Kentucky vs Louisville Odds, Prediction: Bet the Under?
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Louisville’s Jack Plummer.
Let's dive into the Kentucky vs. Louisville odds and make a pick and prediction in our college football betting preview for Saturday, Nov. 25.
Kentucky Wildcats vs Louisville Cardinals Odds
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Let's head to Louisville, Kentucky, where the Lousiville Cardinals will host the Kentucky Wildcats.
These in-state rivals always bring a lot of juice to this matchup, but this year, there seems to be more on the line than usual.
For Lousiville, it's punched its ticket to the ACC Championship game but suddenly has a different outlook on the game. With the injury to Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, Louisville could be even more confident heading into the Championship game.
Meanwhile, the 'Cats have punched a ticket into bowl season as well, but this has been a disappointing season overall in Lexington. I imagine they will have no issues getting up for this contest in what should be treated as their Super Bowl.
While it's been ugly at times, I think something about these 'Cats will show up in this matchup.
Quarterback Devin Leary has been inconsistent, but he's shown flashes down the stretch now that he's fully healthy.
Leary wasn't his best last week against South Carolina, but that may have been because he was looking ahead to this game. The Cardinals' secondary is stingy, so Leary must play his best if the 'Cats expect to win.
I love running back Ray Davis. However, I have difficulty envisioning explosive plays in this game. Not only will the 'Cats struggle to move the ball through the air, but they rank 99th in Offensive Line Yards and are battling a team ranked sixth in Defensive Line Yards.
Kentucky ranks 71st in Rush Success Rate, which doesn't bode well for this matchup. So, the Wildcats will have to be creative to put up points here.
The good news is that they rank 38th in Finishing Drives, so they typically score when they produce a drive past the opponent's 40-yard line.
The defensive side of the ball is where Kentucky will have to win this game.
The 'Cats are in the top 45 in both Rush Success Rate allowed and Defensive Line Yards, which should stifle Louisville's rushing attack. The secondary isn't the worst, either.
I wouldn't be surprised to see this game coming down to the field-position battle. Luckily for them, the 'Cats hold a decent special teams edge in this matchup.
Protecting the football will be the biggest key for the 'Cats, and if they can force some turnovers to cash in on short fields, I believe they'll be live to win this game outright.
Head coach Jeff Brohm has done a terrific job with this program, and a tip of the cap is well deserved.
Many predicted a successful season for Louisville, but I don't think anybody thought they would be a coin-flip to win the ACC Championship.
Without digging into any metrics, my biggest concern in this matchup is the dreaded lookahead spot. The Cardinals were already excited to punch their ticket into the championship game, but they might be extra focused on Florida State now that Travis is out.
Louisville punches their ticket to a New Year's Six bowl game with a win next week. I realize this matchup is an in-state rivalry game, but the situational spot screams sleepy.
Besides the motivation angle, we could see a methodical game plan from the Cards. The offense moves slowly between plays, ranking 100th in seconds per play.
Louisville's offense has been efficient through the air and on the ground, ranking top 20 nationally in Rush and Pass Success Rate.
That said, quarterback Jack Plummer has been inconsistent, and this will arguably be the second-best defense he's faced all year.
While the Cardinals were supposed to be known for their offensive explosiveness, I've been impressed with the defense. They rank in the top 50 in almost every advanced defensive metric, notably in the top 15 in Rush and Pass Success Rate allowed.
I'd expect this defense to step up and stifle the Wildcats' rushing attack, and they should prevent explosive plays down the field. Leary could always be on his A-game, but I believe the Louisville secondary can contain him.
Brohm will likely look to get up early and sit on the ball with a lead late in the second half. I doubt the Cardinals will pull out their bag of tricks with what's at stake next weekend.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kentucky and Louisville match up statistically:
Kentucky Offense vs. Louisville Defense
Louisville Offense vs. Kentucky Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+
|Seconds per Play
I lean toward Kentucky in this game, given the situational spot for the Cards.
However, I'm concerned about Kentucky's offense.
So, the best play to me is the under, still sitting above the key number of 49. Both offenses are among the slowest in the country, and I would expect a rush-heavy game plan from both teams.
The Cardinals have the biggest game in recent program history next week, and I think that game will be in the back of their minds throughout this matchup. I'm betting Louisville comes out flat, and it might not wake up until halftime.
Even if the Cardinals come ready to play, the game flow should work toward a lower-scoring game. Expect a lot of time to come off the clock, especially if Lousiville builds a large second-half lead.