Outside of the Big 12, the SEC has been the strongest conference in college basketball this season.
Kentucky typically dominates the SEC, but this year they have some competition. There are five SEC teams that are nationally ranked in the AP Top 25; Alabama (24), Arkansas (18), Tennessee (17), Kentucky (6), and Auburn (3).
Two of them will meet at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday as Arkansas hosts Kentucky in an inter-conference matchup. The Wildcats are the higher-ranked team, but the Razorbacks will test them at home in their lone regular-season meeting.
Can Kentucky add another impressive road win to their resume? Or will Arkansas upset one of the favorites to win the national title?
Please note that college basketball odds have not yet been released for this game as of 4 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 25.
Kentucky vs Arkansas Predictions
After slogging through an uncharacteristic losing campaign last year, the Wildcats have returned to form this season under John Calipari.
With a 25-6 overall record (including 12-3 in conference play), UK is one of the top teams in the nation and will likely be a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament based on our March Madness predictions. They have the third-best adjusted offensive efficiency in the country and the 20th-best adjusted defensive efficiency.
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Unfortunately for Kentucky, Arkansas is also having a great season. The Razorbacks are 22-6 overall (11-4 in conference play) and have won 12 of their last 13 games, with their lone loss coming by just one point against Alabama.
Arkansas has rounded into form after a slow start and has quietly been one of the best teams in the country since mid-January. Their defense is a big reason why, as they have the 14th-best adjusted defensive efficiency in the nation.
This game is going to be a big test for both sides. The Wildcats have the better offense, but the Razorbacks have the superior defense.
If this game were being played in Kentucky, Arkansas would be at least a seven-point underdog. But with the Razorbacks enjoying home-court advantage, they have a plausible chance of winning on Saturday.
Bud Walton Arena is the eighth-largest arena in the country and according to KenPom, Arkansas has a 3.9-point edge there. Accordingly, I believe the Razorbacks will pull off the upset at home, or at least keep the score close.
Arkansas vs Kentucky Prediction: Arkansas 77, Kentucky 75
Kentucky vs Arkansas Best Bets
Best Bet: Arkansas if +2.5 or better
Wager: 1 Unit
Kentucky deserves to be favored based on their track record, but beating Arkansas on the road is no easy task. The Wildcats have also struggled occasionally on the road, as their last four losses have all come away from home.
This will likely end up turning into an up-tempo shootout, but I believe the Razorbacks will be competitive the whole game. They’ll look to start strong against their conference rivals and the crowd will keep them in it.
Kentucky will be Arkansas’ toughest opponent so far this season, but I have faith in the Razorbacks to either win outright or stay within one possession. Give me Arkansas to cover the spread for our CBB bet of the day.