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Kentucky vs. Texas A&M: Analysis, Expert Picks and Predictions

A look at what oddsmakers and experts have to say about Kentucky Wildcats vs. Texas A&M Aggies.

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USA Today and Sea of Blue

Starting the 2018 season 5-0, Kentucky’s confidence couldn’t be in a better position to go to College Station and pull off an upset victory over Texas A&M.

However, they’ll have quite the bumpy road to do so. Starting with quarterback Terry Wilson, followed by obvious candidates such as Benny Snell Jr. and Josh Allen, head coach Mark Stoops will need every man to step up and do their job on Saturday night.


Kentucky will play in their third straight primetime game, however this time they’ll do so on the road. A&M is 3-2 on the season, with their two defeats coming at the hand of the first and second-ranked teams in the country. Their three wins come via two blowouts but their latest being a narrow home win over the struggling Arkansas Razorbacks.

Despite Kentucky being ranked 13th in the country, Las Vegas has Kentucky as six-point underdogs and ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Wildcats just a 31.6% chance of victory.

A&M’s Trayveon Williams trails only Snell in the SEC in rushing yards and will be a tough task for the Wildcats’ defense to contain. Add in the fact that the Aggies lead the SEC in first downs and there will be much emphasis put on Allen & company to bring negative yardage on multiple plays and put their offense back on the field.

The X-Factor of this game will be Terry Wilson, who is actually the first Kentucky quarterback to win his initial five career starts since Bill Ransdell in 1984. However, the redshirt sophomore has mostly benefited from a tremendous supporting cast vs. actually winning games for the Wildcats.

In five games, Wilson has run for 300 yards and three touchdowns and thrown for 595 yards with two scores and five interceptions. He’s also had an issue with fumbles, though that has gone away in recent games.

While Wilson’s numbers leave a lot to be desired, he did play great in the road win over a top-25 Florida team, so he has proven he can help carry this team to victory in a hostile environment. He’ll need to have a similar performance for the Wildcats to come out of College Station with a 6-0 record.

Odds and Betting Trends

Texas A&M opened the week as a 6.5-point favorite, though the line has shifted between 5 and 7 since then. Most oddsmakers have the Aggies favored by 5.5 as of Friday morning.

The Aggies are 4-1 against the spread, while Kentucky is 3-2. In fact, Kentucky is 3-0 when they’ve closed as an underdog. Heading into Saturday’s matchup, the Wildcats will surely embrace the chip-on-their-shoulder mentality once again.

Here are some more betting trends for both teams:

  • Kentucky is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Kentucky is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 7 games
  • Kentucky is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
  • Kentucky is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 7 games on the road
  • Texas A&M is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Texas A&M is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
  • Texas A&M is 14-7 SU in its last 21 games at home

Expert Picks

CBS Sports predictors Ben Kercheval, Dennis Dodd & Jerry Palm are going with the Wildcats to cover the spread with Palm picking Kentucky as outright winners.

USA Today experts Eddie Timanus and George Schroeder are going with the Wildcats, while Dan Wolken, Erick Smith, Jace Evans and Paul Myerberg are slating the Aggies.

ESPN had 16 predictions for this game, yet only six of them went with the Wildcats.

OddsShark predicts a final score of 32.6-29.6 in favor of A&M, indicating Kentucky will cover and the total of 50.5 will go over.

numberFire projects Kentucky to win 28-23, while TeamRankings has the Aggies winning 27-23.

Bud Elliott of SB Nation has Kentucky covering the spread as one of his best bets of Week 6:

Kentucky +7 at Texas A&M: How much do I really trust the Wildcats? Not that much. But I power rate UK and the Aggies about even on a neutral field, so even awarding A&M with a substantial home-field advantage, this is still a value bet.

247 Sports’ Brad Crawford and Chris Hummer offered their predictions for Wildcats vs. Aggies:

Hummer: Man, that’s a lot of points for a Top 15 team on the road. That said … the Aggies are a better team. The key here is Texas A&M defends the run better than anyone in the SEC, which helps take away Benny Snell. Kentucky QB Terry Wilson’s been turnover prone when forced to throw. Give me the Aggies, but I’m hedging my bets here and picking the Wildcats to cover … Texas A&M 28, Kentucky 24.

Crawford: I picked Kentucky to beat South Carolina and knew it would happen since the Wildcats, at least in my opinion, had a noticeable advantage at the line of scrimmage in terms of overall physicality. Kentucky has a slight edge in that department vs. the Aggies too, but Kyle Field at night is a different animal and the Wildcats will finally suffer their first loss of the season when quarterback Terry Wilson is forced to put together a potential game-winning drive late ... Texas A&M 23, Kentucky 20.

ESPN expert Kirk Herbstreit picked Kentucky vs. Texas A&M as one of his four biggest games to watch this weekend and said Wilson needs to have a big day for the Wildcats to come away victorious:

Herbstreit also picked Kentucky to win on ESPN earlier this week.


It’s been nine months since the Wildcats last tasted defeat. Saturday, they’ll face their toughest challenge yet of avoiding that fate. Snell is one of the best players in the country and Allen stands alongside him in that regard. However, road games in the SEC play to hostile environments and College Station is one of the most difficult of that category.

Wilson is 5-0 as a starter and that can’t be disputed, although his two touchdowns to five interceptions through the air can be. There’s no question his ability to run the football perfectly complements Snell’s dominance out of the backfield. However, his inability (thus far) to move the chains with his arm brings a cloud over the fact that Kentucky can pull out yet another underdog victory.

Kentucky fans would love nothing more than to see Wilson’s team go on the road, control the line of scrimmage and walk out with a victory. However, in this case, seeing is believing.

Final Score: Aggies 24, Wildcats 20

Be sure to check out all of our predictions on the game.