Kentucky vs. Texas A&M NCAA Basketball Preview and Best Bet

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Marcus Williams #1 of the Texas A&M Aggies. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP

Texas A&M remains undefeated in conference play after four straight wins against SEC foes. While the 4-0 record is impressive, only one was a blowout win. The lack of definitive wins on the schedule is why the 15-2 Aggies remain unranked this deep into the season.  

However, they have a chance for a statement win at home. They face the Kentucky Wildcats, one of the best teams in the country. Regardless of the margin of victory, a win would vault the Aggies into the top 25 in all likelihood. At the very least, it would prove that they are a true contender in the SEC. 

However, the Wildcats are an SEC frontrunner for a reason. They brought in loads of talent this offseason, and they’ve lived up to the hype so far. We’ll see if the success continues, but they are trending upward right now.  

Kentucky is favored by 7 points at the NCAAB odds board on Wednesday despite playing on the road. Is that a fair spread? Here are keys for each team to cover along with a college basketball pick for this game.  

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Texas A&M Aggies

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 – 8:30 PM EST at Reed Arena

Keys for Kentucky to Cover the Spread 

The Wildcats have five players averaging double digits in the scoring category this year, and that number could increase if Davion Mintz saw his role increase. This team has all sorts of weapons, and it’s been evident so far this season.  

The Wildcats distribute the ball evenly thanks to the dynamic duo of Sahvir Wheeler and TyTy Washington. These guards can score on their own, but they help set up the rest of the offense with elite passing. That level of distribution will be crucial against the Aggies. The Wildcats will need to swing the ball to keep Texas A&M scrambling defensively, and this will give them open looks.  

The Wildcats are the most efficient offense from three this year. With limited turnovers and adequate rebounding, this team can put up a barrage of points against the Aggies. At that point, it will be on the Aggies to keep up.  

Kentucky needs to stick to its script in this one. They win by efficient offensive play and disciplined defense. They don’t make their own mistakes, and they capitalize on opponents.   

Keys for Texas A&M to Cover the Spread 

First and foremost, Texas A&M needs to run Kentucky off the three-point line. This will be risky, but you can’t let them take comfortable shots from deep. They have to work the ball around and earn their buckets elsewhere.  

Marcus Williams needs to take command of the offense. He’s an adequate scorer, but he needs to have an elite performance. If he can attack the paint and kick out for open jumpers, the Aggies have a shot of keeping this one close.  

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The Aggies also need to dictate the pace of this game. Since they are at home, this should be easier to do. They can win with speed at certain times, but they’d rather slow the game down and milk the clock on each possession. If they remain patient and look for the easy shots, they should be able to keep Kentucky out of rhythm on the other end.  

The Aggies need to eliminate second-chance points for the Wildcats. They have low rebounding numbers, but that is partly because of their pace of play. They average -1 in the rebound margin in conference games, but they’ll need to win it against UK.  

What Is the Best Bet? 

Kentucky is the superior team on paper, but Texas A&M will bring its best at home. They have what it takes to slow the game down, and they are capable of keeping up offensively for most of this game. Kentucky should pull away late, but a slow start will make it hard to cover a 7-point spread.  

It’s hard to win on the road in the SEC. Superior teams lose on the road all the time in this conference. Crowds get loud, and traveling on a Wednesday can be tough. That’s why I’m expecting a sluggish start from the Wildcats.  

In a perfect environment, Kentucky would cover this spread. With the way this matchup plays out, picking the Aggies to cover makes the most sense.  

NCAAB Pick: Texas A&M +7.5 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review

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