Edwards has plays on side and total for Ole Miss at Kentucky

Edwards has plays on side and total for Ole Miss at Kentucky

As of late Tuesday morning, most betting shops had Kentucky (16-7 straight up, 13-10 against the spread) installed as an 8.5-point home favorite for tonight’s SEC showdown vs. Ole Miss. The total was 161.5 points, and the Rebels were +310 to +330 on the money line.

Tip-off on ESPN is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

Ole Miss (18-5 SU, 13-10 ATS) is only 3-4 both SU and ATS in seven road games, but it has covered the number in back-to-back road assignments. The Rebels won outright at Texas A&M as eight-point road underdogs on Jan. 27 and lost 68-65 at South Carolina as a 3.5-point road ‘dogs last Tuesday.

They’ve had an entire week to rest and prepare since last Wednesday’s loss to the Gamecocks, so the spot favors Chris Beard’s team tonight at Rupp Arena.

Kentucky (16-7 SU, 13-10 ATS) is 11-4 SU and 7-8 ATS in 15 home games. However, John Calipari’s team has lost outright in three consecutive home games vs. Florida (94-91 in overtime), vs. Tennessee (103-92) and vs. Gonzaga (89-85).

Regardless of the venue, the Wildcats are 2-4 both SU and ATS in their last six games. UK’s Tre Mitchell and DJ Wagner have both missed three of the team’s last four games due to knee and ankle injuries, respectively.

Mitchell has missed back-to-back contests and is listed as ‘questionable’ tonight. He averages 12.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 blocked shots and 0.9 steals per game.

Wagner (11.5 PPG, 3.6 APG & 1.1 SPG) missed three straight games until returning for Saturday’s loss vs. Gonzaga. He wasn’t himself in 14 minutes of playing time, going 1-of-4 from the field and 1-of-2 at the free-throw line.

Wagner, who averages 27.6 minutes per game, finished with three points, one assist and one steal. He’s expected to play tonight.

Since Nov. 28, Ole Miss is 13-5 both SU and ATS.

PREDICTION: Ole Miss +8.5 for one unit. 

The ‘over’ has hit in four straight outings for Kentucky and is on an 18-3 run in its last 21 contests. UK’s last four games have produced combined scores of 185, 195, 186 and 174 points.

The Wildcats have scored at least 85 points in 12 of their last 14 games. They’re ranked #1 nationally in 3-point accuracy (41.0%), #3 in scoring (89.5 points per game), #17 in field-goal percentage (49.1%) and #51 in free-throw percentage (75.1%).

KenPom has Kentucky ranked #5 in the country in offensive efficiency, #17 in pace, #3 in turnover percentage and #9 in effective FG percentage. The ‘Cats are ranked #125 in defensive efficiency.

The ‘over’ has cashed at a 12-8 clip for Ole Miss in its last 20 games. This is the Rebels’ highest total of the season, but the ‘over’ easily cashed in their game that had the highest previous total. That was a 103-85 home win over Florida when the 188 combined points went way North of the 157-point tally.

When they had a total of 151 points in an 89-80 loss at LSU, the 169 combined points soared ‘over.’ The ‘over’ has gone 4-2 in the six games when Ole Miss has had its highest totals of the year (147.5 points or more).

PREDICTION: ‘OVER’ 161.5 points for 0.5 units.