itself is rare, but extremely powerful: TENNESSEE is 18-3 ATS (+14.7 Units) as a home underdog of 6 points or less or pick since 1997. The average score was TENNESSEE 71, OPPONENT 68.8 - (Rating = 3*). If you recall, this Tennessee team already owns a win as a home dog over the nation's top-ranked team, Kansas. With a 13-1 mark at home in '09-10, Tennessee will be tough to beat here, and considering how the Wildcats have left the rest of the SEC in their dust, a loss might prove more valuable down the road than a win for HC John Calipari's team.

Play: Tennessee

CBB: Kansas at Oklahoma State

The nation's top ranked team, Kansas, faces perhaps its most difficult remaining game on the regular season slate on Saturday when it travels to Stillwater to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

History has proven that the Cowboys are capable of the upset, but need to be at the top of their game. Expect bettors at Sportsbook.com to side with Kansas in heavy volume. Sharp bettors may choose to differ though.

The Kansas Jayhawks (27-1, 10-14-1 ATS) have been learning valuable lessons as the season has progressed. Being No. 1 most of the year has forced the Kansas players to expect everyone to be gunning for them.

In games at Kansas State, Colorado, and Texas A&M and even at home vs. Baylor, the Jayhawks had to fight to win. Coach Bill Self has his squad back playing for each other and nobody wants to let anyone down. Heading into Saturday Kansas is 17-4 ATS against teams with 60%-80% win percentage.

The Cowboys (19-8, 12-8-1 ATS) internal mettle is being tested, facing their third consecutive ranked team in the Jayhawks, after beating Baylor and tumbling to Texas. Any chance for an upset lies in the hands of James Anderson.

The junior guard can go from mild to habanero hot in two shots and teammates Keiton Page, Obi Muonelo and Matt Pilgrim end up benefiting as opponents become focused on cooling down Anderson.

Oklahoma State has the worst assist-to-turnover ratio in the Big 12, which won't cut it against Kansas. They are 15-5 ATS on their own floor vs. teams outscoring opponents by four or more points a contest.

The Cowboys have split six tilts at home vs. Kansas with four covers and the UNDER is 5-0. The StatFox Power Line shows Kansas by 5, how does this compare to the LATEST PRICE at Sportsbook.com?

CBB: Villanova at Syracuse

Yet another conference hosts its supposed "Game of the Year" on Saturday, and the Big East might be the biggest of all, as Villanova visits Syracuse.

Both teams are ranked in the Top and separated by just a single game in the conference standings. The Orange have the home court advantage, but if any team is capable of coming up with a big effort on the road, it's ‘Nova.

Before getting your bets down on this big game in the Big East, be sure to get all the latest key betting tidbits on the GAME MATCHUPS page of Sportsook.com.

While this won't necessarily determine the champion of the Big East, it will go a long way towards deciding it. This is the most anticipated regular season game of the year in the conference and Scottie Reynolds will lead a veteran Villanova (23-4, 17-9 ATS) squad into the Carrier Dome, long on big game experience.

Both teams have talented deep backcourts, which could offset one another, meaning what goes on in the painted area might determine your winner. Forward Antonio Pena, will need the likes of Taylor King, Maurice Sutton, Isaiah Armwood and possibly even Mouphtaou Yarou, all to be a factor for a club that 11-3 and 9-5 ATS away from home.

Coach Jay Wright will play funky defenses designed to confuse, which he can with his guard contingent that are amoeba-like in adaptability, which is why Syracuse (26-2, 17-7 ATS) has to establish dominance in the lane.

Finding ways to feed the post to Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku opens up wing players like Wes Johnson and sub Kris Joseph, to score in various ways and clears shooting lines for Andy Rautins and others. The Orangemen are 9-2 ATS versus good defensive teams permitting 42 or less field goal accuracy. 

Coaching adjustments will also be important and so will rebounding. The team with most boards is 13-1 SU and ATS.

The StatFox Power Line shows Syracuse by 5.

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