Louisville vs. Kentucky: Odds, Picks & Predictions for Week 13

Louisville vs. Kentucky: Odds, Picks & Predictions for Week 13

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

Louisville vs. Kentucky Betting Odds and Best Bets

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Rivalry week in the Bluegrass state kicks off at noon EST Saturday with two teams moving in opposite directions. Louisville got offensive last week on their way to fourth-straight win that's seen them score 31+ in three straight. The Cardinals sit at 10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS with the over hitting at the same rate. Kentucky, meanwhile, is scuffling, losers of two straight and five of their last six, sitting at 6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS with the over cashing in seven of their 11 games.

Louisville vs. Kentucky Betting Odds for Week 13

Spread: Louisville -8 (Caesars Sportsbook)

Total: 50.5 (BetMGM)

Moneyline: Louisville -285 (FanDuel Sportsbook); Kentucky +245 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Due to the rivalry nature of this matchup, we had odds prior to game week available, where Louisville opened as five-point favorites. Last week's results have pushed that number up a tick, and it's sitting at 7.5-8.0 points pretty universally as of Friday morning. 

Early line movement has the total down a half a point after opening at 51.0. Given that both teams prefer to run the ball, and stop the run well, we should understand the trend downward, though I wouldn't anticipate anything substantial here.

The moneyline is an interesting option if you're backing the Wildcats. There's no question these teams are trending in different directions, but with a rivalry, most trends are out of the window. PointsBet has the best odds for Kentucky, with FanDuel and the lower spread checking at +230.

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Louisville vs. Kentucky Betting Picks for Week 13

On the surface, I have a great deal of interest in Kentucky. Yes, they are limping to the finish, but it's come through a gauntlet of a schedule against Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and Alabama. Louisville hasn't faced a team nearly of that caliber, their sole loss is to a terrible Pittsburgh team, and their overall schedule is as soft as possible, with them recently beating Duke without their quarterback, an okay Virginia Tech team, and Virginia and Miami, who constantly find ways to beat themselves. 

The problem is Kentucky does the same thing. They turned the ball over three times last week at South Carolina and have had countless mind-blowing penalties during this stretch of defeats. They rank 90th in the nation in penalty yards per game and 74th in turnover margin. If we accept the running game and rush defenses are a push, this matchup seems strictly about the passing attacks. And I trust Jack Plummer far more than Devin Leary. Louisville is very vulnerable against the pass, but Kentucky has minimal play-makers out wide, and Leary just hasn't been good. He's thrown for 171 yards or less in three straight and has a 2:2 TD:INT ratio over his last two outings.

Both teams likely want this to be low scoring, so I'd back the under regardless of which side you think wins. But that thought process bit me last week on the Cardinals against a similarly struggling QB in Miami's Tyler Van Dyke, who shockingly looked competent. The Cardinals were able to adjust and put up points there, and I'm going to back Jeff Brohm to scheme the Cardinals into enough points to win comfortably. 

Louisville vs. Kentucky Best Bet: Louisville (-6.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook

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Louisville vs. Kentucky Predictions for Week 13

Louisville ranks 29th in rushing offense, Kentucky 92nd but they do average 5.1 ypc and Ray Davis is their focal point. Again, that could give the Wildcats an advantage as Louisville RB Jawhar Jordan is clearly not at full health. Neither is WR Jamari Thrash. There are plenty of reasons to like the Wildcats; they just haven't performed. Louisville is 13th against the run defensively and Kentucky 22nd. That's a clear push.

Scheme, momentum and less mistakes is why Louisville will prevail. Kentucky is playing for a "better" bowl and pride I guess. Louisville has just one loss and needs to continue riding high into the ACC Championship, which could suddenly be more winnable with FSU losing Jordan Travis.

LOUISVILLE 27-19.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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