Kentucky vs. Tennessee odds, line: 2019 SEC Tournament picks, top predictions from expert on 25-15 run
SportsLine's Michael Rusk is on a hot streak with his college basketball picks.
It's been a wild season in the SEC with Kentucky, Tennessee and LSU locked in a three-way battle for the regular-season title all year long. Entering the 2019 SEC Tournament as the top three seeds, it seemed as if they might be on a collision course again. However, with LSU knocked out in the quarterfinals, only Kentucky and Tennessee remain, and the squads will go head-to-head in an SEC Tournament semifinal matchup on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Nashville with a potential No. 1 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament on the line. The sides split their season series, with each team blowing out the other in their own home building. Now they meet on a neutral floor and the Wildcats are 1.5-point favorites with the total at 141.5 in the latest Kentucky vs. Tennessee odds. But before you make any 2019 SEC Tournament predictions, be sure to check out the Kentucky vs. Tennessee picks from SportsLine guru Michael Rusk.
Rusk built his name by exploiting flaws in public betting. With his economics and statistics background, Rusk uses multiple algorithms pooling with recency bias to produce profitable picks. That's exactly what "The Prodigy" has been doing recently with his strong 25-15 run on his college basketball picks. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now rusk has evaluated Kentucky vs. Tennessee and locked in a strong pick only at SportsLine. Entering Saturday's matchup, one big potential advantage for the Volunteers should come from Jordan Bone at point guard.
Bone has quietly put up one of the best seasons for a point guard in the nation, averaging 13.4 points and 6.2 assists per game while improving his field-goal percentage from 39.1 last season to 47.2 this season. And Kentucky has had serious issues defending Bone both times they faced him.
In the Kentucky win at Rupp Arena, Bone was Tennessee's most dynamic threat offensively. He shot 8-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the 3-point line for 19 points and handed out six assists in a game where Tennessee struggled otherwise offensively. In the rematch at Thompson-Boling Arena, Bone shot 11-of-15 from the floor and hit all five of his 3-point attempts on his way to a game-high 27 points. If Kentucky can't find an answer for Bone on Saturday, it will be problematic, just as it was in that 71-52 final in Knoxville.
But just because the Volunteers owned the Wildcats last time out doesn't mean they'll cover the Kentucky vs. Tennessee spread in the 2019 SEC Tournament semifinals.
Besides flipping home floors, the one big difference between the first contest and the second contest between these teams was that Kentucky forward Reid Travis was out with a knee injury. Travis had 11 points and eight rebounds in the first meeting, with three of those boards coming on the offensive glass, an area where Kentucky dominated.
The powerful forward returned to the lineup against Alabama in the SEC quarterfinals and wasted little time making an impact off the bench. He had eight points, seven rebounds and blocked three shots in 23 minutes.
We can tell you Rusk is leaning over, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He has identified a critical X-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Who wins Tennessee vs. Kentucky? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Tennessee vs. Kentucky spread you should be all over, all from the expert on a strong 25-15 run on his college basketball picks.
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