It’s been an up-and-down start to the college basketball season for Kentucky, going from No. 4 in the Associated Press preseason poll to 10-6 and unranked as of early January.
The Wildcats’ most recent defeat came as a 20-point favorite over South Carolina, which used a 42-point first half to shock the Wildcats at Rupp Arena, 71-68.
The home loss to the Gamecocks knocked the Wildcats to 1-3 in SEC play, with losses to Missouri (89-75 on Dec. 28) and seventh-ranked Alabama (78-52 on Jan. 7).
Things don't get any easier this weekend, as Kentucky is at No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday.
BetKentucky.com wanted to give greater context to how historic the Wildcats’ home loss Tuesday was in the program’s recent history.
There is no legal Kentucky sports betting, but a bill legalizing sports betting already has been introduced for this legislative session.
Here’s where the team’s defeat as a 20-point betting favorite Tuesday ranks over the course of the past decade.
Kentucky’s Biggest Outright Losses as Favorite Since 2012-13
South Carolina Loss Second-Biggest Kentucky Upset This Decade
The only contest that featured a bigger betting line upset for the Wildcats came four years ago, when Evansville knocked off Coach John Calipari and company in Lexington, 67-64.
That home defeat came as a 24.5-point betting favorite, making Tuesday’s loss to the Gamecocks look almost pedestrian in nature.
The next-closest upset loss, in terms of betting lines, was during last year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, when St. Peter’s knocked off the Wildcats, 85-79 in overtime, as an 18-point underdog.
As for SEC opponents, the largest betting underdog to knock off the Wildcats since 2012-13 entering this week was when Texas A&M beat them as a 15-point underdog in 2013.
How Kentucky’s Outlook for 2023 Has Changed
The Wildcats have gone from the preseason favorite to win the SEC to a longshot during the last three months.
Oddsmakers at Caesars Sportsbook listed the Wildcats at +175 to win the conference before the season tipped off, ahead of Arkansas (+275), Tennessee (+450) and Alabama (+700).
Now, the Wildcats find themselves fifth on BetMGM’s SEC odds board at +2500, behind the Volunteers (-120), Crimson Tide (+125), Razorbacks (+1800) and Auburn (+2000).