The #12 overall Kentucky Wildcats (6-1) travel to Columbia this weekend to take on the Missouri Tigers (4-3) in SEC action. Kickoff is set for 4:00 PM EST at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium and the game will be available on the SEC Network.
Taking a look at the Week 9 college football odds, Missouri opened as a 6.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted by half a point after early betting, as the Tigers are currently listed at -7. The total for the game is sitting at 55 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Missouri vs Kentucky
Kentucky improved to 6-1 overall last weekend after slipping by Vanderbilt 14-7. It was the seventh consecutive game in which the Wildcats held their opponent to less than 20 points. The defense has been outstanding all year and has now recorded more interceptions (7) than touchdowns allowed (6). RB Bennie Snell continues to be pretty much the lone bright spot on offense for Kentucky, as he has now rushed for 868 yards and nine touchdowns in only seven games. QB Terry Wilson has been a little bit less explosive offensively, throwing for just 721 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson has managed to find some success on the ground though, rushing for 395 yards total so far this season. However, he has yet to throw for more than 151 passing yards in a game yet, which has to be somewhat concerning for the Wildcats coaching staff. As a whole, Kentucky is currently averaging 27.1 points per game on 362.2 total yards.
The Wildcats have looked absolutely fantastic defensively, as they are currently giving up the second fewest points per game in the entire country (12.9 per game). Kentucky has been dominant against the run, yielding only 112.0 yards per game on the ground (17th). an average of 23.0 points per game (46th overall). They haven’t been too shabby against the pass either, as opponents are only averaging 189.9 yards per game through the air (31st overall).
Missouri crushed Memphis 65-33 last weekend to end their three game losing streak and improve to 4-3 on the season. The Tigers had been the victims of a tough schedule that included games against Alabama and Georgia before finally turning things around in Week 8. QB Drew Lock has played very well so far this season, throwing for 1,979 yards and 16 touchdowns in just seven games. He has had a ton of help from the lethal rushing duo of Larry Rountree III and Damage Crockett who have combined for almost 1,000 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. Overall, Missouri is currently averaging 38.6 points per game on a very impressive 501.1 yards of total offense.
Things haven’t looked great defensively for the Tigers, as they are giving up an average of 30.9 points per game (91st overall). Mizzou has really been exposed through the air, as opponents are averaging a whopping 287.4 passing yards per game (122nd overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Kentucky +7
Oddsmakers are showing no respect to Kentucky in this matchup, as they are currently listed as touchdown underdogs despite being ranked #12 overall and coming into Week 9 with a very solid 6-1 record overall. Missouri has had an up and down year, and while they do have a very capable offense, their defensive play has been atrocious. While some experts have rightfully pointed out how tough their schedule has been, it is important to remember that the Tigers also lost to South Carolina and barely scraped past Purdue. I think this game will stay close throughout and could easily come down to a last-minute field goal. Either team could come out on top in this particular spot, so I think I’m going to take the free points with the Wildcats in this one.
Click here for more free NCAAF picks from our top rated handicappers.
Kentucky is a very solid 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with a winning record. They are also 5-2 ATS over their last seven games as an underdog between 3.5-10 points and 8-3 ATS in their last eleven games on the road as an underdog.
There is no doubt that Missouri has been the better team offensively, as the Tigers have been scoring a ton of points as of late and have been excellent at moving the ball through the air. However, Kentucky has been extremely impressive on defense all season long and should be able to slow down Missouri a little bit here in Week 9. Their offense should be able to have a better outing as well, as Mizzou has now allowed at least 33 points in five straight games. Look for the Wildcats to keep things close en route to a tough cover on the road – I’ll take the points.