The battle for the Governor’s Cup renews on Saturday afternoon as the 6-5 Kentucky Wildcats head up I-64 to take on the 10-1 Louisville Cardinals with a four-game series winning streak on the line for the Cats.
The Wildcats suffered another disappointing loss last week at South Carolina and have lost five of their last six games after a 5-0 start to the season. Meanwhile, the Cardinals defeated Miami on the road last week and guaranteed themselves a spot in the ACC Championship game next week.
Will the Cardinals keep their slim playoff hopes alive and cover the college football odds this week?
Find out in our free college football picks and predictions for Kentucky vs. Louisville on Saturday, November 25.
Kentucky vs Louisville best odds
Kentucky vs Louisville picks and predictions
Kentucky has won the last four meetings of this rivalry by a total score of 179-57. However, this Cardinals team is much improved from the previous versions and is playing for big stakes.
New head coach Jeff Brohm’s biggest impact on this team has been changing the culture around Louisville football. After multiple disappointing seasons in a row, the Cardinals are in the midst of a 10-1 season with eyes on the ACC title. A win over an SEC school on Saturday would go a long way to help their cause.
However, Lousiville's biggest issue has been its strength of schedule — or lack thereof. The Cardinals only ranked win came over Notre Dame at home and they've already suffered a terrible loss on the road to a 3-8 Pittsburgh program.
While the Wildcats have dropped five of their last six games, four of those five losses were ranked teams. The talent discrepancy is certainly not as big as their records would indicate.
Both defenses are excellent at stopping the run, as the Cardinals allow 98.0 yards on the ground per game (ranked 12th nationally) and the Wildcats allow 109.6 (20th). Both will be put to the test with Ray Davis for the Cats and Jawhar Jordan for the Cards both being the focal point of each offense.
However, the Hurricanes were able to penetrate the Cardinals' defense with 486 total yards and 31 points. With the right game plan, the Wildcats can put up some points as well.
Defensively, Louisville should be able to put some heavy pressure on Jack Plummer and force him into mistakes. Plummer has thrown 10 picks on the season, and Maxwell Hairston, tasked with guarding Plummer's primary target, Jamari Thrash, has accumulated five interceptions of his own.
This game will be very competitive and will likely go back and forth throughout. While the Cardinals have been excellent at closing games out and finishing with a win, that does not necessarily mean they will cover the spread.
I ultimately like the Wildcats to cover, even if they do end up on the losing side.
My best bet: Kentucky +7.5 (-105 at Caesars)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
Kentucky vs Louisville same-game parlay
Jack Plummer Over 0.5 interceptions
Tayvion Robinson Over 37.5 receiving yards
Ray Davis anytime touchdown
Starting with taking the Wildcats on the spread, we will also add a Plummer interception to our parlay. While I've already highlighted Hairston's talent as a ball hawk, it's worth noting that Plummer may resort to risky throws in an effort to evade potential sacks. Deone Walker has picked up 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss for Louisville, and the star defensive tackle and will be pressuring Plummer all day.
Meanwhile, Tayvion Robinson is the second-leading receiver for the Wildcats. He's become one of Devin Leary’s most trustworthy targets and racked up 53 yards in his lone game against Louisville back in 2020 when he was at Virginia Tech.
Finally, we will add a Ray Davis anytime touchdown, as the Wildcats running back has 12 touchdowns on the ground and five through the air this season. Davis has also been frustrated with his lack of usage in recent games, and I imagine he will be heavily involved in this rivalry.
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Kentucky vs Louisville spread and Over/Under analysis
The Wildcats are going to do everything they can to try and make Plummer beat them through the air. If they can succeed at doing so, not only should they cover, but I would also consider taking the underdogs on the moneyline. Kentucky has three pick-sixes on the season and could add another one in this game.
The total in this game is right about where it should be based on these two defenses. The Cardinals are an excellent red zone defense, allowing only 12 touchdowns and two field goals in 21 attempts. That ranks second in the nation in scoring percentage.
Both teams are also tied for 34th in the country in tackles for loss per game at 6.3. Unless the passing attacks burst out with big plays, I would expect this game to stay Under the total.
Kentucky vs Louisville betting trend to know
Kentucky has covered the spread in six of the last eight games against Louisville. Find more college football betting trends for Kentucky vs Louisville.
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Kentucky vs Louisville game info
|Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
|Saturday, November 25, 2023
|12:00 p.m. ET
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