March 13, 2016 (10:07 AM ET)
There is one pick today.
1: Take Texas A&M at +4 spread (buy half a point) against Kentucky for 3% of the bankroll.
For the last decade, the Kentucky Wildcats are a team that has been synonymous with collecting championships hardware. This season however, it appears there is another team who believe their time is now. The Texas A&M Aggies have a chance to do something that they have not managed to do in the last 30 years and that is take home a conference title of their own. The Aggies already managed to defeat the Wildcats this season with a stunning 79-77 overtime victory at College Station which gave them a share of the SEC regular season title. It had been 3 decades since the Aggies tasted a regular season title and now have a chance to add a conference tournament championship to their resume', which would be their first since 1987! This is a team that is motivated to bring a championship back to College Station and we believe they will do just that.
The Aggies have been peaking at the right moment and come into this contest having won 8 straight. In arguably their best performance of the season, the Aggies completely shutdown a talented LSU Tigers team in yesterday’s contest. Their defense was completely smothering as they held the Tigers to just 13 first half points. They were unstoppable on the glass, out-rebounding the Tigers 52-40 and had 6 blocked shots in the game. The Aggies work on the glass will be crucial for them in this contest as Kentucky is a team that thrives on offensive boards. In their most recent series meeting, the Aggies won the rebounding battle and held the Wildcats to just 6 offensive boards which helped them come away with a victory. It’s worth mentioning however that the Aggies victory likely should not have been as close as the final score indicated as they went just 14 of 24 from the charity stripe. We expect a much better effort from the line in this one.
There is no question that Kentucky is a talented team, however A&M is one of the few teams in the country that can actually match Kentucky's talent on the floor. They have a group of veterans who are currently playing with a chip on their shoulder and that has paid dividends this season. The Wildcats are a team that consistently has a target on their backs and are the benchmark that other teams / coaches use to compare themselves to, and as such, they always receive each team's best effort when they take the floor. While they have been unstoppable at Rupp Arena this season; they have shown that they struggle away from home. While this is a neutral court matchup, A&M has shown their ability to carry over their performances no matter what venue they compete in and that could certainly be the difference in this contest.
While many may look at the Aggies defeat of LSU and believe that was a rare defensive performance, they would be incorrect. The Aggies have an extremely underrated defense and have been holding their opponents to seasonal lows all year long. They have held 9 opponents to 60 or less points this season and 5 of those teams have been held under the 55 point mark! While Kentucky is too talented a team not to put points on the board, the Aggies can certainly make this difficult for the Wildcats. Along with offensive rebounds, Kentucky is a team that relies heavily on their guard play to penetrate the lane, create contact and get to the foul line. A&M has been a very disciplined team this season and tries to limit their opponents’ trips to the charity stripe. If the Aggies players can avoid the contact and force Kentucky to earn their points on the floor and not from the foul line, they will have a great chance at winning this game outright.
This has all of the makings to be the most entertaining game on the card this afternoon and we expect it to be a back and forth affair between two of the best teams in the conference. This will likely be the definition of a "championship game" and because of that, the points will likely become very precious at the end. Both teams are more than capable of winning this game outright and we expect this one to come right down to the wire. In closely contested games, the points have an extreme amount of value. We believe the Aggies will win this game outright, but even if they fall short, it should be by the slimmest of margins which will be enough to cover the spread.
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