The Auburn Tigers continue to make Charles Barkley happy after taking down the No. 1 seeds North Carolina Tar Heels in the Sweet 16 round. Now dancing their way to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1986, the Tigers will look to go further, but they will have to get past fellow SEC member Kentucky Wildcats, who are very familiar to Auburn’s style of play — and vice versa.
Betting Preview for the Auburn Tigers vs Kentucky Wildcats Elite 8 College Basketball Game on March 31 2019
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville
When: Sunday, March 31, 2019
TV Broadcast: TBS
Betting on the Auburn Tigers (29-9 Overall / 11-7 Conference)
What an amazing March Madness it has been fo the Tigers so far. After a shaky win in the first round over the New Mexico State Aggies, Auburn has defeated the Kansas Jayhawks and now, the North Carolina Tar Heels — the first No. 1 seed to fall in the tournament. The Tigers matched up so well with North Carolina. Auburn played on a pace so relentless and fast even the Tar Heels had trouble keeping up with it. Auburn also punished the Tar Heels with its outside shooting that has continued to flourish this month. The Tigers knocked down 17 3-pointers on 37 attempts for an incredible 45.9 percent shooting from distance. Over their last three games, the Tigers have drilled 12, 13, and 17 3-pointers, and they will not stop launching those long balls, as it has paid huge dividends for the team that was third in the regular season with 11.5 3-pointers made per game. The Tigers, however, have a big point of concern heading into the Elite 8 round, with forward Chuma Okeke suffering a knee injury in the North Carolina game. Okeke had 20 points and 11 rebounds against the Tar Heels, and his status should be closely monitored by bettors.
Auburn is 3-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last four games, and is 22-14-1 ATS overall on the season, and 17-9-1 after a win, covering 65.4% of the time.
Betting on the Kentucky Wildcats (30-6 Overall / 15-3 Conference)
As impressive as Auburn has been in the tournament, don’t expect Kentucky to be phased of the Tigers. For one, the Wildcats have defeated Auburn twice this season, during the SEC conference play. The Wildcats beat Auburn on the road in January, 82-80, then took the Wildcats to the woodshed with a more convincing 80-53 win in Lexington back in February. Kentucky controlled the board in both of those wins, and its rebounding will be a big key in slowing down the frenetic pace of the Tigers, who like to push the ball down before opponents can set their defense up. To that end, they need the pair of Reid Travis and PJ Washington to impose their will in the paint and beneath the glass. Travis, who didn’t play in the Lexington game against Auburn, had 17 points and eight rebounds in the first meeting with Auburn. Washington, meanwhile, looked fine in the win over the Houston Cougars (62-58) in the Sweet 16 after missing the first two rounds of the tournament due to an injury. He went 3-for-3 from the field and had eight points in the first half of that game and finished with 16 points. Expect Travis and Washington to make a killing inside of Auburn’s Okeke will get ruled out for Sunday’s showdown.
Kentucky is 2-0 ATS in its last two games against Auburn.
Auburn wins, 78-73.
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