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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Betting Tips / NCAA Tournament First Round Oakland vs Kentucky Wildcats: Odds, Tips and Predictions 03/21/24

NCAA Tournament First Round Oakland vs Kentucky Wildcats: Odds, Tips and Predictions 03/21/24

Basketball Betting Tips Β· - Β·

Publish Date: 03/20/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

This game seems like a mismatch on paper, but Oakland is an experienced, well-coached team that plays a good non-conference schedule. UK will look to play uptempo, and if Oakland can slow the game down and shoot the ball well, they will have a legit shot to win this game.

Odds Oakland vs Kentucky

  • Point Spread: Kentucky -13.5
  • Moneyline Oakland +720
  • Moneyline Kentucky -1200
  • Over/Under 162.5

These odds were updated at 9 pm EST on 03/20/24; the odds came from Draft Kings.

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Our Best Pick: Oakland to Win

I’m curious to see the reaction in Lexington as they head into this year’s NCAA Tournament. Their Wildcats have struggled mightily over recent seasons and Coach Cal would likely face criticism if his team does not advance beyond the Elite Eight. They have a bracket set up to make a Final Four run and getting out of the first weekend is the key, if they escape week one they may well be headed to the Final Four.

Recently, Kentucky fell short in a tournament setting. They lost to Texas A&M as 8-point favorites at the SEC Tournament. Kentucky’s many young players may prove vulnerable against an opponent that has nothing to lose.

Oakland earned their way into the tournament by winning the Horizon League Tournament. Led by Greg Kampe, one of the longest-serving coaches in sports, Oakland brings experience and has seen everything there is to know.

Oakland knows Kentucky will try and run on them as they do with every opponent they face. Oakland may score, but should it get into an all-out track meet with Kentucky it may well be over before it even begins.

Oakland will likely try to set the tempo on offense while restricting Kentucky in transition. Rocket Watts is an elite scorer and could cause Kentucky problems at any point during a shot clock if he can consistently score at the end of it. Call me crazy but Oakland wins this game. This game makes our list of likely first-round March madness upsets!

Prediction: Oakland 79Β  Kentucky 71

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet Oakland to Win
  • Rocket Watts is legit
  • UK wants to push pass
  • Oakland experienced team
–
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Oakland vs Kentucky Moneyline

If you are betting on the UK, it has to be on the money line, as no value exists on a straight-up win bet. Oakland is +720, and if you want to roll the dice, a pathway does exist where Oakland could pull off the upset. I believe this will be the upset of the tournament.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet Oakland Money Line
  • Oakland control tempo
  • Oakland money line great value
  • Best Moneyline bet would be Oakland
–
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Oakland vs Kentucky Over/Under Analysis

The key is who controls the tempo. If Oakland slows the game down the game goes under, if Kentucky gets out in transition the game will become a blowout. I look for Oakland to control the game with a veteran team and solid coaching, bet the under.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet the Under 162.5
  • Slow pace
  • Oakland veteran team
  • Kentucky is a young team
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Β 

Oakland vs Kentucky Spread Analysis

This spread is about right to me. Oakland is a good team with experience and great leadership. Kentucky is by far the more athletic team, but will they be able to get out in transition. Oakland I repeat wins this game.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet Oakland +13.5
  • Oakland will win
  • Good value betting spread on Oakland
  • Game will be played in the 70s
–
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Β 

Oakland vs Kentucky Player Props

Reed Sheppard 3+ Made Three Pointers (+136)

Reed Sheppard led Kentucky Wildcats regulars in three-point percentage, hitting from deep at 52.5%. He made at least three triples in three of five games last week against SEC competition – and this feat included making three threes against Kentucky in his home state!

He won’t face an SEC team this time; rather, Oakland was 288th in three-point rate allowed and faces him directly.

Bettors hoping for this game to go over its total will find value in placing bets of at least +136 on Sheppard attempting at least three three-pointers during this game.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bet Reed Sheppard 3+ Three-Pointers
  • Sheppard 3+ 3’s in 3 of last 5 games
  • Best shooter on the floor
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Oakland vs Kentucky Head to Head

This will be the first time the teams have played.

Injuries and Suspensions

Oakland Injury Report

  • I. Jones- Game Time decision

Kentucky Injury Report

  • No injuries to report

Β 

Conclusion

Kentucky should win the game, but Oakland is a veteran team with an excellent coach that can control the tempo and stay relatively close in this game. In the end Kentucky should win but they wont.

Β 

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