Wofford Terriers vs. Kentucky Wildcats Pick
Wofford Terriers (30-4 SU, 21-11 ATS) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (28-6 SU, 18-16 ATS)
When: Saturday, March 23, 2019 – 2:40 p.m. ET
Where: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
Point Spread: WOFF +5.5 / UK -5.5 (MyBookie Sportsbook)
Total: O/U 138.5
Last Time Out: Wofford beat Seton Hall 84-68 in their Round of 64 game; Kentucky beat Abilene Christian 79-44 in their Round of 64 game
Scouting the Terriers:
The Terriers come in as the hottest team in the tournament, now having won 21-games in a row. After a back and forth battle with Seton Hall, the Terriers went on a 17 to 2 run to close out the game an advance to the round of 32. They may have passed the first test in the tournament, but a second-round match with Kentucky stands in their way of a Sweet 16 berth.
Scouting the Wildcats:
The Wildcats were basically on cruise control as they demolished their first-round opponent, Abilene Christian. The Wildcats were without PJ Washington, which certainly did not hurt them on Thursday, but with the leading scorer also already out for the second-round game, it remains to be seen how Kentucky will adjust against the red-hot Terriers.
Notable Betting Trends:
Along with their 21-game win streak, the Terriers have also covered the spread in 8 consecutive games and 9 of the last 10. As for Kentucky, they have really struggled to cover down the stretch, going 4-6 against the spread in their previous 10 games and 2-5 in their last 7 games. The Terriers have only been an underdog between 5 and 7 points once this year but managed to cover. As for Kentucky, they are 2-3 when they are favored by 5 to 7 points.
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Who will step up in place of PJ Washington? Washington is the leading scorer for this Kentucky team, so the biggest and most important question is who is going to fill his role. Travis Reid should be an early favorite as he plays a similar position to Washington and pounds the glass inside. Reid had 18 points in the opening game, but remember Wofford is miles better than Abilene Christian iso it is entirely possible he will have a much tougher time.
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Wofford will Cover if:
Fletcher Magee comes out red hot. There is no question that Fletcher Magee is a special player with how he played on Thursday night. The Senior broke the record for most three-pointers made in the history of division one basketball and did so against solid Power 5 team. He even was knocking down shots from NBA range or “Curry” range as it has known to be called. Magee shoots the long ball at 43.3% and went 7 of 12 from three on Thursday night. Even if Magee struggles at the start of the game, the Terriers have more than enough shooters to keep them in the game with Kentucky. When a team shoots 13 of 28 from long distance, it probably will keep them in almost any game, but the Terriers success will start and end with the play of their star shooter.
Kentucky will Cover if:
They control the boards and limit turnovers. Kentucky is a much bigger team than the Terriers; therefore they cannot allow Wofford to take advantage of second-chance points or even fast break points for that matter. Surely the Wildcats saw the performance the Terriers put on against Seton Hall, so they know when Wofford goes on a fast break, they could be lethal from long range. The Wildcats are 5th in the country in rebounds allowed per game and limit teams to just 27 boards on average. However, Wofford also does a fantastic job at limiting rebounds as they are 3rd in this category and limit their opponents to 26.9 boards. Albeit Wofford has not played a talented team like this Kentucky squad, so the Cats should have a slight advantage in the low post.
Matt’s Pick for Wofford vs. Kentucky:
This has the makings of an excellent basketball game. On one side we have the Kentucky Wildcats, who have “been there done that” and then we have the smaller Wofford Terriers, who are a much better shooting team and have one of the best shooters in the entire tournament. Somehow, someway I feel the loss of PJ Washington will mean trouble for this Kentucky team. Fletcher Magee has been too good this year, and his shooting keeps the upset-minded Terriers in this game. My pick is Terriers and the points in this game.