Auburn Vs. Kentucky Predictions | March Madness Expert Picks | Elite 8
5 Auburn Tigers Vs. 2 Kentucky Wildcats Betting Preview
Auburn just destroyed a marquee College Basketball name on Friday. The Tigers have a great chance to do the same over another on Sunday when they take on Kentucky in the March Madness Elite Eight round. This is not new. The Tigers have been rolling for a while, but their absolute domination over the North Carolina in the 97-80 was a performance for the ages. Auburn covered the spread as a 5.5 point underdog by winning outright.
The upset was the first loss of any of the number one seeds in the tournament. It also was a shooting master class from the Tigers who shot 17 of 37 from three-point land and outplayed the Tar Heels 56-41 in the second half. Six players out of the Auburn lineup had over double-digits in scoring, including three coming off the bench. They all were led by the 20 points and 11 rebounds from sophomore Chuma Okeke. Here’s where it gets tricky for Auburn. Okeke suffered a knee injury against NC and is unlikely to see the court again during the tournament. Without him, the Tigers lose a player who averages 12.0 points per game and leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 every night.
Kentucky barely held the Houston Cougars to win and advance with a 62-58 on Friday night. The Wildcats covered as a 2-point favorite with a late three-pointer from Tyler Herro. The tournament played by Kentucky has been very good but not quite as impressive as other teams. In fact, from all the big time schools, we talked about the Wildcats in a minor scale, for sure. If you check out the odds at MyBookie.ag, the Wildcats are +1000 to win the tournament. At this stage, other big schools like Duke, Virginia and even Gonzaga have a quarter of the value. This should tell you the oddsmakers are not giving Kentucky much of a chance to win the tournament, with just a 9% probability take the title home.
However, Kentucky is the clear cut favorite to win and advance in this matchup against Auburn. After seeing what the Tigers did to UNC is hard to believe they are the underdogs by 4.5-points. But the loss of playmaker Chuma Okeke is the main reason for this betting line. The betting odds at MyBookie.ag opened with Kentucky as a 3-point favorite, but after seeing the extent of the injury, the line moved up to 4.5-points. I’m willing to say by the time of the tip-off the Wildcats will be a 4-point favorite.
If you have already decided to make your play on the Tigers, then take them now and take advantage of that half of a point that’s still on the board. What teams don’t realize before facing Auburn is how fast pace this team is. North Carolina was gassed by the end of their meeting on Friday Night. Kentucky should suffer the same consequences. What’s the play? Auburn +4.5
Spread: Kentucky -4.5
Game total: 135.5
Date: Sunday, March 31, 2019
Game time: 1:20 PM ET
Venue: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
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