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Davidson Wildcats vs. Kentucky Wildcats Odds, March Madness Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2018

ST LOUIS, MO - MARCH 11:  Kevin Knox #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats dribbles the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the Championship game of the 2018 SEC Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center on March 11, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It's a battle of Wildcats when aptly named Davidson takes on Goliath Kentucky in a first-round NCAA tournament game on Thursday evening in Boise, Idaho.

Kentucky, obviously, is favored on the tournament betting lines, but does Davidson have the right rock for the job?

     

March Madness point spread: Kentucky opened as a six-point favorite; the total is at 143, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

March Madness betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 70.8-68.5, Kentucky (March Madness picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news. As well, download your printable March Madness bracket at OddsShark.

      

Why Davidson can cover the spread

Davidson only started 5-7 this season, although four of those losses came against NCAA tournament qualifiers Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and New Mexico State.

Davidson then went 13-5 in Atlantic 10 play, winning eight of its last 10 games. The Wildcats then won three games in three days, capped off by a 58-57 upset of top-seeded Rhode Island, to win the A-10 tournament and qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015.

The team is 11-2 SU and 10-3 ATS over its last 13 games. The Wildcats only shot 38 percent from the floor in that conference championship game against the Rams, but they held Rhode Island to 39 percent shooting. Davidson has now shot at least 50 percent from the floor in four of its last eight times out.

The Wildcats are also 4-6 SU and 5-5 ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament, and one of those losses came by one point, another in overtime.

Why Kentucky can cover the spread

These Wildcats started 12-2 this season, with the only losses coming against Kansas and UCLA. Kentucky later lost four games in a row in early February but finished with four wins in its last five games.

The Wildcats then won three games in three days, dispatching of a couple of hot outfits in Alabama and Tennessee, to win the SEC tournament and make the Big Dance for the fifth year in a row.

Kentucky shot 50 percent in that conference championship game against the Volunteers and 64 percent the day before against the Crimson Tide.

The Wildcats are 7-1 both SU and ATS over their last eight games. They're also 8-9 SU and 8-8-1 ATS in 17 games played against teams that made the NCAA tournament this season.

      

Smart betting pick

Both these teams are probably playing their best ball of this season right now. However, Kentucky is the more physically talented team, plays the better defense and does a better job on the boards. Smart money here bets UK.

       

March Madness betting trends

The total has gone over in seven of Kentucky's last eight games.

Kentucky is 7-1 SU and ATS in its last eight games.

Davidson is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 games on a Thursday.

     

All college basketball odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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