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Kentucky vs. Louisville College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions: 2 Bets for Rivalry Game

Kentucky vs. Louisville College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions: 2 Bets for Rivalry Game article feature image
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UK Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images. Pictured: The Kentucky Wildcats football team.

Kentucky vs. Louisville Odds

Saturday, Nov. 27
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Kentucky Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3
-110
57
-115o / -105u
+130
Louisville Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3
-110
57
-115o / -105u
-150
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Battle for the Governor’s Cup is upon us. The 33rd meeting will take place at Cardinal Stadium, as it’s an odd year. The Wildcats have taken the last two meetings along with leading the all-time series 17-15.

This meeting has the potential to be one of the most explosive meetings in the series. The Cardinals have been a fun team to watch as they are led by a human highlight reel. Their season has had its ups and downs, but culminating it with a win over their interstate rival would be the ultimate high note.

As for Kentucky, coach Mark Stoops has turned the Wildcats into one of the better programs in the loaded SEC. While the eight-win season may be impressive, a majority of their victories have come against subpar opposition.

The Cardinals’ offense will be a unique challenge unlike any that the Wildcats have faced this season. Can Kentucky rise to the occasion, or will the Cardinals move one notch closer on the all-time scoreboard?


Kentucky Wildcats

Which Wildcats Will We See?

This Kentucky team established its identity early in the season by running the football and controlling the clock to pair with its stout defense.

That power run game is put into motion by Chris Rodriguez Jr. The back from McDonough, Georgia, has put together a great junior season. He has rushed for more than 1.100 yards, picking them up at better than six yards per carry.

Rodriguez has benefitted greatly from the play of the offensive line. This Wildcats offensive line is ranked third in Offensive Line Yards. They have continuously opened up alleyways for Rodriguez and will look to continue it against a smaller Cardinals defensive line.

The reason why the Wildcats’ game plan may be up in the air is that quarterback Will Levis has put together some great numbers when given the opportunity. He proved that he can push the ball down the field when he dueled Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker in a 45-42 shootout.

In his most recent game, Levis torched a lowly New Mexico State team for a season-high 419 yards and four touchdowns.

Kentucky will have more dramatic edges on the ground as it’s far superior in the trenches. There will also be opportunities to stretch the field, though, as even though the Cardinals rank 25th in coverage, they are very susceptible to the big play.

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Louisville Cardinals

Cardinals Need More Malik Magic

If you haven’t heard of Malik Cunningham yet, allow me to lift the rock you’ve been under and show you one of the best athletes in all of college football.

The junior quarterback can do it all. Cunningham has amassed more than 3,000 yards of total offense along with 36 total touchdowns.

He has made a number of jaw-dropping plays this season, but he may have given us the run of the year last week against Duke.

Louisville QB Malik Cunningham went 72 yards to take it to the endzone 🔥

(via @GoCards)pic.twitter.com/vCBVLDSYSr

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 19, 2021

For all of the hype and flashy expectations that Cunningham will have entering the matchup, though, Kentucky may be capable of slowing him down. The Wildcats have been great against the rush, holding opponents to an average of just 3.5 yards per carry, which is 21st in the nation.

While the rushing numbers may be a positive for the Wildcats defense, their numbers against the pass may negate it. They rank 109th in Passing Success Allowed and are 117th in opponent completion percentage.


Kentucky vs. Louisville Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kentucky and Louisville match up statistically:

Kentucky Offense vs. Louisville Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 31 76
Line Yards 3 105
Pass Success 72 35
Pass Blocking** 16 102
Big Play 49 102
Havoc 36 46
Finishing Drives 11 86
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Louisville Offense vs. Kentucky Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 18 39
Line Yards 35 31
Pass Success 32 109
Pass Blocking** 12 67
Big Play 15 84
Havoc 24 42
Finishing Drives 26 43
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 20 56
Coverage 66 25
Middle 8 76 32
SP+ Special Teams 55 62
Plays per Minute 118 96
Rush Rate 55.6% (60) 58.1% (40)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Kentucky vs. Louisville Betting Pick

Each offense will have significant edges of their own, but the winner will be decided by whoever can establish their pace.

The Cardinals move fast and are explosive, as they allow Cunningham to create plays and keep defenses on their toes. The Wildcats will try to slow the game down by grinding the opposing team out with the run game.

As for which one will ultimately prevail, I side with Kentucky. Its offensive line advantage is too great, and its run game will not only benefit its own offense but also help keep Cunningham off the field.

Take the Wildcats, and also take a look at their team total as they should surpass it.

Pick: Kentucky +3 · Kentucky Team Total Over 26.5

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