It’s the final tune-up for the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday when they host the Southern University Jaguars at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats (6-1) have won six straight and start a stretch of games on Saturday against Notre Dame, Ohio State and Louisville before SEC play tips off. UK beat Central Michigan 85-57 last Monday, led by dominant forward Oscar Tshiebwe’s 22 points and 16 rebounds. Southern (3-5), led by coach Sean Woods, a former Kentucky star, lost 79-62 to Akron on Saturday to break a two-game win streak. This is the inaugural game in the Unity Series, which will pit UK against a team from the SWAC in each of the next five seasons to raise awareness of HBCUs.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET in Lexington, Ky. The Wildcats are 28.5-point favorites in the latest Kentucky vs. Southern odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 147. Before locking in any Southern vs. Kentucky picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Kentucky vs. Southern. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and betting trends for Southern vs. Kentucky:
Kentucky vs. Southern spread: Wildcats -28.5Kentucky vs. Southern over-under: 147 pointsSouthern: It is 6-3 ATS in its past nine against ranked opponents.Kentucky: It is 12-15 ATS in nonconference games since 2019. Why Kentucky can cover
Kentucky lost its opener 79-71 to Duke but has been rolling since. It is averaging 83.6 points while giving up 60.4. Tshiebwe, a West Virginia transfer, has been making a huge impact. He averages 14.1 points and leads the nation with 16 boards per game. The Wildcats lead Division I in rebounding margin at 19 per contest, with UK averaging 46.6 boards while Southern gets just 31.4. The 6-foot-9, 255-pound native of Congo also averages 1.6 blocked shots and more than a steal per game and shoots better than 63 percent from the field (T-26 in the nation).
The Wildcats are 3-3 against the spread as the home favorite. TyTy Washington is the top scorer at 14.9 points per game and adds 5.1 rebounds. Sahvir Wheeler sets Tshiebwe and Washington up for success, averaging a nation-best 8.7 assists. No other player in Division I averages more than seven. Keion Brooks scores 13.3 points and adds 5.3 rebounds. UK should be able to manhandle a Southern team that struggles defensively. Opponents shoot 46.4 percent against the Jaguars (317th in the nation) while averaging 73.5 points (292nd).
Why Southern can cover
Woods was part of the UK team that reached the Elite Eight at the 1992 NCAA Tournament. He hit the go-ahead shot in overtime against Duke before Christian Laettner’s legendary game-winner sent the Blue Devils to the Final Four. The UK Athletic Hall of Famer has built winning teams at Mississippi Valley State and Morehead State and has talent to work with. SWAC Freshman of the Year Terrell Williams is off to a slow start but shot better than 45 percent from 3-point range last season. He is one of five players averaging more than eight points.
Williams also gets a team-high 1.8 steals as the Jaguars average 10.4 steals (T-11 in nation) and force 19.7 turnovers per game (T-6). They will harass the Wildcats and try to force mistakes, and UK turns it over 12.6 times per contest (T-125th). Guard Tyrone Lyons, a transfer from North Carolina A&T, leads the team at 14.3 points per game and has been efficient from outside, making 11 of his 19 three-point attempts (57.9 percent). Brion Whitley averages 13.5 points and is the main sharpshooter, hitting 21 of 51 tries (40.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
How to make Southern vs. Kentucky picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, projecting 144 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can get the pick only at SportsLine.
So who wins Kentucky vs. Southern? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned over $2,200 on its college basketball picks the last five-plus years, and find out.