Both state and conference bragging rights will be on the line as the Kentucky Wildcats host the Louisville Cardinals. Kickoff is set for noon EST on Saturday, November 25 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. Fans can watch the game on the SEC Network.
Oddsmakers list the Cardinals as 10-point favorites on the road. The over/under is set at 68 points. Click here for a full list of Week 13 betting odds and links to game previews.
Louisville vs Kentucky Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
Louisville has had a disappointing season, but you wouldn’t know it by the way they’re closing things out. The Cardinals have won three of their last four games, winning the last two by substantial margins. A win over Kentucky wouldn’t do much to change their season, but it might get them to a better bowl game and it could boost Lamar Jackson’s Heisman chances.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, enter this game with an identical 7-4 record. They also don’t have to deal with the pressure of still having to qualify for a bowl game. Of course, Kentucky hasn’t had an 8-win season since 2007, so pulling that off would be a wonderful accomplishment for Mark Stoops.
Kentucky will also be hoping to hold onto their all-time series lead against Louisville. The Wildcats have won 15 of 29 meetings between the two schools, including a 41-38 win in Louisville last year. However, the Cardinals won the previous five meetings, so they’ve been the more dominant team in this rivalry.
College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: Louisville -10
Kentucky has had an impressive season, but they have not played well against quality opponents, especially on defense. The Cardinals will no doubt remember last season’s loss to the Wildcats and be looking for some revenge. That’ll implore Louisville to pour it on and easily cover the spread.
Jackson has been even better this season than he was a year ago when he won the Heisman. When Louisville has lost games, it’s been more about their defense struggling than opposing teams being able to keep Jackson contained. In addition to throwing just six interceptions this season, including just one in his last four games, Jackson has rushed for at least 100 yards in eight of 11 games this year. He figures to be too much for Kentucky’s defense to handle.
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To be fair, the Wildcats are only giving up 27 points per game this season. However, they’ve struggled against some of the better offensive teams on their schedule. They’ve given up at least 34 points in four of their last six games to the likes of Missouri, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Georgia. Jackson and the Cardinals are better offensively than most, if not all of those teams, which doesn’t bode well for the Wildcats.
The biggest X-factor in this game is the Louisville defense. On the season, the Cardinals are giving up 28 points per game and have been quite porous at times. They’ve been better the past couple of weeks. But those games were at home and one came against a Syracuse team playing without their starting quarterback. That could give the Wildcats a fighting chance to keep up with the Louisville offense. But I’m not sure the Kentucky offense is explosive enough to post big numbers against the Cardinals.
Ultimately, I envision Jackson having one of his better games with the Wildcats helpless to stop him or keep up offensively. The Cardinals will get their revenge on Kentucky for last year’s game by winning by a wide margin that easily covers the spread.