The #12 Kentucky Wildcats will head on the road to take on the Tennessee Volunteers in an SEC tilt Saturday night from Neyland Stadium. The Wildcats are coming off a 34-16 home loss to Georgia, and the Volunteers recorded a 14-3 home win over Charlotte in their latest action. Kentucky tallied a 29-26 home win against Tennessee last season.
Wildcats Fall to Georgia in SEC Showdown
The #12 Kentucky Wildcats had their two-game winning streak come to an end in their tough 34-17 home loss to #5 Georgia last week. Georgia clinched the SEC East ahead of Kentucky as a result. Terry Wilson was sharp in the defeat, completing 79% of his pass attempts for 226 yards and one TD. The sophomore QB doesn’t usually attempt a ton of passes on a run-heavy offense, recording 1214 passing yards with a 6:6 TD to INT ratio on the year. Wildcats’ star Benny Snell Jr. wasn’t able to have his usual success last week, rushing for 73 yards on 20 carries. Overall, the junior RB is having a tremendous season, racking up 1008 rushing yards on the season. Kentucky’s #1 receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. is targeted frequently by Terry Wilson. He has made 19 catches over his last two games, and he is up to 509 receiving yards this season.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) November 6, 2018
The Kentucky offense is having trouble putting points on the board, scoring less than 20 points in four straight games. The Wildcats defense is easily their greatest strength as a team. They have shut down most of their opponents with an outstanding pass defense. Georgia’s 34 point output last week was the highest point total Kentucky has conceded all season. The Wildcats are averaging 24.7 points, ranking them 99th overall. They are limiting opponents to 15.3 points, good for eighth in the FBS.
Vols Record Uninspiring Win Against Charlotte
The Tennessee Volunteers tallied an uninspiring 14-3 home win over Charlotte of the C-USA last week in a game that had the Vols favored by 22.5 points. Jarrett Guarantano played well, completing 76% of his passes for 172 yards and one TD. The sophomore QB has been efficient with a 65% completion percentage, and he has accrued 1571 passing yards with a 9:2 TD to INT ratio on the season. The Vols have split the carries on the ground between Tim Jordan and Ty Chandler. Jordan has tallied 80 rushing yards in his last two games, and the sophomore leads his team with 414 rushing yards. Vols’ leading receiver Marquez Callaway only brought in 30 receiving yards against Charlotte last week, and he has 402 receiving yards on the year.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) November 4, 2018
Tennessee has struggled to generate offense against the strong defensive teams of the SEC. Their highest output of the season came in a 30-24 upset road win over Auburn. The Volunteers defense has played well in two straight games, although they have not fared well against high scoring opponents. The Vols now need to win two out of their final three games to reach bowl eligibility status. They are currently averaging 24.3 points, ranking them 103rd in the FBS. Tennessee is allowing an average of 26.7 points, placing them 64th overall.
The Tennessee Volunteers are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in November.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
The Kentucky Wildcats are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- 9-4 ATS in their last 13 road games.
- the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking Kentucky in this contest. Kentucky features a stifling defense that should be able to silence a poor Tennessee offense. Tennessee only managed 14 points against Charlotte of the C-USA last week, and they are only averaging 19.7 points in their last three games. Kentucky features a stellar pass defense that ranks 16th in the nation, and they have allowed 16 or fewer points in six out of their last eight games, so they should neutralize a Vols offense that ranks near the bottom of the FBS in most offensive categories.
Furthermore, the Tennessee defense is below average, and they will have to defend the dangerous Benny Snell Jr. who has accumulated over 1000 rushing yards this season. The Vols rush defense ranks down at 66th in the nation, and they will have trouble stopping Snell Jr.
Prediction: Kentucky Wildcats
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is a solid play in this one. Kentucky has been involved in several low scoring games due to their outstanding defense and low-scoring offense. They had only allowed an average of 11.3 points in their last six games prior to their loss to Georgia in their latest action, plus the under is 5-1 in the Wildcats’ last six games overall.
Furthermore, the Volunteers are only averaging 334 total yards per game, ranking them down at 119th in the FBS, and they are only averaging 21.6 points in SEC play this season, plus the under is 4-1 in their last five games against a team with a winning road record.
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am taking the under on the Tennessee team Total. The Volunteers only scored 14 points against Charlotte last week, and they are only averaging 21.6 points in SEC play this season. Kentucky is one of the best defensive teams in the SEC and in the entire FBS. Vols’ QB Jarrett Guarantano only has nine TD passes on the year, and Tennessee is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry on the ground.
Prediction: Tennessee Team Total: Under 17.5
Half-Time Side Pick
I am taking the points with Tennessee on the halftime line. Kentucky is not productive in the opening half, ranking down at 108th in the country with an average of only 9.9 points. Tennessee is averaging a decent 14 points in the first half over their last three games. Tennessee slows down offensively in the second half, and I expect a big second half from Kentucky.
Prediction: Tennessee +3
Half-Time Total Bet
The under on the halftime total is also a solid option. The Wildcats are holding opponents to an average of only 10.2 points in the first half this season. Also, Kentucky has really struggled to generate offense in the opening half recently, averaging only 4.3 points in their last three games.
Prediction: Under 20.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am taking Kentucky to score first. Kentucky has been one of the best defensive teams in the first quarter in the FBS this season, holding opponents to 2.5 points on the season, good for seventh in the country. In addition, the Vols are conceding an average of 10.3 points in the opening quarter. Kentucky’s outstanding defense should allow them to jump out to an early lead.
Prediction: Kentucky to Score First