#6 Kentucky vs #18 Arkansas 2022 NCAAB Expert Analysis

#6 Kentucky vs #18 Arkansas | Odds, Preview and Analysis College Basketball

The first Top 25 matchup on a huge day of college basketball Saturday is from the SEC as No. 6 Kentucky – which might be without two starting guards again – visits No. 18 Arkansas. The Wildcats will be short favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Kentucky at Arkansas NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 2 PM ET
  • Where: Bud Walton Arena
  • TV: CBS
  • Stream: Paramount+
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Kentucky will be favored)

Last Meeting

This is the only scheduled meeting of the season between the teams. Last season, they also met just once and Arkansas won 81-80 in Lexington – Kentucky is WAY better this year. Jalen Tate scored 15 points, including two free throws with 4.3 seconds left, and Davonte Davis made a steal on the ensuing possession as Arkansas snapped an eight-game losing streak in the series. Brandon Boston Jr. scored 17 points to lead Kentucky. He’s now with the LA Clippers.

Why Bet on Kentucky?

Kentucky (23-5) avoided a home upset vs. LSU on Wednesday, 71-66, while playing without starting guards Sahvir Wheeler (wrist) and TyTy Washington (lower leg). Consider them questionable for this one. UK trailed 31-23 at halftime before getting a big second half from Bryce Hopkins, who scored all 13 of his points after the break while taking advantage of his increased role amid the injuries to Washington and Wheeler. Washington averages 12.4 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per contest. Wheeler is good for 9.6 points and 7.1 assists per game, good for third in Division I.

“I saw in the first half that we were kind of like playing a little slow,” said Hopkins, who hadn’t played more than four minutes since Jan. 15 and was averaging just a basket a game. “In the second half Coach (John Calipari) was saying we needed a little energy, so that’s what I tried to do when I came into the game. Just started to bring energy, and just contribute.”

Oscar Tshiebwe assembled 17 points, 16 rebounds and blocked three shots.   It is his 10th-straight double-double, first Wildcat to do that since Jim Andrews had 10 consecutive double-doubles in the 1972-73 season. It is his 22nd double-double of the season, ranking second in the nation in that category. It is tied with Dan Issel (1968-69) for the third most in a single season in UK history. Issel owns the record with 25 such instances in 1969-70.

Kentucky limited LSU to 36.8% from the floor. UK is 221-24 (90.2%) under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 40% or below, including 12-0 this season. Kentucky won the rebounding 36-24, and is 20-2 this season when winning the boards. UK led by as many as 15 points and is 308-13 (96.0%) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.

It was the third time this season that UK has rallied from a double-digit deficit to win the game, also 13-point deficits at Texas A&M and vs. Alabama.

Why Bet on Arkansas?

Arkansas (22-6) won its third in a row Tuesday, 82-74 at Florida. Jaylin Williams, Stanley Umude and JD Notae each drained key 3-pointers inside the final 5:30 to lead the Hogs’ comeback. Also playing a key part in the win was Davonte Davis, who had 19 points, six rebounds and four assists. The win snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Gators in Gainesville dating back to Feb. 28, 1995, and its 13th win over the last 14 games.

Notae finished with 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Williams tallied his fifth straight double-double – and 10th of the season – with 15 points and 10 rebounds while adding three assists. Au’Diese Toney (12 points) and Umude (11) points rounded out the group of five Razorbacks in double figures.

For the seventh time in what has become a 12-1 stretch for Arkansas the last six weeks, the Razorbacks rallied to win after trailing or being tied in the second half. The Gators hit 1 of 9 three-pointers in the second half after going 7 of 16 in the first half.

“I’d love to say it’s some magic formula,” Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman said about the comeback victories. “[Tuesday night] I told our team that we’ve got to get back to defending like the 1985 Chicago Bears, because they were so good defensively.”

Williams’ 9.6 season rebound average is the best by a Razorback since Michael Washington led the SEC at 9.8 in 2008-09. Williams is on pace to set the school record for rebound avg in SEC games. Currently at 10.3, Record is 9.5 by Derek Hood (1999). Notae is averaging 19.3 ppg in SEC games, which is on pace to rank 5th in school history for single-season scoring avg in SEC games.

Regarding Saturday, Arkansas (3-0) is the only SEC team to be undefeated versus top 25 opponents, winning at #12 LSU, vs #1/2 Auburn and vs #16/13 Tennessee.

Expert Prediction

  • Kentucky 74, Arkansas 72
 
 

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