Florida heads to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats as -8 points road favorites with a total of 50.5 at 5 dimes sportsbook. Home dog Kentucky has seen the bulk of the betting action this week.
It’s time for a little revenge, at least in Florida’s eyes. The Gators had hopes of winning the SEC East last year, but that quickly disappeared when Kentucky ended its 31-game losing streak in the series and won 27-16 in the Swamp as an almost two-touchdown underdog.
The Wildcats won last year’s meeting with an elite defense and ground game that went for 303 rushing yards on 41 carries. Doing that again is unlikely, but there’s no reason they can’t stay competitive at home.
While Benny Snell is gone, this is largely the same UK offense with quarterback Terry Wilson running the show. His arm remains a question, but his athleticism is still there after he ran for 105 yards against Florida last year.
Cats to Lean on Backs
That’ll again be key because it’s unlikely Wilson finds much success through the air even with top wideout Lynn Bowden. The Cats will lean on backs Asim Rose and Kavosiey Smoke, similar to Snell last year.
It remains to be seen just how good Florida’s defense is because while it throttled Miami, UNC did the same to them last week. The Gators have a good defense, but it struggled against the run last year, allowing 166 rushing yards per contest, and that could be a problem again after Miami’s top RB went for 94 yards on 11 carries.
Can Kentucky “D” Contain Franks?
Kentucky’s defense isn’t as good as last year and that’s an area Florida can exploit. Quarterback Feleipe Franks hasn’t looked much improved despite solid numbers. While he did whatever he wanted against UT Martin completing 25-of-27 passes, he struggled to keep the offense moving against Miami and threw a couple interceptions.
He completed 17-of-38 passes against this defense last year and that was at home. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Gators leaned a little more on Lamical Perine, though it’s not like he’s had much early success with 93 yards on 20 carries. If Franks plays like he did against Miami, there’s a decent chance these teams will be fighting into the fourth quarter.
It hasn’t been easy to get a read on either of these teams due to opposition, but while Kentucky has beaten two MAC teams, both of them are projected to go to bowls. The Gators may be looking for revenge, but unless Franks steps up and plays how everyone wants him to, this game should be close. Wilson brings plenty of experience for the Wildcats, which should keep the game competitive.
Florida has covered its last four September games and the over has hit in Kentucky’s last four at home. The favorite (Florida) is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings between these schools.
Our Pick – Kentucky +8