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Picks, prediction for Providence vs. Kentucky in First Round of 2023 NCAA Tournament

We go over the odds and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook for Providence vs. Kentucky in the First Round of 2023 March Madness.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament Quarterfinals - Providence vs Connecticut Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 11 Providence Friars take on the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The game will air on CBS at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, March 17.

No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Providence picks

Spread: Kentucky -3.5
Over/Under: 144.5
Moneyline: Kentucky -190, Providence +160

Kentucky had an interesting end to their season, somewhat defined by two losses to Vanderbilt. But we can’t forget about their second-half comeback this year. After a shaky start, the Wildcats climbed to third place in the SEC standings at 28th overall at KenPom. Led by Oscar Tshiebwe, this team may be underestimated or overlooked after how they started the year, but the Wildcats are fourth in the nation in offensive rebounding and 14th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Providence put up a respectable performance in the Big East this season but ended on a whimper, losing their final two regular-season games and their first tournament game. The Friars are a solid tournament team under Ed Cooley, but they haven’t beaten a quality opponent in over a month. The Friars rank 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency and score 78.1 points per game (38th in the nation).

Pick: Kentucky -3.5

Providence isn’t in a good place at this point in the season, and won’t have a match for Kentucky on the boards, though they rank 26th in the nation in offensive rebounding. Tshiebwe will be the difference this game and will get enough put-backs to cover the spread.