- Michigan and Kentucky meet in a heavyweight clash in London, England Sunday, December 4.
- No. 19 Kentucky is a 9-point favorite over the Wolverines at the O2 Arena.
- Read below for Kentucky vs Michigan odds, preview and prediction
No. 19 Kentucky (5-2) is a 9-point favorite over Michigan in a meeting of perennial powers at 1 pm ET Sunday in London’s O2 Arena on ABC/ESPN+. The Wildcats have won two in a row since an 88-74 loss at Gonzaga on Nov. 20.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in London in 2020 but was postponed because of COVID-19.
Michigan (5-2) has lost two of its last four games. The Wolverines were blown out by Arizona State 87-62 in the championship game of the Legends Classic in Brooklyn on Nov. 17 and lost at home to Virginia 70-68 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge the last time out on Tuesday.
Kentucky vs Michigan Odds
|Kentucky Wildcats||-9 (-110)||-435||Over 143.5 (-110)|
|Michigan Wolverines||+9 (-110)||+350||Under 143.5 (-110)|
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook on December 3rd
Kentucky is a nine point favorite over Michigan in the first game in Europe for both programs. The Wildcats have won five of the previous seven in the series, the last a 75-72 victory over the Wolverines as a 2.5-point underdog in the 2014 NCAA Elite Eight. UConn beat Kentucky in the national championship game that year.
Kentucky is 4-3 ATS this season, failing to cover in losses to Michigan State as a seven-point favorite and Gonzaga as a four-point underdog. The Wildcats have been over the total in four games but under in the last two. Michigan is 3-4 ATS, covering as a four-point underdog against Virginia after failing to cover the previous three.
Kentucky Struggling Since Loss to Gonzaga
Kentucky has scrambled to find an offensive rhythm since an 88-72 loss to Gonzaga on November 4th. That game was played in the Spokane Arena instead of the Bulldogs’ campus venue at Kentucky coach John Calipari’s insistence.
The Wildcats shot 39.1 percent from the field in that loss. They made only 41.5 percent of their shots in a 60-41 victory over Bellarmine on Tuesday. They are shooting 46.5 percent from the field on the season.
Last night at the @BUKnightsMBB v. @KentuckyMBB, @jerseymikes Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe (No. 3️⃣4️⃣) makes a swift pass to Sahvir Wheeler (No. 2️⃣), who makes a perfect 3 point shot✅🔥
What a play‼️ pic.twitter.com/ST7OT6WStW
— The Naismith Trophy (@NaismithTrophy) November 30, 2022
Returning national player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe is averaging a double-double at 14.4 points 13.4 rebounds per game. He had 20/15 against Gonzaga, but he needs help.
Illinois State transfer guard Antonio Reeves (14.9 points) is one of five Wildcats averaging in double figures after scoring 20.1 points per game with the Redbirds last season. Reeves has scored 38 points with seven three-pointers while starting the last two games. He gives the Wildcats a perimeter threat while shooting 46.9 percent from distance.
Wildcats forward Jacob Toppin had a career-high 16 points against Gonzaga. He followed that with a career-high 20 in a 96-56 victory over North Florida. He had 12 against Bellarmine. Point guard Sahvir Wheeler is sixth in Division I with 7.3 assists per game, but teams have learned to sag off him because of his 39.5 shooting percentage.
Michigan Looking Past Loss to Virginia
Michigan scored 45 points in the first half to take an 11-point lead against Virginia before losing in the final minute. That was the Wolverines’ only game against a ranked opponent this season.
Preseason All-American Hunter Dickinson had 23 points against the Cavaliers and is averaging 19.1 points and 9.1 rebounds while shooting 58.7 percent from the field. Freshman Jett Howard is the only other consistent offensive contributor (15.1 points and 3.0 threes per game, 50.7 shooting from the floor).
Howard is coach Juwan Howard’s son.
UVA won so it shouldn’t matter anymore but I’m still in awe of this sequence. And it wasn’t like this was his first offense of the game. pic.twitter.com/xmBjCOpikv
— EmbraceThePace (@EmbracePaceUVA) November 30, 2022
No other Michigan starter is shooting better than 38.5 percent from the floor as the Wolverines search for more options in their seven-man rotation. Sophomore Kobe Bufkin (9.4 points, 2.9 assists) had 11 points against Virginia but is shooting only 38.1 percent.
Kentucky vs Michigan Prediction
The game features an intriguing matchup between big men with different skill sets.
Michigan’s Dickinson is a physical offensive force who uses his left hand effectively and can also step out on the perimeter, although he has not shown much of that yet this season. Tshiebwe is a physical rebounding presence with limited offensive range who can struggle against length.
Both teams are looking for complimentary players to step up, and Kentucky might have found one in Reeves.
Pick: Michigan +9 (-110)
Season CBK: 6-3 ATS