Providence Friars vs. Kentucky Wildcats 3/17 Free Pick, NCAAB Odds, NCAAB Predictions

Providence Friars (21-11) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (21-11)

Game Info: Friday, March 17, 2022 at 7:10 p.m. EST (Greensboro Coliseum)

Betting Odds: Kentucky (-4) / Over/Under (144.5)

Pick: Providence (+4)

The Friday night lights bring us an enticing matchup between two squads with identical records when the Providence Friars and Kentucky Wildcats meet up inside the Greensboro Coliseum. 

Providence has disappointed big time of late. After starting the season off with a 20-7 record, they have dropped 4 out of their last 5 games (1-4 ATS in that stretch). Luckily for them, they were still able to clinch a spot in college basketball's pinnacle tournament. Although they have failed to put their best ball on the court over the past month, they still have the capability to cause madness in March. This should be an interesting battle to watch as the Friar's leading scorer, Bryce Hopkins, played his Freshman year with the Kentucky Wildcats last season before transferring to Providence over the Summer. He is averaging 16.1 PTS and 8.5 REB on the year but has struggled mightily in his last 4 games, only putting in 43 points over that span. Head Coach Ed Cooley will need to delve up a better plan against the SEC powerhouse if he has plans in having his team advance into the next round. 

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Kentucky has put its fanbase on a rollercoaster over this campaign. After starting off the season as the #4 ranked team in the country, they fell off of a cliff for the bulk of the middle of the season, but then recently elevated their game once again. Head Coach John Calipari gets all of the plaudits year in and year out, but he has not been able to deliver on the biggest stage in quite a while now. His team may benefit from coming into March Madness as a 6-seed though as it takes a good bit of the pressure off of them. Double-double machine Oscar Tshiebwe has been the star man from the start of the year for the Wildcats, but I expect their destiny to fall in Senior transfer-guard, Antonio Reeves hands. He has been a key cog in the Wildcats' lineup over the past 4 games and has shown a tremendous ability to drill it from deep when his team needs it most. Having scored 20+ points in 3 out of his last 4 games, he will look to continue on that stellar run come Friday night against the Friars. 

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Kentucky is 0-5 ATS when playing at a neutral site

- The Wildcats are 1-6 ATS when playing on 4+ days of rest

- Providence went 18-13 ATS in the regular season 

The Friars have looked disorganized recently, but I sense the tides will turn in this one. Kentucky has been an up-and-down squad all season long that will carry over into this clash. They have not been able to cover the spread in any of their 5 previous games played at neutral sites and come Friday night, that number will extend to 6 games. Give me Hopkins to showcase to the Wildcats what they are missing in his best efforts to keep this one close down to the wire. 

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