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How and what to watch for Kentucky vs. No. 9 Alabama

Alabama will look for their tenth victory in a row, while Kentucky continues to search for consistent success this season.

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Lance Ware of the Kentucky Wildcats drops the ball in during the first half against the LSU Tigers at Rupp Arena on January 23, 2021 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

You know it’s not a normal year when the Alabama Crimson Tide are ranked No. 9 in the country as they take on the unranked Kentucky Wildcats who are four games below .500. In basketball. That’s what we’re dealing with as Alabama hosts Kentucky on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET.

Alabama (13-3, 8-0 SEC) is riding a nine-game winning streak, and senior guard John Petty Jr. has been a big reason with 14.1 points to lead the team, adding 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists as well. The Crimson Tide’s biggest strength comes on the defensive end where they rank 40th in efficiency. Senior forward Jordan Bruner has been out since Jan. 12 and will be sidelined till February with a knee injury and reserve forward James Rojas missed the last game with an undisclosed medical condition. Head coach Nate Oats said he is hopeful to have him back against the Wildcats.

Kentucky (5-9, 4-3 SEC) is still trying to find their footing in the 2020-21 season. They snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday in a home victory over the LSU Tigers, led by freshman guard Brandon Boston Jr. with 18 points on 7 of 17 shooting from the floor. The Wildcats are struggling on both ends of the court, ranked 226th in offensive efficiency and 108th on the defensive end. On the injury front, guard Terrence Clark isn’t expected to play this week, according to John Calipari as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Kentucky vs. Alabama on Tuesday, January 26th at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can watch via ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the ESPN app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Alabama -7.5
Point Total: 146.5
Money line: Kentucky +270, Alabama -360

  • Kentucky is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games and 4-9 straight up in their last 13 games.
  • Kentucky is 12-2 straight up in their last 14 games against Alabama.
  • Alabama is 9-0 straight up in their last nine games and 7-1-1 against the spread in that span.

The Best Bet

Alabama is a far better team offensively than Kentucky, and it’s tough to see a path where the Wildcats stick with the Crimson Tide. Alabama plays at a pace that ranks 16th in possessions per game, and they will have plenty of opportunities to extend their lead against Kentucky. The Wildcats have gotten the best of Alabama for years on the basketball court, but not this year. Alabama will sweep the season series with a pair of double-digit wins over Kentucky.

Pick: Alabama -7.5

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