Kentucky Wildcats vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Pick
Kentucky Wildcats (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday, November 21st 2020. 4:00PM (EST)
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, AL.
Point Spread: KEN +30/ALA -30 (BAS - Why are you still wasting your hard earned money betting games at -110 when you can be laying only -105? They have 20 point teasers 25 team parlays and tons more prop bets too!)
Over/Under Total: 57.5
Last week, Alabama’s annual showdown with LSU was postponed due to COVID-19 complications. Unfortunately, LSU already had one game (Florida) postponed due to COVID-19, which means the Alabama/LSU match-up is in jeopardy of getting canceled entirely. This week the Crimson Tide returns to action when they host the Kentucky Wildcats at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide jumped to the top spot in the polls thanks to Clemson’s loss two weeks ago and will defend their number 1 ranking for the first time on Saturday as 30 point favorites over Head Coach Mark Stoops’ Kentucky Wildcats.
Stoops became the 2nd most winning coach at Kentucky last week following an exciting 38-35 victory over Vanderbilt. With the latest victory, Stoops has compiled 47 career victories at Kentucky and trails the infamous Bear Bryant (60) for the most wins in school history. Ironically, Bryant made his notoriety with the Crimson Tide, and many people forget about his accomplishments before that time period at Kentucky. While we obviously don’t want to get too encompassed with the historical narratives, it is important to point out that the Wildcats have thrived in these big underdog roles in recent years. Kentucky is 10-5 ATS in the last 15 games and has covered the previous six games as double-digit underdogs.
Kentucky’s inconsistency creates betting concerns
We know that Alabama is a great football team with realistic national championship aspirations. The Crimson Tide have looked great in recent victories over Georgia, Tennessee and even pitched a 41-0 shutout in their most recent outing against Mississippi State. QB Mac Jones has far exceeded expectations and is having an incredible season. Jones has completed 78% passing for 2,196 yards with 16 touchdowns and just two picks on the season. Personally, I thought Alabama’s passing attack would take a huge step back with the loss of former QB Tua Tagovailoa and star receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. Instead, Alabama has remained very threatening in the passing game with the emergence of WR DeVonta Smith and has reestablished a really strong running game around Najee Harris, who has already compiled 14 rushing touchdowns through just six games.
While we know what to expect from Alabama, the same cannot be said for Kentucky. The Wildcats have been wildly inconsistent. This is a football team that looked great in wins against Mississippi State and Tennessee, outscoring both opponents by a combined 58-9. The Wildcats then followed up both of those victories with two ugly losses to Missouri and Georgia, where they scored just 13 points combined. Then last week, the Wildcats got wrapped up in an unlikely shootout with Vanderbilt, who has the worst offense in the SEC. Needless to say, it has been nearly impossible to predict how Kentucky will compete on a weekly basis. Against the books, Kentucky has flip-flopped between wins and losses on a near-weekly basis to match the inconsistency concerns. Therefore, this creates some elevated risk from an expectations standpoint.
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Kentucky vs. Alabama Matchup Breakdown
If you understand the inherited risk of Kentucky’s inconsistency, we can still perform a baseline of expectations based on the match-ups at hand. The biggest concern for Kentucky from a match-up standpoint surrounds the defense, specifically the run defense. The Wildcats have given up more than 150 yards per game on the ground this season against mostly mediocre rushing offenses. The Wildcats defense struggled mightily against both Auburn and Georgia heavy rushing attacks. I expect Kentucky to struggle in this match-up against a better offensive front and better rushing threat in Najee Harris. If that happens, it could be a long afternoon for this Kentucky defense that must also respect Jones’ passing ability as well.
I think we can safely assume Alabama is going to move the football and score points. The Crimson Tide have scored at least 41 points in 5 straight games, and this particular match-up begs for that trend to continue. Still, this is a 30 point spread, so can Kentucky score enough to keep this game competitive? Personally, I am not expecting Kentucky to have much success. The Wildcats offense lacks talent and are pretty one-dimensional towards the run game. Alabama has thrived in situations where offenses are one-dimensional towards the run, and they have the personnel to take advantage of this match-up again. The Wildcats only have one receiver that has eclipsed more than 100 receiving yards this season, and the majority of the production stems from RB Chris Rodriguez. I believe Alabama will load up against the run and dare Kentucky to throw the football. Overall, it’s just a good match-up for the top-ranked team in the country.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I trust Alabama’s defense in this match-up and believe they will have a great opportunity to cover. Take Alabama -30. Or, wait and see how the teams are playing and bet it live after it start at Bovada Sportsbook! Home of the web’s best live betting platform! And it’s not even close!
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