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Providence would love to record its first win in program history against Kentucky (currently 0-3) when the teams meet in the first round of March Madness on Friday night. Here, we look at Providence vs. Kentucky predictions, odds, and props.

The Friars are betting underdogs in the NCAA Tournament game, but if recent No. 11 vs. No. 6 history is any indication, then there is a solid chance they can pull off the upset.

Kentucky didn’t last long in the SEC tournament, losing its opener to Vanderbilt. Providence didn’t last long in its tournament either, losing to UConn in their ACC Tourney opener. Which one will have a different fate in the NCAA Tournament?

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Providence vs. Kentucky March Madness Betting Odds: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Kentucky opened as a 4.5-point favorite, but there’s been some early sentiment on the dog, as Kentucky -4 has shown up at some sportsbooks. However, Providence bettors can still find Friars +4.5 on multiple odds boards. Our eye, however, is on the total.

No one likes to lose, but losing in their conference tournament opener may have been a good thing — it may light a fire under them, and players got some much-needed rest before the NCAA Tournament. However, the Wildcats will have a little more momentum on their side, having gone 5-2 in their last seven games.

FuturesMarch Madness odds

On the other hand, Providence has lost four of its last five. But they have one of the better offenses in the country this season (No. 36; 78.1 PPG), which is impressive since they do not shoot well from three-point range (No. 257 in three-pointers made). On the defensive side of the court, they aren’t strong, either (No. 215 in PPG allowed).

Kentucky needs a big game from Jacob Toppin if the Wildcats are going to win their first March Madness game since 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Teams have shot 44.3% from the field (No. 210) against them this season.

Kentucky is a decent offensive team (No. 95; 75.1 PPG), but like the Friars, they struggle from three-point range (No. 278; 6.4 per game). As for their defense, they have been giving up 68 PPG (No. 116) this season. John Calipari’s team may have an edge because of what happened last year in the tournament.

They were on the wrong end of one of the biggest upsets in March Madness history at the hands of No. 15 Saint Peter’s (85-79 in OT) and haven’t won a March Madness game since 2019.

NCAA Tournament sharp betting: How pro gamblers are moving March Madness lines | How to hedge NCAA Tournament futures bet

Providence vs. Kentucky Betting News

  • Since 1985, No. 6 seeds have gone 91-57 against No. 11 seeds
  • In the last five tournaments, No. 11 seeds are 11-9 against No. 6 seeds
  • No. 11 seeds went 3-1 in the first round last season
  • Experts picked Providence to finish 8th in the Big East in the preseason
  • Experts picked Kentucky to finish 1st in the SEC in the preseason
  • Kentucky’s key players: Oscar Tshiebwe, 16.5 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 1.6 APG; Antonio Reeves, 14.4 PPG, 40.7% 3PT
  • Providence’s key players: Bryce Hopkins, 16.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.4 APG; Ed Croswell, 13.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 50% 3PT

Providence vs. Kentucky Betting Trends

  • Kentucky is 15-17 ATS this season
  • Providence is 18-14 ATS this season
  • Kentucky is 0-5 ATS in neutral site games, 4-9 ATS vs. non-conference opponents, and 11-14 when favored
  • Providence is 1-3 ATS in neutral site games, 5-6 ATS vs. non-conference opponents, and 7-6 ATS when the underdog
  • Kentucky was 2-2 ATS in games where they were favored by 4.5 points or less
  • Providence is 6-2 ATS in games where they were underdogs by 5.5 points or less
  • The Over was 20-12 for Kentucky this season; 17-8 when the Wildcats are favored
  • The Over was 17-15 for Providence this season; 7-6 when the Friars were underdogs

Providence vs. Kentucky Prediction

This contest will be one of the better games of the first round, with the two teams almost evenly matched. Both rely on offensive rebounds, and both are solid rebounding teams. But while we’d give Kentucky the edge in this game, it is hard to say who will win and by how much. However, we are confident this will be a relatively high-scoring game.

Pick: Over 143.5 (DraftKings)

Providence vs. Kentucky Player Props

Jacob Toppin, Over 13.5 Points (-120, FanDuel)

Kentucky is not the powerhouse it once was, but the Wildcats can still do one thing well: score points. Toppin will not be the Wildcats’ first option, but he’ll get his shots against a lackluster Providence defense. He averaged 12.5 PPG this season but scored 13+ in four of his last five, including 21 in his last two.

Oscar Tshiebwe, Over 11.5 Rebounds (-135, DraftKings)

Kentucky’s big center has averaged 13.1 RPG this season but has been an absolute beast on the boards the last few games, with 15,13, 20, and 17 in his last four. Providence will give him some competition for boards, but he’ll still pull down enough to go over 11.5.

Bryce Hopkins, Over 13.5 Points (-140, DraftKings)

Kentucky is a decent defensive team, but the former Wildcat will have a game against his ex-teammates. The Friars are one of the better offensive teams in the country, and their leader will likely meet — if not exceed — his season average (16.1 PPG). He had 16+ in seven of his last nine games.

Ed Croswell, Over 6.5 Rebounds (-115, BetMGM)

Kentucky likes to dominate the boards, but Providence is also a capable rebounding team. Croswell has averaged 7.6 RPG this season, and while he only had four his last time out, he had 9+ in four of his previous five.

More plays: March Madness Player Props & Parlay Picks: Eight Plays For Friday’s First Round Action 

How to Watch Providence vs. Kentucky

Date: Friday, March 17, 2023

Time: 7:10 p.m. ET

Location: Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina

Channel: CBS

Read more: USC vs. Michigan State prediction | Iona vs. UConn prediction | NC State vs. Creighton prediction

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About the Author
Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver

Senior Writer
Travis Pulver is a senior writer for Gaming Today and a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, Pulver's love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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