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ESPN's Prediction For No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 1 Tennessee

A behind-the-basket shot of Rupp Arena during a game.

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 14: A general view of the Kentucky Wildcats game against the Grand Canyon Antelopes at Rupp Arena on November 14, 2014 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

This weekend brings us what may be the game of the year in the SEC. No. 1 Tennessee travels to Lexington for a date with No. 5 Kentucky.

It is the first game in a home-and-home split between the two powers. The return game in Knoxville will be played on March 2.

Aside from this week's loss to LSU, which came on a controversial tip-in at the buzzer for the Tigers, Kentucky has won 10 of its last 11 games. At 9-2, the 'Cats are two games behind the Vols, who are undefeated in SEC play.

The Rupp Arena home court advantage is a big factor, though.

ESPN's Basketball Power Index has Kentucky as a solid, but not overwhelming, favorite over Tennessee.

BPI gives Kentucky a 59.3-percent chance to win the game.

Kentucky vs. Tennessee Basketball Power Index projection.


Per Kentucky Sports Radio, an early line via Caesars Palace Sportsbook had Kentucky as a four-point favorite at home in this one. Interestingly, a line for the March game in Knoxville is also available, and Tennessee has the same four-point edge there. That indicates that these two would be close to even on a neutral court, as of now.

Most books don't have an updated line for the game up yet.

Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.