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Kentucky, Auburn Set For A Low-Scoring Opener

Kentucky Wildcats vs Auburn Tigers Betting Odds

The Auburn Tigers overcame a brutal 2019 schedule to go 9-4 and qualify for the Outback Bowl – but a repeat performance could prove difficult as the Tigers kick off their regular season Saturday against visiting Kentucky. A defense ranked inside the top 30 a season ago is down a wealth of talent, while the offensive line might struggle initially with just one returning starter.

Kentucky Wildcats vs Auburn Tigers
  • Date/Time: September 26, 12 noon ET
  • Stadium: Jordan-Hare Stadium
  • TV Coverage: SEC Network
  • Opening Odds: Auburn -13.5 | O/U 47.5 (Line History)
  • Kentucky vs Auburn Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Tigers kicked off their 2020 campaign as favorites of nearly two touchdowns over Kentucky, but that line has fallen all the way down to -8. The total opened at 47.5 and has held steady.

Kentucky News & Notes

Whatever controversy might have existed over the summer with regard to the Wildcats’ starting quarterback status has been salted away, with Kentucky moving ahead full speed with Terry Wilson at the helm. Wilson missed the majority of the 2019 season with a knee injury, but he moved well during camp and isn’t expected to face any limitations in playing time.

The loss of do-it-all star Lynn Bowden will be a significant blow to the Kentucky offense, but this team should still be able to run the football. The Wildcats had the No. 4 rushing offense in Division I last season and return four offensive line starters. Senior running back Asim Rose should make inroads this weekend after rushing for 826 yards last year. 

Auburn News & Notes

The Tigers will look to shake off a minor COVID-19 related issue that saw 10 players, including five starters, miss practice time earlier in the month. And once they hit the field Saturday, they’ll need a big season from quarterback Bo Nix, who completed less than 58 percent of his pass attempts with just 16 touchdowns and six interceptions in his first year at the helm.

Fortunately for Nix, he has a significant receiving weapon returning to the fold. Seth Williams is back after leading the Tigers in receptions (59), receiving yards (880) and touchdowns (eight), and will be looking to atone for a slow finish to his 2019 season. He has big-time NFL potential, so his cohesion with Nix could go a long way in determining how Auburn fares this year.

Betting Pick: UNDER 47.5

Both teams will want to work out the kinks, which could lead to plenty of stalled drives and punts. We’re off the spread play here given the lack of intel we have on both teams, but we feel confident that scoring will be at a premium.

Shark Bites
  • Kentucky is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games.
  • Auburn is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games.
  • Williams had all 8 of his TDs in Auburn’s first 7 games.