The No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats look to stay perfect when they host the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Friday. The Wildcats (1-0), who beat top-ranked Michigan State 69-62 on Tuesday, are 12-0 all-time vs. the Colonels (1-0), who opened their season with a 79-68 victory over Chattanooga. Tip-off from Rupp Arena in Lexington is set for 7 p.m. ET, and Kentucky won the last meeting between the schools, 88-67, on Dec. 9, 2015. The Wildcats are 29.5-point favorites in the latest Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 151. Before making any Kentucky vs. EKU picks, see the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has crushed its top-rated against-the-spread college basketball picks the past three years, returning $2,770 to $100 players. It began the 2019-20 season hitting 60 percent of its top-rated spread selections.
Now the model has dialed in on Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky. We can tell you it's leaning under, but it's also generated an extremely strong against the spread pick that hits in 70 percent of simulations. That one is available exclusively at SportsLine.
The model knows the Wildcats have dominated unranked non-conference opponents through the years, and a victory over Eastern Kentucky would be their 52nd straight against them. Kentucky is also looking to improve to 103-14 in home openers, which would mark the ninth time in 11 seasons under coach John Calipari the Wildcats would be 2-0. It would also be Kentucky's 11th straight home-opening win.
Freshman guard Tyrese Maxey had a spectacular debut on Tuesday night against top-ranked Michigan State, coming off the bench to score 26 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including three 3-pointers. He became Kentucky's first freshman to score 20 or more points against a No. 1 team.
But just because the Wildcats started fast with a win over Michigan State does not guarantee they will cover the Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky spread on Friday.
That's because EKU has also gotten into the win column this season, using a 46-30 second-half surge to pull away from Chattanooga. The Colonels can put up points and were ranked 13th in the nation last season at 82.6 per game. Eastern Kentucky also ranked second nationally at 10.2 steals and 18.2 turnovers forced per game. Jomaru Brown finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference with 60 steals last season, breaking the Colonels' record for steals by a freshman.
Offensively, Eastern Kentucky was led by sophomore Houston King and redshirt junior Darius Hicks, who transferred from North Carolina State, in the win over Chattanooga. King scored a career-high 19 points and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range, while Hicks played his first game in nearly two years and responded with his first collegiate double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
So who wins Eastern Kentucky vs. Kentucky? And which side of the spread can you bank on in 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the EKU vs. Kentucky spread to jump on Friday, all from the advanced model that is up more than $2,700 on its college basketball picks the last three years, and find out.