The Florida Gators welcome the Kentucky Wildcats to The Swamp on Saturday, September 13th in the SEC Opener for both teams. The Gators own the longest winning streak in SEC history over the Wildcats. That streak extended to 27 games last year as they won 24-7 in Lexington.
Kickoff inside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 EST Saturday night with SEC Network providing the television coverage. If you are looking to place a wager on this SEC East showdown, then you will be working with odds of Florida -17.5 over Kentucky.
Florida (1-0) has only been able to play one game this season as its opener against Idaho was suspended due to lightning. It would dominate Eastern Michigan in Week 2, winning by a final of 65-0 as a 41-point favorite.
Kentucky (2-0) has already matched its win total from all of last year. It beat Tennessee-Martin 59-14 as a 21.5-point home favorite in its opener, then proceeded to shut down Ohio 20-3 as a 13-point home favorite in Week 2.
My Early Lean: Kentucky +17.5
This is a very tough one to call for me because I have both teams being vastly improved in 2014. That appears to be the case in the early going as both teams have really impressed. However, I think the oddsmakers have set this number a little too high. This could be Kentucky’s best chance to pull off an upset in this series for a long time. Obviously, it will be motivated to put an end to its embarrassing 27-game winning streak to the Gators.
While I do not expect the Wildcats to win, I do foresee this game being decided by 17 points or less. Mark Stoops has really done a fine job of recruiting in his two years in Lexington, bringing more talent than anyone thought possible to this program. It didn’t pay off last year, but it appears to be paying off in 2014. I have really been impressed with the Wildcats on both sides of the football thus far.
Mark Stoops has really done a fine job of recruiting in his two years in Lexington, bringing more talent than anyone thought possible to this program. It didn’t pay off last year, but it appears to be paying off in 2014.
Quarterback Patrick Towles was the high school player of the year in Kentucky and is going to be a signal call for this program over the next three seasons. He has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 547 yards and two touchdowns this year, while also rushing for 89 yards and a score. Braylon Herad (116 yards, 2 TD), Mikel Horton (90 yards, 2 TD) and Jojo Kemp (72 yards, 1 TD) form a three-headed monster in the backfield. Ryan Timmons (13 receptions, 170 yards) is a receiver you should keep your eye on in the SEC.
Kentucky’s defense is vastly improved this season. It only allowed 233 total yards to Ohio last week with 74 on the ground and 149 through the air. In the opener against Tennessee-Martin, the Wildcats led 52-0 before allowing a couple garbage touchdowns in the 4th quarter to win 59-14. They had allowed just over 200 total yards through the first three quarters before Tennessee-Martin moved the football well against their scrubs.
Plays on a road team (KENTUCKY) – after allowing 17 points or less in two straight games are 171-99 (63.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Gators are 10-21-1 ATS in their last 32 games vs. a team with a winning record. Florida is 6-13 ATS in its last 19 games overall. Florida is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 home games.