By Charles Jay
The Aggies of Texas A&M did not get off to a great start in conference play last Thursday night, as they couldn’t hit the side of a barn against Tennessee. But they think they can get the job done from in close against the Kentucky Wildcats, and we will find out if they can when this game gets underway on Tuesday night at 9 PM ET on ESPN. BetAnySports customers can watch the game live, and they can experience real-time wagering as the contest is in progress, by accessing Live Betting Ultra.
One of the things the Aggies can bring to the table is some useful size. The guy who is the leader in that regard is Tyler Davis, the 6-10 center who has averaged 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds, both of which pace the team. But there is some scoring balance; they get double digits from DJ Hogg, a 6-9 forward, guard Admon Gilder and 6-9 Robert Williams, who comes off the bench. Williams and Davis, along with Tonny Trocha-Morelos, are the people who hit the offensive boards with the most authority, and indeed, Texas A&M is among the top 10 teams in the nation in Offensive Rebounding Percentage.
Kentucky made a statement as far as its own inside game is concerned in their 99-76 win over Ole Miss last Thursday. Coach John Calipari directed his team to feed Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, and the freshman scored 25 points. After the game, Calipari said “If you don’t have a post presence, your team is a fraud.” He’s looking ahead to tournament time, when the Wildcats are going to have to rely on getting some “easy” baskets.
In the NCAA basketball odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Kentucky is a big favorite:
Kentucky Wildcats -14
Texas A&M Aggies +14
Over 149.5 points -110
Under 149.5 points -110
Obviously there are plenty of guns at Calipari’s disposal. The fabulous freshmen this season include both Malik Monk, who had 47 points, a freshman record at the school, against North Carolina and is the team’s leading scorer with 22.4 points per game, and guard De’Aaron Fox, who is averaging 15.6 points. These are also the guys Kentucky wants to send to the free-throw line, because Monk is an 85% shooter, while Fox is at 71%. As a team, they are not all that proficient, but Texas A&M is much worse, hitting only 62.8% of their free throws, and only 27 out of the 351 Division I teams are worse.
Here is the thing that BetAnySports customers have to keep in mind about this recently-minted SEC rivalry – four out of the last five games have gone to the overtime period. And the Aggies and Wildcats fought tooth and nail in the SEC championship game last season, where Kentucky won it 82-77. Texas A&M has been able to hang in there with very tough teams already; they lost by seven points to UCLA (which be Kentucky), went down to the wire with Arizona, losing by just four points, and suffered a two-point loss to Southern Cal. If they can hold their own in the paint, and don’t completely “brick” from the line, they can keep this one tight.
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