Bitter rivals meet in another Southeastern Conference game, this time within the East Division. The Kentucky Wildcats are upset-minded and hope to knock off the Tennessee Volunteers, who are having a dream season after beating the Alabama Crimson Tide for the first time in 16 years.
No. 19 Kentucky (5-2, 2-2 SEC) travels to Neyland Stadium to meet the No. 3 Volunteers (7-0, 3-0) for a 7 p.m. ET meeting Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Wildcats have been built up under Mark Stoops and can secure bowl eligibility with a victory. Meanwhile, the Vols hope to stay perfect en route to an SEC title game appearance and keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
The odds are favoring Tennessee -12.5 with an over/under of 63.5. Tennessee’s moneyline is -460 while Kentucky’s is +370, which have shifted slightly from -525 and +375, respectively.
Kentucky seeks upset victory
Kentucky won in 2017 and again in 2020 in this series in what has otherwise been a decade of dominance for the Vols. The cards are certainly stacked against the Wildcats again.
But it will be strength on strength as the Kentucky defense is ranked 14th, holding teams to 295.4 yards per game, 16th in limiting teams to 178.3 yards passing per game, and 31st in holding teams to 117.1 yards rushing per game. Oh, and they are 13th in holding opponents to 16.4 points per game.
The offense is going to have to play a clean game, as they are 84th in scoring at 26.4 points per game and 80th in total offense at 379.3 yards per game. But their passing attack, led by NFL prospect Will Levis, gives them hope, ranking 51st at 260.3 yards per game.
Tennessee hopes to remain unbeaten
Tennessee has the second-highest scoring offense at 47.7 points per game and the best offense in yardage, piling up 551 yards per game. The play of quarterback Hendon Hooker, who is a Heisman candidate and has skyrocketed up NFL draft boards, has elevated the program under second-year coach Josh Heupel. The Virginia Tech transfer has led the Vols offense to fifth in passing yards at 347.8 yards per game and 27th in rushing at 203.2 yards per game.
The defense has been suspect, ranking 129th in allowing 332 yards passing per game. They are, however, 47th in holding teams to 23.0 points per contest.
Kentucky/Tennessee Betting Prediction
The road team is 6-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings, and underdogs are 5-1 against the spread in the last six meetings in this series. That being said, the Vols are 12-3 against the spread in the last 15 meetings.
The public bets show 61% are in favor of the Vols once again covering, but two scores is a lot of points, even in a college game. We’ll take Tennessee -12.5 and go under 63.5.
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