This Saturday the No. 17 ranked Kentucky Wildcats (4-0) will host the South Carolina Gamecocks (2-1). This SEC East rivalry is set for 7:30 EST at Kroger Field and will be televised on the SEC Network.
Oddsmakers opened this line with South Carolina as a slim 1-point road favorite, but early money has shifted the odds. South Carolina is currently a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 50.5. Click here for a full breakdown of the Week 5 odds and for more links to our game previews.
Kentucky vs South Carolina Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Gamecocks come into this one off an impressive 37-14 win at Vanderbilt as a slim 1.5-point road favorite. It was South Carolina first game in two weeks, as their contest with Marshall following the blowout loss to Georgia was canceled because of Hurricane Florence.
Kentucky continued their impressive start to the 2018 season with a 28-7 thrashing of No. 14 Mississippi State as a 10-point home dog. The win improved the Wildcats to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in SEC play. Their other conference win was a 27-16 victory at Florida as a 13.5-point dog.
This has been a competitive series of late, as each of the last 5 meetings have been decided by 10-points or less. However, it’s been all Kentucky the past few seasons. The Wildcats have won each of the last 4 meetings and have covered 5 straight. Last year they won 23-13 as a 6-point road dog at South Carolina.
Free College Football Pick & Predictions: UNDER 50.5
If I had to take a side, I would have to lay the small number with Kentucky, but I think the better play here is with the total and this staying UNDER the mark set by the books.
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This just hasn’t been a high-scoring series of late. The most these two teams have combined for over the last 3 seasons is 48 points and the last two matchups have seen a combined 27 and 36 points. Given how strong these two teams are on that side of the ball and how big this game is for both teams, I just don’t see a shootout taking place.
Kentucky’s defense has been outstanding to start the year. They come in ranked 11th in the country in total defense, allowing just 279 yards/game. They are giving up just 4.4 yards/play and rank inside the Top 50 agains both the run (21st) and pass (31st). I just don’t think people realize how good that Mississippi State offense is and how impressive it was for the Wildcats to hold them to just 201 total yards.
South Carolina’s defense isn’t too far behind. The Gamecocks are 33rd in the country, giving up just 332 yards/game. That’s with one of their games coming against an elite Georgia offense. They held Coastal Carolina to just 238 total yards and last week limited the Commodores to just 284 on the road.
The other key thing with the defenses is both are great against the run and I feel both of these offenses need to be able to run the football to have success. Kentucky is allowing just 106 rushing yards/game and giving up a mere 3.6 yards/carry against teams that average 5.2. South Carolina is allowing 3.9 yards/carry vs teams averaging 5.5.
The Wildcats are 11th in the country in rushing (269 ypg) and just 117th in passing (158.3 ypg), so it’s going to be tough sledding for them in this one. The Gamecocks got a good quarterback in Jake Bentley, but when Georgia limited them to a mere 54 yards rushing, they only managed 17 points.
UNDER is 5-0 in South Carolina’s last 5 road games vs a team with a winning road record and 15-5 in their last 20 conference games overall. UNDER is also 6-0 in the Wildcats last 6 home games vs a team with a winning road record. Give me the UNDER 50.5!