- Kentucky’s first NCAA Tournament game since 2019 comes in Indianapolis against Saint Peter’s Thursday night (7:10 pm ET)
- This is the fourth Big Dance for the Peacocks
- See the Kentucky vs Saint Peter’s odds and how to wager on Thursday’s NCAA Tournament game
While Kentucky (26-7, 15-18 against the spread) may be a two-seed in the bracket, they are among the favorites in the most recent NCAA Tournament title odds to cut down the nets in New Orleans. The Wildcats open their pursuit of a ring Thursday night against the East Region’s #15 seed, St. Peter’s (19-11, 20-9 ATS).
Kentucky vs Saint Peter’s Odds
|Kentucky||-2500||-17.5 (-110)||O 132 (-109)|
|Saint Peter’s||+1200||+17.5 (-110)||U 132 (-112)|
Odds as of March 16 at Barstool Sportsbook.
The Cats opened up as a 17.5-point favorite, in a contest that has a total of 132. Tip-off is set for 7:10pm ET at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. CBS has television coverage.
Kentucky has not won the NCAA championship since knocking off Kansas in the Big Easy a decade ago, but they also haven’t lost in the first round since 2008. That was before John Calipari took over, during the ill-fated Billy Gillispie era in Lexington.
Winning and losing is fine, but covering is more profitable. The Peacocks are among the best in the country at cashing. Let’s break down the match-up.
Kentucky Wildcats Betting Analysis
The March Madness bracket is a living and evolving document. Wildcat fans want to see their team written down six more times, inked in as champions at the Superdome.
Kentucky has two likely lottery picks on their roster, and potentially three first round selections. Updated Wooden Award odds indicate Oscar Tshiebwe is now a pretty heavy favorite to be named Play of the Year.
The Cats lost to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament Semifinals. Tshiebwe was in foul trouble almost the entire game, and UK made only two of 20 three point tries in a 69-62 setback. They won single digits games against Ole Miss, Florida, and Vanderbilt before the loss to the Vols.
Thanks largely to Tshiebwe, who leads the country in double-doubles and rebounds, Kentucky is the best team in the NCAA on the glass. They also are an excellent passing team, that shoots at a very high percentage, and scores nearly 80 points a game.
Survive and advance ☑️
Highlights from UK-Vandy 🎥 pic.twitter.com/RQeRV7iVM9
— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 12, 2022
UK’s success against the spread in first round NCAA games is mixed during their last six dances, since last cutting down the nets. They have three blowout victories, and three single digit wins. As a number two seed in 2019 they rolled Abilene Christian 79-44. However, as a two in 2017 they fought Northern Kentucky to a 79-70 triumph.
Saint Peter’s Peacocks Betting Analysis
This is the fourth trip to the Big Dance for Saint Peter’s. They are 0-3 thus far and things are trending in the wrong direction. In 1991 they lost to Texas 73-65, in 1995 they faced Calipari when he was at UMass and dropped a 68-51 decision, and in 2011 Purdue blew out the Peacocks 65-43.
Saint Peter’s won the MAAC Tournament, after finishing second behind Rick Pitino’s Iona Gaels during the regular season. They are riding a seven game winning streak, five of which were double digit games. The Peacocks beat Monmouth 60-54 to earn the berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Shaheem Holloway’s team is built on defense. They are fifth in the NCAA limiting opponents to 38.3% from the floor, they yield under 30% from the three point line, and give up just 61.8 points a game. On the flip side, they are foul and turnover prone, and manage less than 67 points a night.
Kentucky vs St. Peter’s Pick
If St. Peter’s is going to be in the game, they need to limit possessions. Kentucky isn’t exactly the fastest tempo team in the country, and when the Cats score it is far more often inside the arc or at the free throw line than from deep. The Peacocks have covered at a better percentage than every other team in the bracket. They can do so again.
Pick: Saint Peter’s (+17.5)
Other March Madness Content
First Round (Thursday) Game Previews
- Michigan vs Colorado State Odds and Picks (12:15 pm ET)
- Providence vs South Dakota State Picks and Odds (12:40 pm ET)
- Memphis vs Boise State Odds, Lines and Spread (1:45 pm ET)
- Norfolk State vs Baylor Odds and Picks (2:00 pm ET)
- Longwood vs Tennessee Picks and Odds (2:45 pm ET)
- Richmond vs Iowa Odds, Lines, and Spread (3:10 pm ET)
- Gonzaga vs Georgia State Odds (4:15 pm ET)
- Marquette vs UNC Picks and Odds (4:30 pm ET)
- New Mexico State vs UConn Odds, Lines, and Spread (6:50 pm ET)
- Indiana vs Saint Mary’s Picks and Odds (7:20 pm ET)
- Creighton vs San Diego State Odds, Lines, and Spread (7:27 pm ET)
- Vermont vs Arkansas Odds and Picks (9:20 pm ET)
- San Francisco vs Murray State Picks and Odds (9:40 pm ET)
- Akron vs UCLA Odds, Lines, and Spread (9:50 pm ET)
- Texas Southern vs Kansas Odds and Picks (9:57 pm ET)
- East Region Odds — Baylor Earns Top Seed, Kentucky Favored
- Midwest Region Odds See Kansas Favored Over Auburn, Iowa and Wisconsin
- South Region Odds: Arizona +110 Favorites, Tennessee & Houston Sleepers
- West Regional Odds: Gonzaga Odds-On Favorite to Reach Final Four