Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s Over/Under

Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s Over/Under article feature image

Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Will Levis (Kentucky)

  • The Miami (OH) RedHawks travel to Lexington on Saturday to face the Kentucky Wildcats in a Week 1 college football matchup.
  • The Wildcats enter as big favorites, but our expert sees betting value on the over/under.
  • Read on for Kody Malstrom's full betting guide for Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky below.

Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky Odds

Saturday, Sept. 3
7 p.m. ET
Miami (OH) Odds
-114o / -106u
Kentucky Odds
-114o / -106u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

One of the bigger surprises of last season resided at Kroger Field, as the Kentucky Wildcats vaulted up the SEC standings and finished second in the SEC East. While still sizably behind Georgia, Kentucky put the rest of the division on notice.

Speaking of second-place teams in their own division, Miami (OH) just missed out on the MAC Championship after narrowly losing to Kent State, the MAC East champs, in a thrilling 48-47 contest.

After turning it around and ending on a high note with a bowl win over North Texas, Miami will look to start off hot with a win over Kentucky, which is missing some key players because of off-field issues.

It needs to be noted that the last time we saw the Wildcats in action they were losing in the first round of March Madness to 15-seed Saint Peter's.

Will the football program follow suit and concede another big upset?

Let's find out.

Miami RedHawks

Miami (OH) has been a MAC powerhouse since winning the conference in 2019. It has gone 13-6 in conference play. The RedHawks, riding the success of an explosive offense, nearly made it back to the championship last season.

Leading that offense is returning quarterback Brett Gabbert, who finished last season with 2,648 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The RedHawks will look to be a pass-heavy unit once again with four starters returning to an offensive line that conceded 21 sacks all season and finished top-10 in fewest tackles for loss allowed.

However, the defense, which ranked near the bottom of the barrel in all defensive rush ranks, comes with plenty of question marks.

While the RedHawks catch a breather with Chris Rodriguez Jr. out, they will still find it difficult to limit Kentucky's rushing attack.

While below average as an overall unit, this defense does generate Havoc at an excellent rate.

If Miami (OH) can continue last year's success of getting pressure on the quarterback, the RedHawks will find themselves on top of the MAC standings once again.

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Kentucky Wildcats

Featured as one of my Future Friday picks, I am very high on Kentucky's potential to roll through the season. The Wildcats have some work to do if they want to compete for the division title, but this is still a solid team regardless.

Will Levis is back to lead a unit that finished seventh in Offensive Success Rate, 59th in Finishing Drives and 40th in Havoc Allowed.

While Kentucky may operate under a new scheme that is more conservative toward establishing the run, that will also open up passing lanes for Levis to operate both through the air and on the ground.

Will Levis 🐰

— Things #BBN Likes (@ThingsBBNLikes) January 18, 2022

Speaking of establishing the run, Kentucky will need to fill the void of running back Rodriguez, who has been suspended for off-field issues. This is a massive blow for the Wildcats because Rodriguez was going to be the focal point of the offense. The length of the suspension has not been announced yet.

In the meantime, senior Kavosiey Smoke will replace Rodriguez. Smoke has 1,306 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in his four-year career.

Sam Houston transfer Ramon Jefferson may get some time in the backfield to get some reps in before next week's showdown against Florida.

On the defensive end, Kentucky brings back an astonishing 82% TARP rating, an indicator that this unit will continue last season's success.

The defensive line brings in intriguing four-star prospects to pair with former five-star Justin Rogers at nose guard, and the linebacker corps is loaded with depth.

Generating pressure up front will be key, as the secondary is a cause for concern, with its lack of depth and experience.

Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky Betting Pick

This game opened at +20.5, but that number has drastically shot down to as low as +17, zapping away any value.

Instead, I will shift my focus toward the total, as this game should feature plenty of scoring.

While some key players are out — including Rodriguez, Jordan Wright and other unnamed players — Kentucky should still have no trouble moving the ball against a rush defense that fails to stop a nose bleed.

On the flip side, Kentucky brings back a majority of its defense, but has question marks in the secondary. Inexperience and a lack of depth may lead to some scoring chances for Miami (OH), as the RedHawks' potent pass attack will have plenty of opportunities to attack Kentucky's glaring weakness.

Look for Miami to keep this tight throughout the game, as this total cruises past the over. I will also be adding Miami (OH) +21 or better live should it become available.

Pick: Over 53.5

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