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How and what to watch for No. 11 Tennessee vs. Kentucky

The Vols are trying to keep pace in the SEC title race while UK is just trying to stay above water.

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Tennessee Volunteers guard Josiah-Jordan James reacts after missing a shot against the Mississippi Rebels at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.  Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers (12-4) head into Rupp Arena on Saturday night to take on a struggling 5-11 Kentucky Wildcats team.

Though Kentucky’s record isn’t what everybody expects from the traditional powerhouse, their SEC record isn’t all that bad at 4-5. But the Wildcats have lost four out of their last five conference matchups, including a 70-59 loss to Alabama last time out. Their go-to guy on offense is Brandon Boston Jr., who averages 12 points per game. They also have five players averaging in double figures, but two of them have only played a limited number of games this season. KenPom has them ranked as 55th-best overall team, but it has their defensive efficiency as 13th best in the country.

The Vols come into this one with the best defense in the nation according to KenPom, and concede just 58 points per game to their opponents. Offensively they’re not going to blow anybody away scoring just 71 points per contest, but when paired with that defense it’s a lethal combination. UT’s spark plug is John Fulkerson, averaging 11 points per game and 5.9 boards per contest as well, best on the team in both categories. They also have one other player averaging double figures as well, Victor Bailey Jr.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Tennessee vs. Kentucky on Saturday, February 6th at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the 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: Tennessee -3.5
Point Total: 125.5
Money line: Tennessee -177, Kentucky +143

  • Tennessee is 9-7 this season, including 2-2 on the road.
  • Kentucky is 6-10 ATS, and just 2-4 at home.

The Best Bet

This Kentucky team is an abomination, and for the talent they have it seems to be attitude and buy-in that’s the problem. But they have the athletes that can score on Tennessee and force turnovers to get runouts. They might not win, but they’ll score enough to get the number big.

Pick: Over 125.5

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