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The Kentucky Wildcats are 22.5-point favorites to beat the Abilene Christian Wildcats according to the best betting websites. UK finished the season with a 27-6 (15-3 in SEC play) straight-up record. And a 17-16 against the spread, per the best online sportsbooks. Kentucky is coming off a 78-82 loss to Tennessee in the SEC semifinals as 1.5-point favorites. ACU recorded 27 wins and six losses in the season (14-4 in Southland play). They defeated New Orleans 77-60 in the Southland tournament final as 4.5-point chalk. This will be Abilene Christian’s first NCAA tourney appearance at the Division I level. And they’re here to stay. At least according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel.

“After mighty Abilene Christian slays John Calipari and his merry band of NBA bums from Kentucky, America will know and acknowledge the fighting Christians are the best team not just in West Texas, but all of Texas. Maybe America,” Engel writes, in what can only be his submission to The Onion. And I thought Christians were supposed to be humble.

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Abilene Christian Wildcats Odds

    • Date: Thursday March 21, 2019
    • Time: 7:10 PM (EDT)
    • Venue: Jacksonville Memorial Veterans Arena Jacksonville, Florida
    • Odds from MyBookie.eu:
Kentucky+22 (-110)132 (-110) +2500
Abilene Christian-22 (-110)132 (-110)-5000
Bet Now on this Game

Betting Kentucky

The Wildcats had the 23rd toughest schedule in the country, compared to ACU’s 335th. I guess we can chalk that up to divine intervention. UK scores 76.7 points and allows 65.4 per game. Kentucky shoots 52.7% from the field and grabs 38.5 rebounds per game. According to the best betting websites, UK is 7-2 SU and 3-6 ATS in its last nine games. They have won those seven games by a margin of 12.4 points per game. They also are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. And 3-1-2 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games. As well as 19-9-2 ATS in their last 30 neutral-court games and 1-5 ATS in their last six overall.

UK is protected from upsets because of head coach John Calipari’s “penchant for fielding teams with players of unusual length at most positions.” Which “has made UK an unusually bad match up for programs from conferences down the college hoops food chain.” Or so theorizes Mark Story of the Lexington Herald Leader.

Betting Abilene Christian

ACU averages 71.7 points per game and concedes 64.9 points per contest. The Wildcats shoot 49.8% from the floor and collects 32 rebounds per game. Abilene Christian is 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games, winning by an average margin of 15 points. Also, 5-1 ATS in their last six overall. And 4-1 ATS in the last five following a straight-up win. Additionally, ACU is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games. And 9-4 ATS in their last 13 following an ATS win.

“I think it’s awesome,” ACU head coach Joe Golding said of playing Kentucky. “The first time we’re ever going to the tournament, to play one of the blue bloods, one of the best there is. It’s just an incredible opportunity for our kids, our university. We’re going to get a ton of exposure just because we’re playing Kentucky. We’re playing one of the best coaches of all time, a Hall of Famer, the best players in the country. So, what a great opportunity for our guys.”

Pick: “Ignore those idiots who set the betting lines,” Engel added. Okay, now it’s personal, bro. What should be clear to even a nearsighted Christian, is that Kentucky is simply superior all across the board. And on the boards too, as UK’s rebounding dominance is notorious. All things considered, and barring a miracle, those “idiots” at the best betting websites will be proven right this Thursday.