No. 2 seed Kentucky will try to avoid a huge upset when it faces No. 15 seed St. Peter's in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday evening. The Wildcats are coming off a 69-62 loss to Tennessee in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. Saint Peter's is riding a seven-game winning streak after cutting down the nets in the MAAC Tournament on Saturday.
Tipoff is set for 7:10 p.m. ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Wildcats as 18-point favorites in the latest Kentucky vs. Saint Peter's odds. The total for points scored is set at 132. Before entering any Saint Peter's vs. Kentucky picks, you'll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $1,700 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Kentucky vs. Saint Peter's spread: Kentucky -18
- Kentucky vs. Saint Peter's over-under: 132 points
What you need to know about Kentucky
Kentucky is the type of team that can easily cover a large spread. The Wildcats want to push the ball in transition, and they have one of the best offenses in college basketball. They are going to overwhelm Saint Peter's with height and athleticism on Thursday and Kentucky ranks fourth nationally in offensive rebounding.
The Wildcats have gone 5-1-1 against the spread in their seven games following a loss this season. Saint Peter's struggled against quality teams in non-conference play, losing to St. John's by 21 points and to Providence by 14 points. Kentucky will be the best team that the Peacocks have faced this season.
What you need to know about Saint Peter's
Saint Peter's got off to a terrible start this season, going 3-6 through its first nine games. The Peacocks were able to round into form down the stretch, winning four straight games to close the regular season. They picked up a pair of double-digit wins over Fairfield and Quinnipiac in the MAAC Tournament before getting past Monmouth in the title game.
This will be the first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011 for Saint Peter's. Junior guard Daryl Banks III leads the team with 11.0 points per game, while senior forward KC Ndefo is adding 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds. The Peacocks have covered the spread in 11 of their last 13 neutral site games.
How to make Kentucky vs. Saint Peter's picks
The model is leaning over on the total, and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Kentucky vs. Saint Peter's? And which side covers over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks.