Western Kentucky vs Kentucky Picks and Predictions: Battle of the Bluegrass State

Kentucky hosts cross-state rivals Western Kentucky on short notice after Louisville withdrew. We expect a fun game that will ultimately lean in the Wildcats' favor as they're too strong for the Hilltoppers to conquer. See our betting picks for more.

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2021 9:40 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Oscar Tshiebwe Kentucky Wildcats College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats will welcome the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to Rupp Arena for an exciting ESPN matchup at 6 p.m. ET. 

Tonight’s game was supposed to be a big rivalry game between Louisville and Kentucky. However, Louisville had to postpone their game against Kentucky, and ultimately got replaced by the Hilltoppers. It’s still a great game with value to be found and money to be made. 

Here are our free college basketball betting picks and predictions for an exciting battle between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Kentucky Wildcats. 

Western Kentucky vs Kentucky odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Kentucky opened as a 10.5-point favorite and is now all over the place at sports betting markets. You can find the Wildcats at -10, -10.5, or -11 right now. So please shop around!

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Western Kentucky vs Kentucky predictions

Predictions made on 12/22/2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Western Kentucky vs Kentucky game info

Location: Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, Lexington, KY
Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Tip-off: 6:00 p.m. ET

Western Kentucky at Kentucky betting preview


Western Kentucky: Zion Harmon G (Out), Keith Williams G (Out).
Kentucky: CJ Fredrick G (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Hilltoppers are 1-4 against the spread in their last 5 games following an ATS win. Find more NCAA betting trends for Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky.

Western Kentucky vs Kentucky picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Kentucky is 8-2 and coming off one of the greatest wins in college basketball this season where it beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 98-69 as a short favorite. 

With a game at home against Western Kentucky, the Wildcats are in great shape. The offense has an effective field goal percentage of 53.3% while turning the ball over just 16.8% of the time. 

Of course, Kentucky dominates the offensive glass, earning 45.1% offensive rebounds on the year. The Wildcats will struggle to get to the line a little bit, and threes haven’t been falling, but ultimately, second chances will be there and Kentucky is still shooting 55.3% from inside the arc.

Western Kentucky has held opponents to a 16.2 free throw attempted to field goal attempt ratio, which is the best in the nation. If Western Kentucky wants to win this game, they’ll surely have to keep Kentucky off the foul line.

Offensively, the Hilltoppers shoot an effective field goal percentage of 53% while turning the ball over 21.1% of the time. The Hilltoppers don’t do anything at an elite level but they do everything at an above-average level. Western Kentucky shoots 34.3% from downtown while also shooting 53.9% from inside the arc. 

Those numbers are great, but Kentucky has held opponents to 28.4% from long range and 45.5% from inside the arc, so the Hilltoppers may see a dip in their production against a superior team. 

Prediction: Kentucky -10 (-110)

Both teams rank within the Top-100 in offensive adjusted efficiency. Kentucky won’t get to the line very often, but the Wildcats will move at a fast pace and earn plenty of second chances. 

Meanwhile, Western Kentucky also likes to run its offense quickly and has above-average numbers across the board. Even if the Hilltoppers don’t shoot close to their current average, I like this game to get over the total with both teams playing at a rapid pace. 

Prediction: Over 143.5 (-110)

Kentucky is scoring 82.1 points per game while allowing just 62.2. This should be a fun, in-state game between two teams that love to run and get down the court quickly. 

However, only one team will dominate the glass and only one team should be able to shoot at a high percentage in this game. That's clearly the Wildcats.

Pick: Kentucky -10 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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