The battle of Kentucky ensues on rivalry Saturday, as the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals square off on the campus of the University of Louisville. Everything seemed to be going well for Louisville, who had another opportunity to find a place in the college football playoff after losing to Clemson. They botched their opportunity to stay alive last week to Houston, which resulted in a 36-10 loss to the Cougars. Lamar Jackson looked like a sub-par quarterback, as Houston were able to stifle him all night long.
The big loss all but ended their chances at playing in the playoff. Now they’ll be looking a scenario where they hope South Carolina can pull off a monumental upset against Clemson. Louisville will have to beat Kentucky today and Clemson lose to South Carolina to reach the ACC Championship. After how well they’ve played the majority of the time it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Losing by 26 points as 14-point favorites will do a team in, though, and the Cards found out the hard way. Other than a loss by Clemson, the only thing Louisville can hope for at this point is getting a better bowl game. With the dynamic Lamar Jackson at quarterback and 2 losses on their schedule, they should be able to get a good look at a brand name bowl.
Any bowl committee would be happy to have Jackson playing in their game, so I am sure they will get some invites to some attractive looking games. They just have to focus on Kentucky right now, though, because a loss against their rival would just be another kick to the gut on what was looking like a hallmark year for Louisville. It can still be a memorable year, but nothing like it could have been.
Kentucky already has 6 wins this seasons, so they have a bowl appearance wrapped up. This game might be bigger than any bowl game for them, though. A win against Louisville would make this season, sort of a success for the Wildcats. It would be a nice filler for Kentucky fans before the college basketball season gets into full swing. If Lamar Jackson responds this week, it could be a tough case to make for Kentucky. I’m looking forward to an exciting matchup here.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Ohio State -26(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Kentucky vs. Louisville Pick:
Lamar Jackson hasn’t had many bad games in his career, but last week was the definite exception. The Houston defense made life extremely hard on him, as he threw for only 211 yards and a touchdown. For some college quarterbacks, that’s just another day at the office. However, we expect Jackson to put up these gaudy numbers every week, which he didn’t. Expect against Houston, Jackson has been murdering opposing defenses, though. Note that he has thrown for 28 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Even more impressive has been his ability to run with the football, as he’s rushed for 1,367 yards and 19 touchdowns.
If you can’t find a way to slow him down, he’s going to run and pass all over the defense throughout the contest. Louisville are 1st in the country with 559 yards per game. They’re 1st in points scored as well, averaging a whopping 46 points. Louisville holds on to their top spot after the offense looked dead a week ago. But look out, against Kentucky the offense might look deadly. The Wildcats 81st in the FBS, allowing 428 yards per game. They are also allowing 30.5 points per game. I fully expect Louisville to put on a show against Kentucky this afternoon.
The Wildcats love to run the football, and do it pretty effectively. They average 242.2 yards per game, for a ranking of 17th in the country. If Kentucky wants to win, they’re going to have to run the football extremely well. They need to run it well and try to keep the ball out of the hands of Lamar Jackson. Louisville are 6th against the run, so they’re going to have to get creative. I do see the Cardinals putting up a healthy amount of points in this game, north of 50. The spread is a bit too high, I could see a Kentucky backdoor cover. I’m going to take a look at the OVER in this one, a game which should provide plenty of fireworks.
PICK: OVER 72 POINTS (-110)