The Kentucky Wildcats meet the Wisconsin Badgers in a rematch of last season’s Final Four. The point spread has moved in the direction of the underdog Badgers despite the Wildcats being undefeated on the season.
The current line has Kentucky as 5-point chalk with the point total on 131. The line opened last weekend with Kentucky favored by between -6 and -6.5 but money on Wisconsin has come in to push the line down.
Kentucky was just a No. 8 seed last season in the tournament but defeated the No. 2 seeded Badgers 74-73 as a favorite by 1-points.
Willie Cauley-Stein, who will could be a first round pick in the NBA draft later this month, returns to play for Kentucky after missing last season’s Wisconsin game due to an injury.
Wisconsin has not reached the national championship game since 1941. Kentucky on the other hand, lost last season’s national title game to UConn, but won the national title in 2012.
The OVER has cashed in 3 of the past 4 Wisconsin games, while the UNDER has cashed in each of the past 3 games for Kentucky. Wisconsin is averaging 80 points per game on offense and giving up nearly 72 per game on defense. Kentucky is averaging 70 points a game on offense and allowing just 52 per game on defense.
Kentucky had covered the number in only 1 of its 4 NCAA Tournament games. In their last game, the Wildcats survived a tough battle with Notre Dame 68-66 as 11-point chalk.
A win such as that, which came on two last second foul shots by Andrew Harrison, can either propel a team to victory in its next outing, or cause them to lose focus ad be vulnerable in their next game.
Kentucky has great height with its starters averaging 6-foot-9 with its backcourt tandem of twins at 6-foot-6 each.
Wisconsin is led by All-American Frank Kaminsky, who of late has been helped by forward Sam Dekker. The two have scored more than 55% of Wisconsin’s points during the tournament.
However, against the Kentucky defense scoring will not come easy. The Irish gave the Wildcats the game of their life, but scored just 66 points and in the end lost. Dekker could do damage if he is given space to drive against a bigger player such as Cauley-Smith.
Many bettors have gone with Wisconsin in this one, as Kentucky is just 1-3 ATS during this tournament. The number has been bet down from Kentucky -6.5 to its current -5, which gives value to go with the favorite. Kentucky has been able to cover a number of spreads that have been inflated this season, and now can be had cheap. Take the Wildcats less the 5 points.