The Kentucky Wildcats may not be wielding as much firepower as they did last season, when they made it to the Final Four undefeated before losing to Wisconsin, but they still have plenty of assets. And on Tuesday night they will try to chalk up their ninth straight win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in SEC college basketball action beginning at 7 PM ET at the Rupp Arena in Lexington. BetAnySports customers can wager on this game while it is in progress using the considerable facilities available through the Live Betting Extra option.
Kentucky (12-3 straight-up, 6-9 ATS) is ranked 14th in the Associated Press poll, and 13th by the USA Today coaches poll. They did a good job bouncing back from a lackluster effort against LSU with a 77-61 victory over Alabama on Saturday. Senior Alex Poythress, who had only four points against the Bayou Bengals, and has had an injury-plagued career at UK, posted his career-high with 25 points against the Crimson Tide.
Mississippi State (7-7 straight-up, 8-3 against the basketball pointspread) is now being led by Ben Howland, who piloted UCLA to three straight Final Four appearances. They scored a big coup during recruiting season by picking up guard Malik Newman, who in the minds of many, was a better prospect than Jamal Murray, who is currently Kentucky’s leading scorer, or Isaiah Briscoe (who has disappointed with his free-throw shooting – only 34% for the Wildcats).
In the college basketball betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Kentucky is a big favorite:
Kentucky Wildcats -16
Mississippi State Bulldogs +16
Over 146.5 points -110
Under 146.5 points -110
Mississippi State has won at the Rupp Arena only in 1995 and 2009. The Bulldogs have had their problems from the field lately, shooting below 40% in four of their last six games. They were off the mark on Saturday, hitting only 37.5% of their shots in an 82-68 loss to Arkansas, in which they faded badly late in the game. That came on the heels of a very big effort from MSU, where they were leading nationally -ranked Texas A&M but blew that lead in the final minute of a 61-60 defeat.
Mississippi State has lost 32 of its last 36 games as a “pure” visitor, and opponents have shot just below 50% from the three-point arc in the two conference games they played thus far. BetAnySports patrons know that the Bulldogs would like to get some inside scoring with center Gavin Ware, who leads the team with 17.2 points per game and is shooting 65%. He’ll have to deal with Kentucky’s inside guys, including Poythress, Marcus Lee and freshman Skal Labassiere, a highly-touted recruit who is playing 19 minutes a game.
It has taken Newman, a 6-3 guard, a little while to get himself going. He is averaging 13 points on just 41% shooting, and had nine points against Arkansas. His backcourt mate, Craig Sword, has committed 15 turnovers in his last three outings.
Kentucky plays this game amidst more rumors about coach John Calipari. Since the Brooklyn Nets’ coaching job has opened up, Calipari’s name is prominently mentioned, and there have been reports that he is looking for at least $120 million to leave Lexington for the NBA, something he denies.
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