Kentucky vs Vanderbilt Odds, Prediction & Picks: Bet Wildcats to Win Big

Kentucky vs Vanderbilt Odds, Prediction & Picks: Bet Wildcats to Win Big article feature image

Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kentucky’s Devin Leary.

Kentucky vs Vanderbilt Odds

September 23
Noon ET
SEC Network
Kentucky Odds
-110o / -110u
Vanderbilt Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

College football’s Week 4 slate is loaded with great matchups such as this SEC clash between the revenge-minded Kentucky Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Last season, Vanderbilt went into Lexington as a 17-point underdog and pulled out a 24-21 win behind a 129-yard rushing performance from running back Ray Davis. However, Davis has since transferred to Kentucky and will return to Nashville for the first time on Saturday.

Will Kentucky enact revenge and keep its undefeated season alive, or will Vanderbilt pull a second straight upset against the Wildcats as a double-digit underdog?

Find a betting pick, preview and prediction for Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt below.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Kentucky Wildcats

Although Kentucky has won its first three games, these victories didn't leave the Wildcats completely unscathed. There are still significant questions on the offensive line, as the Wildcats lost senior left guard Kenneth Horsey to injury in Week 1 against Ball State.

Kentucky has since struggled to develop a consistent run game, as the Cats rank 123rd nationally in Rush Play Rate and 68th in Rush Success Rate.

However, Kentucky’s rushing attack — led by Davis — will have all the opportunity in the world to develop consistency against a poorly-rated Vanderbilt front seven that ranks outside the top 70 in Rushing Rate, Predicted Points Added, Success Rate and Explosiveness Allowed on the ground.

Overall, the Commodores are allowing their opponents to average 151.7 yards on the ground.

If Kentucky can establish the run, it will make life easier for quarterback Devin Leary and the plethora Kentucky playmakers at wide receiver and tight end.

Through three games, the North Carolina State transfer quarterback has excelled, as the Wildcats rank 18th nationally in Pass Play Explosiveness with the 11th-highest Pass Play Rate in the country.

Touchdown @DevinLeary1 ➡️ @RobinsonTayvion

📺 – SECN+: | ESPN+:

— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 9, 2023

This is a perfect opportunity for the Kentucky offense to finally put together four quarters of consistent play against a Vanderbilt defense giving up an average of 34.7 points per game.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt enters looking to get right after suffering back-to-back losses to Wake Forest and UNLV on the road.

The Commodores must lean on their offensive production to make up for their inability to get off the field on defense.

However, the Vanderbilt offense will be challenged by a Kentucky defense that's been strong through three weeks. Kentucky's defense has made teams one-dimensional by ranking among the top 30 in Rush Play Rate, Success Rate and Explosiveness.

Even though the Kentucky secondary has been questionable at times (84th nationally in Pass Play Success Rate), this unit ranks 18th nationally in Pass Play Explosiveness Allowed and has developed playmakers at key positions.

In particular, Maxwell Hairston has earned the second-highest PFF Grade among cornerbacks because of his Havoc created and exceptional open-field tackling.

This development in the secondary is promising for Brad White's defense, which already ranks fourth nationally in Points per Opportunity Allowed and 18th in Explosiveness Allowed.

Look for the defense to continue to improve against a Vanderbilt offense that's been one-dimensional through the air to start its season.

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Kentucky vs Vanderbilt

Matchup Analysis

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

Kentucky Offense vs. Vanderbilt Defense
Rush Success7171
Line Yards110101
Pass Success7089
Finishing Drives5526
Quality Drives31113
Vanderbilt Offense vs. Kentucky Defense
Rush Success6627
Line Yards8839
Pass Success6941
Finishing Drives415
Quality Drives5417
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling9349
PFF Coverage2660
Special Teams SP+6850
Middle 813110
Seconds per Play29.6 (104)26.0 (53)
Rush Rate40.4% (123)47.3% (105)

Kentucky vs Vanderbilt

Betting Pick & Prediction

After coming out flat in Week 2 against Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky has remained under the radar entering SEC play. 

Consequently, many have overlooked this Kentucky team, which is incredibly balanced on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, coordinator Liam Coen and Leary will look to minimize mistakes against a Vanderbilt defense that's been poor and ranks outside the top 70 in both Rushing and Passing Success Rates Allowed.

On the other side, Kentucky — once again — fields a disciplined defense with playmakers at key positions in the secondary. The Wildcats rank among the top 50 in both Rushing and Passing Success Rates Allowed and also are fifth in Defensive Finishing Drives.

With Kentucky having a significant edge on both sides of the ball, I love backing the Wildcats on the road as they open SEC play.

Both SP+ and our Action Analytics team project a Kentucky victory north of 14 points, so I will gladly back the Cats at the current number of 13.5, and I would play this all the way up to 15.

Look for Kentucky to finally put together four quarters of consistent football on both sides of the ball against Vanderbilt.

Pick: Kentucky -13.5 (Bet to -15)

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