Providence vs. Kentucky 2023 March Madness Odds and Preview

By Jeff Stinger

Arguably the best game on Friday’s March Madness slate is niftily reserved for the early primetime window, as the Providence Friars and the Kentucky Wildcats square off in Greensboro, North Carolina. Both of these teams did not live up to the lofty expectations placed upon them from the previous campaign, which makes their desperation to exceed those revised expectations heading into the national tournament a nice formula for a thrilling bout ahead.

Nitrobetting is ready to dish out key assists and lob passes with betting tips and news coverage throughout the 2023 March Madness tournament. This time, let’s take a closer look at the upcoming first-round matchup between the Providence Friars and the Kentucky Wildcats along with the latest NCAAB odds for this huge 2023 March Madness showdown.

Providence vs. Kentucky 2023 March Madness First Round Game Information

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Why Bet on the Providence Friars?

Last season, the Providence Friars won their very first Big East title in school history in head coach Ed Cooley’s 10th year at the helm of the program. The Friars couldn’t replicate their magical campaign the last time out, but their 21-11 overall record this current season was still enough to earn them a No. 7 seed in the national tournament.

Providence has an astounding athlete in sophomore Bryce Hopkins as its go-to guy. Hopkins leads his team in scoring and rebounding with glowing averages of 16.1 points and 8.5 boards per game. Fellow big man Ed Croswell has also stepped up his game of late, with the graduating forward averaging 17 points and nine rebounds over his last five starts.

The Friars have a top-50 offense (78.1 PPG, 44th overall) and rebounding unit (38.3 RPG, 41st), but have a less-than-impressive defense. Their lack of forced turnovers during the regular season means they’ll need to beat Kentucky the only way they know how: in a good old shootout. Thankfully, the Wildcats have a merely average defense to counter Providence’s attack.

Why Bet on the Kentucky Wildcats?

The early first-round exit to last year’s Cinderella darling Saint Peter’s has got to be weighing heavily on the back of the Kentucky Wildcats’ minds. John Calipari’s gang seemed to be reeling from this upset until now, as the Wildcats finished only third behind Alabama and Texas A&M in the SEC standings record-wise at 21-11 overall (12-6 in the conference).

All things considered, though, Kentucky still has the March Madness-winning experience and the best player in the country on their side. Oscar Tshiebwe, the reigning National Player of the Year, is still a beast to behold, averaging a stellar double-double line of 16.5 points and 13.1 board per game this season.

Tshiebwe has drawn double-team assignments from opposing defenses throughout the entire campaign, and it’s comforting to know that senior guard Antonio Reeves has been a dependable second option from the perimeter. Reeves averaged 14.1 points per game this season and has had several 20- and 30-point eruptions to keep the Wildcats’ offense humming along nicely. It’s Kentucky’s defense that’s a big concern, as the team dropped from being a top-50 defensive unit the previous campaign to a mere top-100 D this season.

Providence vs. Kentucky Betting Trends

  • Providence is 2-5 in its last nine road games (4-3 ATS).
  • The Friars are 3-0 ATS in the last three games in the national tournament but just 2-7 straight-up in the tourney since 2014.
  • The totals went over in five of Providence’s last seven road contests.
  • Kentucky is 6-1 in its last seven road games (SU/ATS).
  • The Wildcats are 8-4 in the Big Dance since 2017 (6-4-2 ATS).
  • The totals went over in each of Kentucky’s last five road games.

Providence vs. Kentucky Expert Prediction

This matchup features some of the best storylines for the two schools looking to reclaim prominence in March Madness. Providence has the offense to keep up with the Wildcats, but Kentucky’s experience in the national tournament should prevail here. John Calipari’s gang has more to lose with the fear of back-to-back first-round exits and we foresee a monster performance from Tshiebwe to prevent this unlikely fate from happening again en route to a convincing double-digit victory over the Friars.

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2022-23 NCAAB season previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest basketball betting odds on our online BTC sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.