Kentucky Betting Odds Preview
Kentucky has never been known for its football program, that's for sure, playing in the shadows of SEC powers Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia, and even neighboring Tennessee. However, the Wildcats bottomed out last year by going a perfect 0-8 in SEC play. Now, after a 12-23 “run” under Joker Phillips, UK looks to another new head coach to pull this program out of the doldrums. Good luck, Mr. Stoops.
Kentucky opened last year losing badly to rival Louisville, then after beating Kent State lost in overtime to Western Kentucky. Then SEC play began, and the 'Cats were simply out-matched. They hung fairly tough with a couple of quality opponents in South Carolina and Georgia, but also got blown out on several occasions, losing by 38 points to Florida, 42 to Arkansas (a game mercifully called “final” in the third quarter), 23 to Missouri, 40 to Vanderbilt (!), and 20 to Tennessee.
They canned coach Phillips with two games to go and finished 2-10. Kentucky was lined as an underdog nine times last year, seven times by double-digits, and still could only go 3-7-1 ATS, 1-5-1 ATS in conference. Most of the Wildcats' troubles originated on offense, which managed to score more than 17 points just once in eight SEC contests.
New head coach Mike Stoops, who most recently did some good work as the defensive coordinator at Florida State, inherits a team that returns seven starters on both sides of the ball, including three on each line. But they will have to replace two key people along the offensive line and leading receiver La'Rod King.
The Wildcats open their schedule with homes games against the Hilltoppers, Miami-Ohio, and the 'Ville, but they'll be lucky to win two of those, and might not win any of them. UK then goes through a brutal three-game stretch, taking on Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama on consecutive Saturdays, then later plays at Vandy and at Georgia. And their four home conference home games come against the Gators, the Tide, Mizzou, and Tennessee. The only good news is that they don't have to play LSU or Texas A&M. It's hard to pick out more than four “winnable” games for the 'Cats this season.
SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Mississippi State +10000