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Alabama Visits Kentucky as a 16 Point Favorite

Early Betting Action is on Kentucky

10/3/09

This Alabama team is coming into this game off of one of their best defensive performances of the year. In their 35-7 victory over Bobby Petrino’s Arkansas Razorbacks the Crimson Tide defense held the Hog’s offense that had been averaging over 500 yards of total offense to a season low 254 yards. They blitzed early and often and had Ryan Mallet pressured all game long. If Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide defense continue to play aggressive defense like that I am not sure there is a team in the country that is going to have success against them.

Kentucky had to deal with the #1 Florida Gators last week and now they get to go up against #3 Alabama. Not too many teams envy the Wildcats position. Last week the Florida offense was clicking on all cylinders as they opened up to a 31-0 lead in the first quarter. Kentucky has to get last week’s game out of their mind and concentrate on the task at hand. Kentucky opened the season with two solid wins and there is some excitement in Lexington with this team. Upsetting the #3 team in the nation would be a huge way for them to get back on the national scene.

ALABAMA’S KEY TO VICTORY


This Alabama defense is arguably the best in the country. They are allowing just 202 yards of total offense, and are allowing just 13 points per game. If Alabama’s defense continues to have those kinds of numbers they are going to put their offense in good positions to get the job done. Kentucky’s offense is averaging just 338 yards per game which is 11th best in the SEC, and is averaging just 27 points per game which is 10th best in the SEC. I expect those numbers to go down even more after this Alabama defense gets a hold of them. This Crimson Tide defense is going to frustrate the Kentucky Wildcat offense all day, and will give their offense great field position all day long.

KENTUCKY’S KEY TO VICTORY

Arkansas was able to stop the Alabama rushing attack and force QB McElroy to beat them through the air. It’s no secret that the Alabama offense starts with the run. You throw out the one long run by RB Trent Richardson that should have been stopped for a loss and Arkansas held them to around 2 yards per carry, so it is possible to slow down this rushing attack. If Arkansas could have gotten anything going against that Bama defense it could have been a decent game. If I am Kentucky that is exactly what I do this Saturday. I try to slow down this Alabama rushing attack and hope that McElroy has an off day passing the ball. If they are able to do that and get something going on offense they can make it interesting.

THE FINAL VERDICT

If this Alabama defense continues to play like they have been it is going to be tough for any team to beat them. Their defense makes things a lot easier on their offense, and puts them in positions to be successful with field position. If Alabama doesn’t have a letdown this weekend against Kentucky then it is going to be a long day for Kentucky. But that is why they play the games. As we have seen this year any team is vulnerable to letdowns, and if Alabama does struggle this Kentucky offense is capable of moving the ball and scoring. Furthermore, Alabama has a way of dominating games in a way that doesn't necessarily show up on the scoreboard, but shows up in the stats. They can completely dominate a game and win by 10-14 points. Case in point, they held Kentucky to 35 rushing yards last year but won by just a field goal with two minutes remaining on the game.

Having said that, we'd lay up to 16.5 with Alabama here. Anything past 17 we'd have to take a good look at a Kentucky team that will be looking to keep things closer with Bama than they did with the Gators.

 

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