- Kentucky begins life without starting QB Terry Wilson Saturday against #9 Florida in Week 3
- The Wildcats are 8.5-point underdogs and will start Sawyer Smith under center
- What’s the best bet ?
SEC play begins Saturday, Sep 14th, and the best game of the day features Kentucky hosting no. 9 Florida. Both teams are 2-0 to start the season, but this game will be the Wildcats’ first test without starting QB Terry Wilson.
Crowd chanting Terry Wilson’s name as he’s carted off the field. pic.twitter.com/egXmDisN3r
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 8, 2019
Kentucky’s starter tore his patellar tendon this past weekend against Eastern Michigan, forcing the Wildcats to turn to Sawyer Smith in his place. Kentucky opened as 8.5-point underdogs and that’s where the line currently sits.
Florida Gators vs Kentucky Wildcats Odds
|Florida Gators||-8.5 (-105)|
|Kentucky Wildcats||+8.5 (-115)|
*All odds taken 09/09/19
The Wildcats are 2-0 against the spread this season, while the Gators are 1-1. Both teams average over 420 yards of offense per game, with Kentucky doing the majority of their damage on the ground.
I’m 99% certain that Kavosiey Smoke may very well be the greatest running back in the history of running and backs. pic.twitter.com/mqA8Agb9N1
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) September 8, 2019
You can see a head-to-head comparison of both programs in SDB’s Florida vs Kentucky odds.
Ground and Pound
Kentucky was one of three SEC teams to beat Florida last year and they did so by running all over them. The Wildcats rushed for 303 yards and will try to replicate the same formula this weekend in Lexington. Kentucky’s backfield averages over 6 yards a carry this season and will be leaned on heavily to take the pressure off Smith.
— JonathanPalmer (@JonathanPalmer) September 8, 2019
The Troy transfer has a big arm but lacks experience. He has just seven career starts and will face a pass rush that leads the Nation with 15 sacks. Florida’s run defense has yet to be truly tested in 2019, and the Wildcats will need to establish the run to slow down the Gators pursuit and to keep the Florida offense off the field.
It’s All on Franks
Lost in all the talk about the Wilson injury is the fact that Florida is likely to be without two key starters as well. Big time playmaker Kadarius Toney and stud corner C.J. Henderson aren’t expected to play versus Kentucky, meaning the Gators will need another big game from Feleipe Franks.
Feleipe Franks threw the ball with pinpoint accuracy in Week 2. ? pic.twitter.com/mRU08uwKke
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 9, 2019
The Florida junior bounced back from a mediocre season debut with a new flawless performance against UT Martin in Week 2. He’s on pace for career highs in completion percentage (77.8%) and yards per attempt (9.7) through two weeks, and with the Gators run game struggling, the outcome of this game could very easily rest on his arm.
The Value Lies with the Wildcats
These two teams historically play very close games. Three of their last five meetings have been decided by less than a touchdown, with one of the two exceptions being Kentucky’s two-score win in Gainesville last season.
The Wildcats should find success running the ball, while Franks is going to have to make plays without his biggest offensive weapon. This game could go either way, and I expect a tight, low-scoring affair.
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