The Kentucky Wildcats (6-5) will host the Lousiville Cardinals (7-4) on Saturday in the battle for the Governor's Cup. Kentucky has won and covered the spread in the last three meetings.
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Looking to end losing streak in rivalryLouisville has had an interesting season. They are 2-0 against teams ranked in the top 25 at the time they played them. Louisville got off to a 1-2 start but then won five of their next six games; oddly enough, the loss during the spean came to a bad Boston College team.
Quarterback Malik Cunningham is questionable for the Governor's Cup match-up, which would lead to Brock Domann getting another start. Domann led the 25-10 win over North Carolina State last week, going 12 of 25 for 153 yards with 26 rushing yards. Cunningham will be a much more explosive addition if he can return Saturday, as he leads the team with 1,552 yards and eight touchdowns in the air and 561 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
The Cardinals are averaging 28.5 ppg (67th) and 413.7 total yards (50th) on offense. Defensively they are holding teams to 19.6 ppg (19th) and 347.7 yards (37th).
Defense leads the wayKentucky jumped out to a 4-0 start, which included a 26-16 SEC win over Florida. The Wildcats have lost five of their last seven games and two in a row. Kentucky has faced some of the best competition possible, losing at Tennessee 44-6 on October 29 and Georgia 16-6 last week. The Wildcats have also struggled with consistency, losing to Vanderbilt 24-21 on November 12.
Final. pic.twitter.com/t33vrSouOm— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) November 19, 2022
The Wildcats are led by a stingy defense that allows just 321.2 yards per game (19th) and 19.6 ppg. The offense has struggled picking up 339 total yards (104th) and 21.7 ppg (107th). Quarterback Will Levis has thrown for 2,218 yards with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Although Louisville's record is one game better than Kentucky's, the Wildcats have faced the 16th toughest schedule in the nation, and Louisville's strength of schedule is 46th according to the ESPN Power Index. Kentucky has covered the spread in 21 of their last 29 games against teams with a winning record and has covered the number in 12 of their last 16 games against non-SEC teams. Kentucky has controlled this rivalry recently, beating Louisville 52-21 last season. With Malik Cunningham's status in the air, I have to back the Wildcats at home to win another Governor's Cup matchup.
Full-Game Total Pick
Kentucky has one of the best defenses in the country and held Georgia 130 yards below its season average last week. If Brock Domann makes a start, it will be a stretch for the Cardinals to score more than 14 points on the Kentucky defense. If Malik Cunningham makes the start, it will give the Wildcats a boost-except Cuningham has not played well against Kentucky in his career, and how close to 100% he will be is yet to be seen. On the other side, I don't see Kentucky's lackluster offense lighting up the scoreboard, either. Louisville has been on a roll defensively, holding five of their last six opponents to 21 points or less. Take the under.