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Picks, predictions for Tennessee vs. Kentucky on Saturday, February 18

The Vols are road favorites over Kentucky on Saturday afternoon.

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The No. 10 Tennessee Volunteers will hit the road for a matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday afternoon from Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The game will tip off at 1:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS.

Six of my last nine college hoops picks have connected, so let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.

Tennessee vs. Kentucky odds

Spread: Tennessee -1.5
Over/Under: 135.5
Moneyline: Tennessee -130, Kentucky +110

Tennessee (20-6, 9-4 SEC) came off consecutive last-second losses before knocking off the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at home on Wednesday night. The Vols’ defense forced 19 turnovers, and they were led by Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Vescovi, both of whom put up 15 points. Tennessee was without Julian Phillips and Josiah-Jordan James due to injuries, and their status for Saturday is unclear. The Vols rate fourth overall in KenPom with the top-rated defense in adjusted efficiency but 55th on the offensive end.

Kentucky (17-9, 8-5 SEC) ended a two-game losing skid with a 71-68 road win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Wednesday. Oscar Tshiebwe led the team with 18 points with 11 rebounds in a much-needed victory. CJ Fredrick missed the last two contests, while Sahvir Wheeler sat out of the last three with injuries. John Calipari said he’s hopeful both guards will be back. The Wildcats rate 40th overall in KenPom with an adjusted offensive efficiency that rates 16th, but defense is 101st.

The Pick: Kentucky +1.5

The Wildcats are squarely on the bubble, and they should be far and away the more motivated team in this matchup especially considering Tennessee is coming off a massive victory. The Vols are Kentucky’s last ranked opponent over its final five regular season games, and a win could go a long way for its NCAA Tournament hopes. Desperate bubble teams returning home are dangerous, and I’ll pick the Wildcats to cover this number and pull off the upset.