Now that the holiday break has concluded, the SEC schedule is about to begin.
Tonight, No. 19 Kentucky will take on unranked Missouri in each of their first conference game of the season.
Kentucky enters the game with an 8-3 record, with its losses come at the hands of Michigan State, Gonzaga, and UCLA. The Wildcats will try to get their conference schedule started off on the right foot against a Missouri Tigers team who is unranked despite being 11-1.
The Tigers are hot off their biggest win of the season, taking down Illinois by a final score of 93-71.
So how should we bet on this SEC showdown? Let’s dive into the odds and then I’ll give you my best bet.
Kentucky vs. Missouri odds, spread, and total
Kentucky vs. Missouri prediction and pick
Missouri is a tough team to handicap based on their strength of schedule. There’s a reason they’re unranked at 11-1. It’s even tough to make sense of their games against Power 5 schools. They’ve faced two, with one resulting in a 28 point loss to Kansas and the other being a 22 point road win against Illinois.
So, what do we do with that information?
I propose to forget about the spread and focus on the total instead. I’m going to be looking at the OVER because if there’s one thing we know about Missouri despite their confusing schedule, is they play at a fast pace, ranking sixth in field goal attempts per game and 14th in possessions per game.
The Tigers also rank second in effective field goal percentage. Will that hold up against a team like Kentucky? We’ll find out tonight, but even if they get close to that level of offensive production, we’ll be well on our way to the OVER.
Missouri and Kentucky combine for an average of 167.5 points scored per game this season, almost 20 points more than the set total for their game tonight.
Let’s not overthink this one. Back the OVER and root for points.
You can track Iain’s bets on Betstamp here.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.