Coming off their bye week, the unranked Tennessee Volunteers will visit the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats in Week 10 of the college football season.
Tennessee (4-4) has not had the breakout season that fans were hoping for. The Vols are currently in the middle of a two-game losing streak, falling most recently to No. 3 Alabama and No. 15 Ole Miss. But after a bye week to regroup, Tennessee could be ready to do some damage against another ranked team.
Kentucky (6-2) has slowly transformed itself into a legitimate football program after many years of disappointment. The Wildcats are ranked for just the fourth time since 1985, but will be heading to a bowl game for the sixth straight season.
This Kentucky team is the real deal, but it also currently finds itself in the midst of a two-game losing streak, just like Tennessee. After winning six straight games to open the season, Kentucky dropped its last two road games at No. 1 Georgia and unranked Mississippi State.
Can Tennessee pull off the road upset and snap its two-game skid or will Kentucky bounce back on its home turf?
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Tennessee vs Kentucky Prediction
All in all, I believe Kentucky is the better football team in this matchup. Both teams are currently in a similar head space as far as losing streaks go, but Tennessee is coming off of a bye. This is sure to play a role.
Tennessee’s most recent losses also came against ranked teams, while only one of Kentucky’s did. The Volunteers are a decent team overall, but the fact that they have not played many ranked opponents and are still 4-4 is telling.
In fact, Tennessee’s last two games were the only times this season the Volunteers had faced opponents currently ranked in the AP Top 25, with this upcoming matchup against Kentucky being the third.
Kentucky has only faced two ranked teams this season, but earlier in the year the Wildcats defeated then No. 10 Florida 20-13 a week after the Gators had blown out Tennessee 38-14.
I’m backing Kentucky to win this game, even with Tennessee coming off a bye.
Prediction: Kentucky 33, Tennessee 27
Tennessee vs Kentucky Best Bets
Best Bet: Kentucky +1 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 unit
Despite significant line movement in favor of Tennessee, I’m still backing Kentucky in this one. The spread for this game originally opened up at Kentucky -3.5, but has since moved to Tennessee -1, per our NCAAF gameday odds.
Tennessee, led by quarterback Hendon Hooker, has one of the best scoring offenses in all of college football and ranks 17th in FBS with 37.4 points per game. On the other hand, Kentucky ranks amongst the best defenses, only allowing 20.8 points per game.
I believe Kentucky’s defense will be the difference in a close game.
Best Bet: Over 57 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 0.5 units
I’m not expecting this game to be a shootout, but I do think the over will hit by a small margin. The total for this contest opened at 59.5 and has since dropped nearly three points, similar to the spread.
I don’t feel nearly as confident in this one as I do the spread pick, evidenced by just the half-unit play here, but I would lean towards the over.
Tennessee wants a high-scoring game. If the Volunteers control the pace of play, I could see this game turning into a shootout and going over by a wide margin.
However, if Kentucky controls the tempo on the ground with Chris Rodriguez Jr. and keeps the Tennessee offense off the field, this game is going under.
I think it’ll probably end up somewhere in the middle as this line is pretty sharp. My lean is to the over, but I would recommend staying away altogether unless you feel strongly one way or the other.