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Picks, predictions for Tennessee vs. Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 3

The Vols take on the Wildcats in a top-10 matchup on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers take on the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats in a high-ranking SEC matchup on Saturday, February 3. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET from Lexington, and the game will air on ESPN.

Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.

Tennessee vs. Kentucky odds

Spread: Tennessee -1.5
Over/Under: 159
Moneyline: Tennessee -122, Underdog +102

Tennessee (15-5, 5-2 SEC) ranks sixth overall at KenPom and second in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Vols’ defense is top-tier — they hold opponents to 37.5% shooting, ranking second in the nation behind only Houston. The Vols have notched wins over Alabama, Illinois, and Wisconsin this season. However, they enter this matchup fresh off a shocking home loss to South Carolina. The Vols struggled to connect from the three-point line against the Gamecocks.

Dalton Knecht leads the team in scoring with 20.1 points per game. The scoring depth is not there for Tennessee — Knecht is one of just two players averaging in double digits in the scoring column. But the tough defense makes up for the lack of scorers — at least, most of the time. Tennessee has fallen to UNC, Kansas, and Purdue this season.

Kentucky (15-5, 5-3 SEC) lost to Florida, 94-91, in their most recent game. The Wildcats have now dropped two of their last three with a loss to South Carolina mixed in at the end of January. Their biggest win this season came against UNC, but they haven’t faced many currently ranked teams.

The Wildcats rank 23rd at KenPom and 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Where Tennessee lacks scoring depth, Kentucky abounds in it. All five starters average in the double digits, with Antonio Reeves leading the way with 19.5 points per game. Kentucky averages 88.7 points per game, ranking third in the nation, at a 48.9% clip, ranking 14th in the nation.

The Pick: Kentucky +1.5

The headlining matchup here is the Kentucky offense vs. the Tennessee defense. While the Vols’ defense will be able to contain the Wildcats’ fast-paced, efficient attack to an extent, I like the home team to cover here. Tennessee can only do so much against Kentucky’s starting five, and it may be challenging for them to match that offensive efficiency on the other side of the court, particularly on the road.