The Vanderbilt Commodores are clinging to hopes of a bowl game as they host the Kentucky Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 4:00 EST on Saturday, November 11 at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville. Fans can watch the game on the SEC Network.

Oddsmakers have Vanderbilt as 3-point favorites at home. The over/under is set at 52 points. Click here to check out a full list of Week 11 betting odds and links to game previews.

Kentucky vs Vanderbilt Game Preview & Betting Odds

The Commodores are still working on getting to a bowl game this year. Vandy snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Western Kentucky last week to get them to 4-5 on the season. The hardest part of their schedule is behind them. But the Commodores are going to have to be at their best if they hope to win two of their final three games and become bowl eligible.

Kentucky, on the other hand, has already wrapped up a bowl spot. However, the Wildcats lost a disappointing game against Ole Miss last week to drop them to 6-3 on the season. Kentucky would love to secure a winning season with a win this week while also making a push to finish second in the SEC East.

This yearly matchup is often overlooked, but these two schools are actually long-time rivals. Kentucky has one more win in the series than Vanderbilt, so it’s been an even rivalry over the years. It may be pertinent to note that the home team has won the last four meetings in this series.

College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: Kentucky +3

In close games like this, I typically like to lean toward the team that’s more desperate for a win, especially when they’re playing at home. But I sold my stock in Vanderbilt a few weeks back, so I’m going to lean toward Kentucky. I think the Wildcats are a better team and with three points to spare, I feel good leaning toward the Cats.

The Vanderbilt defense is just not what it was early in the season. They’ve been shredded by every SEC team they’ve played, even teams like Florida and South Carolina that are average offensively. The Commodores were better last week, limiting Western Kentucky to 17 points. But I don’t see that translating when they return to conference play.

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total. 

Vanderbilt is giving up over 46 points per game in conference games, with every team scoring at least 34 points. If that trend continues, I don’t see the Vandy offense being able to keep up in a shootout. Vandy’s highest point total in an SEC game this year is 35 points, and that was against a terrible Ole Miss defense.

I don’t think the Kentucky offense is a juggernaut by any stretch. But they should have success against Vanderbilt. The Cats have been able to run the ball with consistency for much of the year. Running back Benny Snell Jr. has rushed for over 350 yards and six touchdowns over his last two games. If he continues to run the ball, it’ll put dual-threat quarterback Stephen Johnson in a good position to make plays.

On the other side of the ball, the Commodores have struggled to win in the trenches this year and create space for running back Ralph Webb. Kentucky’s secondary has been vulnerable at times. But it won’t matter much if Vanderbilt can’t run the ball and stay balanced on offense.

I imagine this will be a close game from start to finish, and I wouldn’t rule out a high-scoring affair. But I’m confident in Kentucky winning on the road. The Cats have been in a close game almost every week this year while Vanderbilt has rarely played competitive 4th quarters. That experience will help Kentucky seal the deal.