College Basketball Handicapping: Kentucky Odds to Run the Table
by George Monroy - 1/20/2015
The Kentucky Wildcats, it seems, always end up in the middle of the 'will they or wont they go undefeated' conversation midway through every college basketball season. Coach John Calipari is nothing if not a master recruiter and seems to also produce the 'greatest freshmen class of all time' every summer. Yet, Kentucky loses games each year, and college basketball still has not seen an undefeated national champion in nearly 40 years.
Wichita State had a fantastic run last season, entering the NCAA Tournament 34-0, but eventually lost to Calipari and the Wildcats by two points in the Round of 32. Talking about Kentucky going undefeated with nearly half the season left to play may be an unfair burden to place on any group of young players, yet the idea of witnessing such a run is so tantalizing that the college basketball world can't help but wonder. Let's take a closer look at the Wildcats, go over their remaining schedule and figure out if they can go undefeated the rest of the way. All odds come from Sportsbook.ag.
Kentucky Wildcat Odds to Go Undefeated
Fans and the media aren't the only ones wondering if Kentucky can in fact run the table. Sportsbook.ag has a line on the board asking that very question. Our job is to figure out if the odds have any value and place a wager if they do. Here is a quick look at the line.
'Will the Kentucky Wildcats finish the 2014-15 NCAA basketball season undefeated (no losses in regular or post season)?'
The Wildcats have stared 4-0 in conference play and are ranked No. 1 the nation in both the Coaches and AP polls, but most importantly, the team has already navigated the toughest portion of its schedule. Kentucky has produced wins against then No. 5 Kansas, No. 6 Texas, No.21 North Carolina and No. 4 Louisville. At this point, there isn't a game on the schedule where the Wildcats will be expected to lose or even be a small favorite. The easy schedule, however, does not mean the team will run the table-they still have a couple of tough matchups left to play-so let's take a look at a few possible games where Kentucky might finally lose.
February 7 at Florida : the Gators may be the most disappointing team in the nation with a 10-7 record at the moment. The team is struggling to score on the offensive end, which could cause the Wildcats to overlook an opponent with a championship-caliber coaching staff and undeniable talent on the court.
February 10: at LSU : the Tigers are sitting on a solid 13-4 record at the moment and may be the most underrated team in the nation. LSU can score points and grab rebounds, a trait that makes this group deceptively solid. Expect the Tigers to enter this conference game with a chip on its shoulders and something to prove.
Will Kentucky Go Undefeated
The Wildcats have a shot at entering the NCAA Tournament without a loss on its record-the team is that good and its remaining schedule that easy. However, navigating a single-elimination tournament is an entirely different matter simply because the team would have to win a national title, which is something easier said than done. Taking the 'no' on an undefeated season is the smartest play to make, but the -400 price might be something bettors would rather skip. If you are a Kentucky fan and want to make the rest of the season a bit more exciting, then taking the 'yes' does have some entertainment value if nothing else.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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