The second-ranked Kentucky Wildcats survived their first real test in Southeastern Conference play on Saturday and get to host their next two league opponents at home, starting with the Arkansas Razorbacks on Tuesday. The Wildcats (17-1) are off to a 3-0 start in the SEC following a 65-62 come-from-behind victory at Tennessee that extended their winning streak to nine.
Meanwhile, the Razorbacks (13-4, 2-1) are coming off a 69-60 home win over the LSU Tigers on Saturday, covering the spread as 5-point favorites, but they have yet to win a true road game in three attempts. They lost 71-63 on the road to the Mississippi Rebels last Wednesday as 2-point underdogs, and their next road matchup at Kentucky is scheduled to tip off at 9:00 p.m. (ET) as the second game of a doubleheader on ESPN.
Arkansas may have a tough time beating the Wildcats at Rupp Arena, where Kentucky is a perfect 12-0 straight up. But the Razorbacks will be facing a team that has not covered a game since pounding Penn State 85-47 back on November 19 of last year. The Hogs snapped a 10-game series skid last year on February 23 with a 77-76 overtime victory at home.
Kentucky is 0-13-1 against the spread in its past 14 lined games and 1-9-1 ATS at home. In their most recent game, the Wildcats trailed by eight points in the second half before rallying to beat the Volunteers, but they fell way short of covering the 9½-point line.
The first game of the ESPN doubleheader is a Big Ten clash between intrastate rivals, as the Michigan Wolverines (14-4, 4-2) host the Michigan State Spartans (15-3, 4-1) at 4:00 p.m. Like Kentucky, Michigan has not lost at home, going 11-0 at Crisler Center with a 4-4 mark ATS (three games there were off the board).
Michigan State lost both meetings last season both SU and ATS but had won six of the previous seven, going 4-3 vs. the line. The ‘under’ is 4-1 in the past five games between the teams.
The Wolverines were blown out 75-59 on the road Saturday by the Iowa Hawkeyes as 2½-point favorites following consecutive home wins over the Northwestern Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers. All three of those games went ‘under’ the total.
The Spartans will be looking to rebound from a surprising 81-74 road loss to Northwestern on Saturday as 5-point favorites. That setback ended a 15-game winning streak, the team’s longest since winning 22 in a row during the 1998-99 season.
One other televised game featuring a Top 25 team will take place on Tuesday in the Big East when the Georgetown Hoyas (13-3, 3-2) visit the DePaul Blue Demons (10-7, 1-4) at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN2.
Georgetown ended a two-game skid with a 69-49 rout of the St. John’s Red Storm at Madison Square Garden on Sunday while DePaul has lost three straight following an 84-81 upset of the Pittsburgh Panthers as 5-point home underdogs on January 5. The Hoyas have won the last seven meetings with the Blue Demons, going 5-2 ATS with the ‘under’ going 5-1 in the past six.