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Kentucky Wildcats open as underdog to Mississippi State; Why that’s significant

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UK is fighting history this week when the Bulldogs come to Commonwealth Stadium.

Mississippi State v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

For most teams, game lines and what oddsmakers think doesn’t really matter, but that’s not been true for the Kentucky Wildcats under Mark Stoops.

Dating back to Stoops’ first season at UK in 2013, UK has won just two games in which they were underdogs, and both came vs South Carolina (2014-15). That’s why news that Mississippi State is a three-point favorite this week is significant news for Stoops and co.

Despite the Bulldogs being 2-4 with wins over South Carolina and UMass, UK is an underdog for just the third time this season (previous were at Florida and at Alabama). Part of that is due to head coach Dan Mullen being 7-0 vs UK, not to mention the Cats not winning three SEC games in the same season since 2009, the final year of Rich Brooks when UK won at Auburn, at Georgia and at Vanderbilt in the same season.

The good news is UK is on a bit of a streak when it comes to beating the odds. Heading into the South Carolina game earlier this season, UK had gone 1-10 against the spread in their previous 11 games.

Since then, UK has won three straight after beating SC by a TD (line was UK by 2.5 points), then lost at Alabama by just 28 (line was 32.5) before beating Vanderbilt by a TD (line was UK by 2).

All of this serves as a reminder of how badly UK needs to win this week to not only keep Stoops off the hot seat, but keep this program moving in a positive direction.