Two of the top teams in the SEC will square off on Saturday afternoon in Auburn, Alabama. The Auburn Tigers will host the Kentucky Wildcats in a battle of top-15 teams. Both the Tigers and Wildcats have dreams of winning the SEC this season, but the loser of this game will suffer their second loss in conference play.
Auburn brings a 13-3 record into this game, and they have won two of their first three SEC matchups this season. The Tigers have proven the ability to hang with the best teams in the country, but lack the consistency needed to be great. Kentucky is off to a 3-1 start in conference play, and are also 13-3 overall. The Wildcats have won three straight games after losing their SEC opener. Auburn is -4.5 over Kentucky in this SEC battle.
Auburn Can Score Points in a Hurry
The Auburn Tigers love to get up and down the court, and they can put up points in a hurry. Auburn is averaging 84.5 points per game this season, but they are capable of lighting up the scoreboard for much more. The Tigers have scored at least 90 points six different times this season, and their offense will carry them deep into the NCAA Tournament. Auburn can also play some defense as well, allowing just 66.5 points per game.
Senior guard Bryce Brown is having a terrific season for Auburn, averaging 16.2 points per game. Brown is an elite three-point shooter, making close to 40 percent of his three-point attempts. Jared Harper and Austin Wiley are the only other Tigers averaging double figures, but head coach Bruce Pearl has a ton of depth on his team. Auburn should be able to put up some points at home against a young Kentucky team.
Kentucky Freshmen Growing Up
The young Kentucky Wildcats had plenty of growing pains early in the season, but they are starting to play much better of late. Kentucky is outscoring opponents by more than 23 points a game this season, and they are solid on both ends of the floor. The Wildcats have an efficient offense, making almost 50 percent of their field goal attempts. This will be a tough road matchup for Kentucky, but they have the talent to do it.
Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro are the two young Kentucky players that have stepped up their game as the season has gone on. Herro was heralded as one of the top shooters in the country in the preseason and is finally shooting above 32 percent from the three-point line. Herro is pouring in 13.1 points per game, second to only Keldon Johnson. Johnson leads the team with 14.6 points and is shooting better than 50 percent from the field. The Wildcats have several other options, but these two players are leading the way.
Tigers Blow Out Wildcats
Kentucky has won three straight games, but they still aren’t playing up to their potential. They don’t play with enough consistency to really trust them, especially against a quality conference opponent on the road. The Auburn Tigers have been largely overlooked all season long, but they can really play. Look for the Tigers to use their home crowd to earn a blowout win over the Wildcats. Bet Auburn -4.5 over Kentucky in this game.