The No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats host the Southern University Jaguars on Tuesday in the inaugural game in the Unity Series at Rupp Arena in Lexington. The Wildcats (6-1) will face a team from the SWAC each of the next five seasons as part of a series to raise awareness and funds for HBCUs. First up is Southern, a team coached by former Wildcats star Sean Woods. The Jaguars (3-5) won two in a row before a 79-62 loss to Akron on Saturday, while the Wildcats have won six straight since losing their opener to Duke. Their most recent game was last Monday, an 85-57 victory against Central Michigan. This is UK's final tune-up before games against Notre Dame, Ohio State and Louisville leading into the SEC slate.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Wildcats as 30-point favorites in its latest Kentucky vs. Southern odds, and the over-under for total points scored is 147.5. Before locking in any Southern vs. Kentucky picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
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 $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Kentucky vs. Southern spread: Wildcats -30
- Kentucky vs. Southern over-under: 147.5 points
- Southern: It is 6-3 ATS in its past nine against ranked opponents.
- Kentucky: It is 12-15 ATS in nonconference games since 2019.
Why Kentucky can cover
Kentucky has been dominant since losing to Duke 79-71 to start the season. Forward Oscar Tshiebwe, a West Virginia transfer, has been leading the way. He leads the nation in rebounding (16 per game) and scoring 14.1 points. The Wildcats lead Division I in rebounding (46.6 per contest) and rebounding margin (plus-19), while Southern gets just 31.4 (324th) and is outrebounded by six per contest (327th). The Jaguars don't have the size to deal with the 6-foot-9, 255-pound Tshiebwe, who shoots better than 63 percent (T-26 in the nation).
TyTy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler also play major roles for the Wildcats, who are 3-3 against the spread as home favorites. Washington scores a team-high 14.9 points while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range (10 of 25), and Wheeler leads the nation with 8.7 assists. Kellan Grady is the main 3-point threat, hitting 13 of 31 attempts (41.9 percent), while forward Keion Brooks (13.3 points, 5.2 rebounds) brings leadership. Opponents are shooting 46.4 percent (317th in the nation) and averaging 73.5 points (292nd) vs. the Jaguars.
Why Southern can cover
Woods was part of the UK team that reached the Elite Eight at the 1992 NCAA Tournament. He hit the go-ahead shot in overtime against Duke before Christian Laettner's legendary game-winner sent the Blue Devils to the Final Four. The UK Athletic Hall of Famer has built winning teams at Mississippi Valley State and Morehead State and has talent to work with. SWAC Freshman of the Year Terrell Williams is off to a slow start but shot better than 45 percent from 3-point range last season. He is one of five players averaging more than eight points.
Williams also gets a team-high 1.8 steals as the Jaguars average 10.4 steals (T-11 in nation) and force 19.7 turnovers per game (T-6). They will harass the Wildcats and try to force mistakes, and UK turns it over 12.6 times per contest (T-125th). Guard Tyrone Lyons, a transfer from North Carolina A&T, leads the team at 14.3 points per game and has been efficient from outside, making 11 of his 19 three-point attempts (57.9 percent). Brion Whitley averages 13.5 points and is the main sharpshooter, hitting 21 of 51 tries (40.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
How to make Southern vs. Kentucky picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting 144 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can get the pick only at SportsLine.
So who wins Kentucky vs. Southern? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned over $2,200 on its college basketball picks the last five-plus years, and find out.