Kentucky-Notre Dame Opens SEC/Big East Challenge

By: Willie Bee | Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kentucky Wildcats at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
College Basketball Betting Preview
11/29/2012 at 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Pick'em, O/U 134
(click for latest college basketball odds)
Television: ESPN2

Kentucky Wildcats: Just like a year ago when the Wildcats (4-1 straight-up, 0-3 against the spread) were a solid fade early on, the defending national champs have gotten off to a slow start at the betting window again this season. Kentucky has not faced much competition since a loss to Duke on Nov. 13 and needed a 31-14 scoring edge at the free-throw line to get past Morehead State just before the Thanksgiving break, eventually winning 81-70 as a 23½-point favorite.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Coach Mike Brey and the Irish (6-1 SU, 1-3-1 ATS) have won four straight since their lone defeat to Saint Joseph's in overtime, but they are getting by with a very thin roster that has seen just six players perform in all seven games to this point. Senior Jack Cooley is averaging a double-double (14.3 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game) for Notre Dame, but he could use some help from outside shooters Pat Connaughton and Cameron Biedscheid, who are a combined 22-of-66 (33 percent) from 3-point range.

Marquette Golden Eagles at Florida Gators
College Basketball Betting Preview
11/29/2012 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Florida -10, O/U 136½
(click for latest college basketball odds)
Television: ESPN2

Marquette Golden Eagles: The second SEC/Big East Challenge on Thursday's broadcast schedule finds Buzz Williams' squad (5-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) in Gainesville against the Gators. Marquette's lone loss came on a buzzer-beater to Butler in last week's Maui Invitational, and the Eagles bounced back with wins and covers over Mississippi State and USC to finish fifth in the tournament. All four of Marquette's lined games this season have gone "over" the total.

Florida Gators: Billy Donovan and the Gators (5-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) will enjoy their sixth consecutive home game before heading out on the road to face Florida State and Arizona. In the Gators' biggest test so far, they destroyed Wisconsin on Nov. 14 by a 74-56 count to easily cover the 6-point spread. Florida ranks second in the country, allowing just 48.4 points per game, and has limited opponents to 33.7 percent shooting from the field (9th).

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