Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#719 Georgia Tech vs.
#720 Kentucky
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 5:00pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#719 Georgia Institute of Technology
#720 University of Kentucky
4-3
7-1
19-13
19-17-1
13-19
13-24
65
75
66
64

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: December 14, 2019, Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY, 5:00 PM ET

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fryer for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday when traveling to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. After getting absolutely dismantled in a 97-63 loss to Syracuse, they’ll be tasked with facing the No. 8 team in the country on the road. The Wildcats, on the other hand, have won their last five straight games since their shocking loss to Evansville in mid-November. They are coming off an 83-52 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson.

Yellow Jackets get embarrassed at home

There’s nothing like a good old fashioned ramrodding in front of your home fans.

You can rest assured that Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner had plenty to say to his team after they were trampled by Syracuse 97-63.

Leave it to the football gods to have a road meeting against Kentucky next up on the itinerary.

Syracuse is merely decent offensively, and they still managed to drop 97 points on the Yellow Jackets. Kentucky is averaging a 48.8 field goal shooting percentage at home and 78.9 total points. That should be terrifying for a Georgia Tech defense that has actually played well for most of the season. They are ranked 15th in the league in allowed field goal shooting percentage (36.8).

We’ll learn quickly if what happened against to Syracuse was merely a huge slip-up or if Georgia Tech’s defense doesn’t have it.

The biggest problem for the Yellow Jackets will be on the offensive end of the floor against a Kentucky defense that ranks 12th in the nation. Michael Devoe has to lead the way for Georgia Tech and make the sort of plays that raises the overall confidence of the entire team. Nothing short of a perfect performance would have a shot at leading them to a victory on Saturday.

Wildcats look for sixth straight victory

The Wildcats have been rolling since their upset loss to Evansville. Granted, they aren’t necessarily facing any elite teams in the country, but they are getting a few wins under their belt to help put that ugly loss in the rearview. Last Saturday’s 83-52 win over FDU was their fifth consecutive victory.

They’ll be looking for a sixth win in Saturday’s match-up against the Yellow Jackets.

It would behoove Kentucky not to underestimate Georgia Tech’s defensive prowess. There’s a good chance that not even the Wildcats will get as hot from the floor as Syracuse did against the Yellow Jackets. But they are certainly capable of doing some serious damage.

Unlike Georgia Tech, Kentucky has a multitude of guys averaging in double scoring figures to contribute on offense in Nick Richards, Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans.

The ability to play two-way basketball is a big reason why the Wildcats are so good. Along with being efficient on offense, they also have one of the country’s top-15 defenses. Opposing teams are only averaging 35.6 percent shooting against them so far this season, which is the fourth-best in the country. That’s bad news for Georgia Tech’s struggling defense.

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Georgia Tech’s struggling offense is void of the firepower necessary to put up much of a fight against Kentucky’s suffocating defense. The Wildcats aren’t likely to go off for 14-made baskets from 3-point range like the Orange, but they have a myriad of scoring options to pile points on the board.

I’m not confident in the Yellow Jackets keeping up once that starts happening.

Outside of Devoe, Moses Wright and James Banks III, there is an immediate nosedive inconsistent offensive production. It’s the reason why the Yellow Jackets are ranked 281st in defense with opposing teams averaging 65.8 points per game against them when they’re on the road. They are struggling to knock down shots, and they rank in the bottom-half of the country in turnovers.

Georgia Tech simply isn’t equipped to compete offensively at this level against a dominant team like the Wildcats. They have shooters all over the floor, along with a decent bench to continuously spark the reserve units. I’m laying the points and taking the Wildcats.

Prediction: Kentucky Wildcats (-15)

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Georgia Tech showed some serious weaknesses in their blowout loss to Syracuse. Not only did they turn the ball over 19 times, but Syracuse shot 50.9 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent from long distance. Kentucky has a far more efficient offense than Syracuse, and they also have a plethora of guys that can get buckets.

It’s no better time than the present to take advantage of a Yellow Jackets defense that has to be reeling coming off such a lopsided loss. On the offensive end of the floor, they’ll put up enough points to help the Wildcats reach the over, even if it doesn’t lead to winning.

Prediction: Over (137)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.