The undefeated Kentucky Wildcats will host the 3-2 LSU Tigers in a marquee SEC matchup on Saturday night, 7:30 PM EST. Kentucky is favored by -3.5 with a total of 51.
At 5-0 Kentucky sits in first place in the SEC East division, tied with Georgia. A win here by Kentucky coupled with a Georgia win over Auburn this week would set up a huge game of unbeatens next week as Kentucky and Georgia square off.
The knock on Kentucky heading into last weeks game against Florida was that they hadn’t played anyone yet. Well, now they have played, and beaten, the Florida Gators. Next!
LSU comes in at 3-2 and 1-1 in conference play. So the Tigers are very much alive in the conference and can still make some noise if they can string together a few wins.
Run, Run, Run
Are you tired of us talking about the running game in these articles yet? Hopefully not as it’s very important!
How about this? Kentucky gains an average of 5.4 yards per rush attempt which ranks them #16 in the nation. LSU gains 2.3 yards per attempt which ranks them 127th out of 130 teams.
The LSU offensive line has struggled all season. They can’t protect the QB and the Tigers can’t run the ball.
More of the same on the other side of the ball. Defensively Kentucky gives up just 2.7 yards per rush attempt, good for #10 in the land. LSU gives up 4.3 which ranks them 78th.
Again, it’s a tall order for a team to go on the road, with that much of a disadvantage in the running game and come out on top. LSU QB Max Johnson will have to pull some rabbits from his hat if LSU is going to win this game.
Our model has this as a low scoring affair. If the game plays out as our model suggests, it favors LSU in terms of covering this number. There’s simply not much room to lay points in a game where points figure to be at a premium. We’re also a tad concerned about Kentucky being -9 in turnover margin. It hasn’t hurt them yet, but likely will unless it’s corrected.
We still lean towards Kentucky here and think they get the win and cover, though we’d prefer to lay 3 or less.
The total may be the way to go in this spot as our model gives us a 10 point cushion.