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Miami vs Kentucky Picks, Predictions & Odds (Nov. 28)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Nov 28, 2023 · 7:41 AM PST

Miami Hurricanes forward Norchad Omier celebrates a basket
Nov 6, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami (Fl) Hurricanes forward Norchad Omier (15) reacts to his team scoring in transition against the N.J.I.T Highlanders in the second half at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
  • A heavyweight matchup between Miami and Kentucky is on Tuesday’s college basketball schedule
  • Coming off a Final Four run and perfect this season, Miami still finds itself a big underdog in Lexington
  • See the Miami vs Kentucky odds, predictions, and expert picks for Nov. 28

The undefeated #8 Miami Hurricanes (5-0, 0-0 away, 4-1 ATS) put their perfect record on the line in Lexington tonight when they visit the #12 Kentucky Wildcats (5-1, 5-0 home, 3-3 ATS) at Rupp Arena at 7:30 pm ET.

Kentucky, a perfect 5-0 at home, is a sizable home favorite for Tuesday’s game, which will be broadcast on ESPN.

Miami Hurricanes vs Kentucky Wildcats Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Miami Hurricanes +6.0 (-110) +205 O 164.0 (-110)
Kentucky Wildcats -6.0 (-110) -250 U 164.0 (-110)

Kentucky is listed as a six-point home favorite in Tuesday’s college basketball odds and -250 on the moneyline. Miami is a +205 road underdog to improve to 6-0 on the season. The total is sitting at 164, the second-highest of the 30-plus NCAAM games on today’s schedule.

 

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Kentucky (+1586) remains a top-five favorite in the odds to win March Madness while Miami (+3900) is just outside the top ten. Though they haven’t reached the Final Four since 2015, John Calipari’s team is a short +425 in the current Final Four odds. The Hurricanes are +1000 to reach their second straight (and second ever).

Miami Stays Strong Without Wong, Miller

The Hurricanes’ run to the Final Four last season was led by two players who are now in the NBA: the Pacers’ Isaiah Wong (16.2 PPG, 3.2 APG), who led the team in scoring and assists, and the Clippers’ Jordan Miller (15.3 PPG, 2.7 APG), who was second on the team in both categories.

But there is still a ton of continuity on the Miami roster, especially for a team that’s coming off such a successful season. Each of their other top-six scorers are back, while Jim Larranaga added Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland, who was the leading scorer on a bad Seminole team last season (13.8 PPG). Cleveland has fit seamlessly into Miami’s starting five, averaging 16.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 2.4 APG, while 6’5 junior guard Wooga Poplar (18.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG) is emerging as a true go-to scorer.

With 6’7 junior Norchad Omier (15.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG) dominating the post and junior point guard Nijel Pack (16.0 PPG, 4.0 APG) running the point, Miami has a level of depth, balance, and experience that most college coaches can only dream of.

Miami’s first five opponents haven’t been a murderer’s row of competition, but they have faced three teams inside KenPom’s top 100 (#41 Kansas State, #78 UCF, and #82 Georgia) and won all three by at least eight points.

YouTube video

Miami’s only ATS loss this season came in an 86-80 victory over #227 Florida International as 23-point home favorites. The Hurricanes incomprehensibly allowed FIU to go on a 28-3 run that spanned halftime. But after falling behind 53-44, Miami wen on a 23-2 run of its own and cruised to victory.

Kentucky Rebounds After Blowing Lead Against Kansas

John Calipari’s 2023-24 team showed both its insanely high talent level and its youth in an 89-84 loss to Kansas in the Champions Classic back on Nov. 14. The Wildcats erased an early 8-0 deficit and took a 48-41 lead into halftime against the #1 team in the nation (at the time).

They stretched their lead to 14 early in the second half (58-44) but their offense went cold down the stretch and their defense had no answer for Hunter Dickinson, who finished with 27 points and a ludicrous 21 rebounds against an undersized Wildcats lineup.

YouTube video

Despite putting up 84 points, Kentucky shot just 32.9% from the field (25-of-76) in a game that featured 66 free-throw attempts (30 for Kentucky, 36 for Kansas).

Throughout this season, UK’s offense has shown a proclivity for the three ball that it hasn’t shown in years. The Wildcats are launching 29 threes per game (174 in six games), compared to just 16.9 last season. They are also hitting at a way higher clip (42.8%, up from just 30.0% last year).

Aside from Kansas, the Wildcats haven’t faced a team rated higher than 116th at KenPom (Saint Joseph’s). That game was less than encouraging as UK needed OT to earn a 96-88 win over the A10’s Hawks. With Kentucky’s three best big men either injured or ineligible (Aaron Bradshaw, Zvonimir Ivisic, and Ugonna Onyenso), rebounding has been an issue. The team sits 258th in the nation in offensive rebound percentage (26.3%), and a 42-37 edge on the glass is one of the reasons Saint Joe’s was able to keep it close, despite UK shooting 51.6% from the field.

Miami vs Kentucky Prediction

Kentucky’s inability to slow Dickinson in the post was the main reason they couldn’t finish off Kansas. Miami doesn’t have a post player with the same size or talent. That said, Ochier is a beast on the boards (9.2 RPG) and Miami has the athletes to keep up with UK’s frenetic pace.

Miami finished last season rated 24th at KenPom, but were dropped to 45th at the start of this season due to losing Wong and Miller. They have risen back up to 36th during their 5-0 start, and that still undervalues the talent and experience on Jim Larranaga’s roster. Their #8 ranking in the AP Poll is a more accurate reflection of this team’s true strength, and I’ll take Miami +6 in hostile territory.

Miami vs Kentucky pick: Miami +6 (-110)

Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NCAAM betting record:

  • ATS: 6-5 (+0.46 units)
  •  Player props: 1-0 (+0.87 units)

All wagers one unit unless expressly stated otherwise. 

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