Kentucky vs Providence March Madness Odds: Wildcats Primed For Upset?

Kentucky Wildcats, Providence Friars Both Slumping Heading Into the NCAA Tournament

Providence’s Top Scorer Hopkins Ready For Reunion Against Kentucky

Both Kentucky and Providence will look to rebound from early exits from their respective conference tournaments.

When it comes to the Kentucky vs Providence March Madness betting guide, there will be plenty of attention focused on Providence’s top scorer Bryce Hopkins going against the team that he played for as a freshman. However, that is just one of the story angles to keep an eye on.

Kentucky’s two wins over Tennessee took the Wildcats off the bubble while Providence’s win over Big East champion Marquette had to look good to the selection committee.

Kentucky: Last Rodeo For Big Man?

It has been quite the last two seasons for Oscar Tshiebwe since he transferred from Wake Forest to Kentucky.

Tshiebwe has 19 double-doubles this season after having 28 of them in his first season with the Wildcats. He is going to be a handful for a Providence team whose top rebounder is the 6-foot-7 Hopkins. That is a key factor in the Kentucky vs Providence March Madness betting guide.

Kentucky is 41st out of the 68 tournament teams in defensive efficiency, according to the database so keep that in mind when looking at the odds to win March Madness.

How They Got Here

Kentucky began the season as a top-10 ranked team before dropping non-conference games against Gonzaga, Michigan State and UCLA and then falling to Missouri to kick off SEC play.

Back-to-back losses to Arkansas and Georgia had Kentucky’s NCAA tournament hopes on life support. A pair of wins over Tennessee could have been season-saving performances.

The Wildcats were knocked out of the SEC tournament by Vanderbilt and that didn’t help Kentucky’s March Madness seed.

Senior Jacob Toppin has made a major jump while Illinois State transfer Antonio Reeves and freshman Cason Wallace have made immediate contributions.

Kentucky has covered against the college basketball betting lines in five of its last seven games.

How Far Will They Go

It’s hard to know what to expect from this Kentucky team. The Wildcats could go out of the tournament on Friday night or make some noise in the East Region bracket.

There is plenty of experience on this Kentucky squad and that should come into play once the tournament starts.

Kentucky is priced at +4000 to win the national title and that is a little different from many of John Calipari’s teams heading into the tournament.

Providence: Friars Hoping to Play Bracket Buster

It could be argued that other than the Big 12 that there is not a more top-heavy conference than the Big East. Facing Marquette, Creighton, UConn and Xavier gave the Friars some challenging conference games to contend with. That could make Providence a popular upset pick when it comes to the Kentucky vs Providence March Madness betting guide.

Three of Providence’s top four scorers began their collegiate careers playing in the SEC as Devin Carter played at South Carolina as a freshman and Noah Locke spent his first three seasons at Florida.

Providence comes into the tournament on a three-game losing streak with two of those losses coming to NCAA tournament teams.

The Friars went 2-1 in overtime games and 5-5 in games being decided by six points or less. They are 1-4 against the spread over the last five games.

How They Got Here

Providence lost in the quarterfinals in the Big East tournament after ending the regular season by dropping back-to-back home games. That resulted in Providence falling to a No. 11 seed.

The Friars own wins over Creighton, UConn and Marquette and proved that they can play with anybody. The non-conference schedule was nothing special, however.

Providence is second in the Big East in rebounding margin. It could be challenging to keep those numbers up against Tshiebwe and the Wildcats’ frontcourt.

Six of the last seven games played by Providence went over the NCAA basketball odds total.

How Far Will They Go

Providence has a tough matchup after a late-season slide. While Kentucky isn’t playing with a ton of confidence, it remains to be seen how the Friars deal with Tshiebwe inside.

If Providence finds a way to knock off the Wildcats, a trip to the regionals and perhaps even further is a possibility.

Handicapping the Game

Kentucky has missed point guard Sahvir Wheeler as he has been sidelined since early February. Providence is in better shape from an injury department.

When looking at the college basketball point spreads, the 4-point line is an indication of the way Kentucky played in March. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)

Providence is 18-14 against the spread this season. Kentucky is just 15-17. The Wildcats 17-8 when listed as the favorite while Providence has dropped eight of the 12 games as the underdog.
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