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Providence vs. Kentucky picks, predictions: Who wins NCAA Tournament first-round game?

By Jeremy Cluff, Arizona Republic,


No. 11 seed Providence and No. 6 seed Kentucky face off on Friday in an NCAA Tournament first-round game .

The game is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. MST and can be seen on CBS.

Who will win the game?

Check out these picks and predictions for the contest.

Kentucky is a 3.5-point favorite in the game , according to Tipico Sportsbook .

FanDuel : Kentucky 78, Providence 75

Devon Platana writes: "While Providence averages a respectable 38.3 RPG (No. 23), that number has dropped to 29.7 over the last three games. It's hard to find an area where the Friars are playing well right now and because of that fact, this is Kentucky's game to lose."

Sporting News : Go with Kentucky in game vs. Providence

Jacob Camenker writes: "The team that controls the glass will have the advantage in this contest. One would expect that might be Kentucky, but it's worth noting that they rely heavily on Tshiebwe to do that work. The Friars split it more evenly between Hopkins and Croswell. As such, the Friars could have the edge here if Tshiebwe gets into foul trouble. But if not, Tshiebwe and Jacob Toppin should give Kentucky enough on the glass to ensure it retains an advantage on both ends. That makes the Wildcats the slightly safer bet in this evenly-matched contest."

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Fansided : Kentucky will cover against Providence

Joseph Summers writes: "The Wildcats went 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games and should feast inside against a Providence team that ranks 157th in opponent two-point shooting percentage (49.6%). Back Kentucky to avoid another early exit and down the Friars."

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Sportsbook Wire : Kentucky 75, Providence 71

It writes: "Kentucky has covered 15 times in 32 chances against the spread this season. Providence is 18-14-0 ATS this year."

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Sports Chat Place : Take Kentucky to cover against Providence

It writes: "I’ll probably stay with Kentucky. The Wildcats didn’t play all that well against Vanderbilt despite shooting a reasonable 42.4 percent from the field with a 43-26 rebounding advantage (21-6 offensive). Prior to that, Kentucky had been playing well during their 5-1 stretch. The Wildcats have scored 66 or more options in 15 straight outings and shoddy post a decent total here. As for Providence, they’ve got a tepid 124 combined points over their last pair of games—both against pretty tough teams. This one’s not going to get any easier, so I like Kentucky to take control."

Reach Jeremy Cluff at . Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Providence vs. Kentucky picks, predictions: Who wins NCAA Tournament first-round game?

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