The No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats will look to secure their 49th regular-season SEC title on Saturday when they take on the No. 15 Auburn Tigers. The Wildcats (23-5, 13-2), who are 15-1 at home, would snag the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament with a win, while the Tigers (24-4, 11-4), who are 4-4 on the road, could pull within a game of Kentucky in the SEC standings with a victory. The Tigers have won nine of their last 11 games.
The game, which will be televised by CBS, is at 3:45 p.m. ET from Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. The Wildcats are seven-point favorites in the latest Auburn vs. Kentucky odds, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 139. Be sure to see the SportsLine Projection Model's college basketball predictions before laying any Kentucky vs. Auburn picks down.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has crushed its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread the past three years, returning $2,770 to $100 players. It also entered Week 17 of the 2019-20 season on a 66-40 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anybody who followed it has seen some huge returns.
- Kentucky vs. Auburn spread: Kentucky -7
- Kentucky vs. Auburn over-under: 139 points
- Kentucky vs. Auburn money line: Auburn +249, Kentucky -311
- AUB: Is fifth in the nation in total rebounds at 41.1
- UK: Is third in the country in free-throw percentage at 79.3
Why Kentucky can cover
Kentucky has dominated the Tigers all-time in Lexington, winning 48 of 50 games and 18 in a row. Overall, the Wildcats have beaten Auburn in 21 of the last 25 meetings. Kentucky, which is averaging 74.6 points per game, has the 33rd-best scoring margin in the nation at plus-9.2, and has a 328-76 (.812) mark under coach John Calipari, now in his 11th season at the school.
Junior forward Nick Richards leads the Wildcats in rebounds (7.9) and blocks (2.2) per game, and is averaging 13.9 points. His 65.8 field-goal percentage is third nationally, and he has posted 10 double-doubles. He is a two-time national and SEC Player of the Week and is on the Naismith Trophy midseason watch list.
Why Auburn can cover
Even so, the Wildcats aren't a lock to cover the Kentucky vs. Auburn spread. That's because Auburn has been red hot and has secured its 12th 20-win season in school history and has now recorded three straight 24-win seasons for the first time. Auburn's 35 wins over the last two-plus seasons is higher than the team's total over the previous seven seasons (34 from 2011-17).
The Tigers have been led in scoring by senior guard Samir Doughty, who is averaging 16.1 points. He has nine 20-point games this season after having just two in his career prior. Over the last 11 games, Doughty is averaging 18.5 points, all in double figures, including a 14-point performance in a win over Mississippi on Tuesday. He also averages four rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
How to make Kentucky vs. Auburn picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total. In fact, it says Kentucky's Nate Sestina will score nearly two points more than his average, while Auburn's Jamal Johnson will better his by one point. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in nearly 60 percent of simulations.
So who wins Auburn vs. Kentucky? And which side of the spread cashes in nearly 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Kentucky vs. Auburn spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $2,700 on its college basketball picks the last three years, and find out.