College basketball odds and betting picks for Tuesday (2/15)


The 2021-22 college basketball season is in full swing, and conference play provides matchups between the top teams in the country. Below is my analysis and favorite bets for Tuesday’s slate.


Tennessee vs. Kentucky

(Line: Tennessee -1, DraftKings Sportsbook)

What a season we could be looking at for Kentucky if the injury bug hadn’t hit them during the most inopportune times. The Wildcats have two road losses in SEC play where they competed to the end despite significant injuries. In their road loss to LSU, point guard Sahvir Wheeler went down within the first few minutes with a head injury while freshman phenom TyTy Washington was unable to finish the game due to cramps. In their road loss to Auburn, it was Washington again who went down in the first half with an injury. What could be an unblemished conference record if not for bad injury luck, Kentucky now gets another huge SEC road matchup and will yet again be down Washington in a hostile environment. Kentucky steamrolled the Vols in their first matchup of the season to the tune of 1.47 points per possession and shooting 71% from the field behind Washington’s huge 28-point night. I think it’s safe to say Kentucky won’t shoot the same way in this matchup and especially being down Washington I do think Tennessee has some matchups they can exploit that can lead to a much different result.

Tennessee has been playing much better basketball of late (winners of seven of their last eight). Most noticeable is their offense has finally hit a groove behind improved floor spacing and more consistent minutes for Josiah Jordan-James and Zakai Ziegler. The two things you need to limit Kentucky in are on the glass (trying to stop Oscar Tshiebwe is almost impossible) and in transition. The Vols have been pretty stout defensively (sixth nationally) over the last few years (see their win over Arizona) under Rick Barnes, especially on the interior, and actually did a decent job on Oscar in the first matchup despite the blowout. John Fulkerson was highly criticized after the last game against Kentucky and expect him to retain form and have a much better performance in this one. The loss of Washington for Kentucky cannot be understated, and I think the biggest hit comes to their transition attack where they demolished Tennessee earlier in the year. Knoxville should be extremely loud for this rematch and with the Vols’ improving offense going up against a shorthanded Kentucky team, I think we see Tennessee controlling this one.

The Pick: Tennessee -1

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