Expect a defensive struggle when the No. 19 Kentucky Wildcats (8-3) and the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals (11-1) battle at Rupp Arena. Tip-off is set for 3:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 28, 2019.
Louisville Cardinals at Kentucky Wildcats Betting Preview
In the Cardinals’ last contest, they dismantled the Miami (OH) RedHawks, 70-46. With eight points and 15 rebounds, Louisville’s Dwayne Sutton played well. Louisville played a nearly flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.175 (matching their season average) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 31.8 (below their season average of 32.0). For those same stats, Miami (OH) put up marks of 0.061 and 20.0, respectively.
The Wildcats are hoping for a better outcome after their 71-65 loss to the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes in their last game. With 14 points and nine assists, Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans played well. Ohio State did an excellent job of making free throws (21-27; 77.8 percent). Kentucky, meanwhile, forced the Buckeyes into a turnover percentage of 20.0 (above their season average of 16.6).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Wildcats won the sole contest played against each other last season, 71-58. Kentucky had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.561 vs. 0.409). Louisville, on the other hand, had a much better free throw rate (0.236 vs. 0.123).
Points could be at a premium in this showdown between two of the nation’s premier defenses. Kentucky ranks 37th in defensive efficiency (88.7) and Louisville is 26th (87.6).
Louisville vs. Kentucky ATS Prediction
Free College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Louisville, ATS Winner – Louisville, O/U – Under
The Wildcats are ninth in the nation with 4.4 steals allowed per game while the Cardinals are 45th with 5.6 steals allowed per game.
Louisville is 24th in the NCAA with 9.8 assists allowed per game while Kentucky is 52nd with 11.0 assists allowed per game.
Louisville ranks 148th in three pointers attempted per game (21.3) while Kentucky ranks 256th (16.0).
The Wildcats rank 44th in blocks per game (4.3) while the Cardinals rank 124th (2.8).
Louisville ranks 31st in rebounds per game (40.5) while Kentucky ranks 89th (37.5).
The Wildcats’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.4, down from 13.3 for the season.
During their last five games, the Cardinals have scored an average of 69.6 points per game (7.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 54.4 points per game (4.0 below their season average).